Data breaches are becoming increasingly common, which makes it even more important for you to take proactive steps to protect the sensitive data of the people you serve. In just the first six months of 2019, data breaches exposed over 4.1 billion records. Here are 5 proactive steps you can take to better ensure that your company never has to write your client base an email informing them that their sensitive information may have been sold on the dark web.
- Educate your employees: Most data breaches are a consequence of an employee opening a suspicious email or from lax data permissions. The key to preventing these common mistakes is to bring in a cybersecurity specialist to educate your team on best practices and on how to prevent data breaches. Even some of the biggest companies fall victim to data breaches.
- Invest in a quality information technology company: Your clients deserve to feel secure when they leave their sensitive information with you, which makes it critical that your company invests in an IT company that can adequately protect their information and monitor for breaches. Companies like Arctic IT (https://arcticit.com) monitor the dark web for you, so you can focus on serving your clients.
- Increase awareness: Most hacks occur not through strange, backdoor channels, but through social engineering. Hackers are good at creating emails that sound legitimate and can fool even the most skeptical of your employees. This makes it paramount that employees are made aware of the creative nature of hacking, and are versed in the different kinds of methods hackers use. Mandatory training regarding hacking can not only increase the awareness level of your employees, but it can also be helpful in educating them on the warning signs of a potential hack.
- Passwords and permissions: Ensure that your team knows how to create complicated passwords that are difficult to hack. Additionally, more restrictive permission settings for your company’s network may be advisable. Limiting the websites your employees are able to go to and that fall outside sites relevant to their jobs can help to prevent malware downloads and viruses from infiltrating your company’s network.
- Encrypt: encrypting sensitive emails, information, and data prevents hacking, and it also helps to guarantee that only the people meant to read certain data files have the ability to do so. Even though it can sometimes be a pain to encrypt sensitive information, doing so can prevent a more expensive and public data breach later.
Data breaches are unfortunate and costly for businesses to endure, and they often result in negative publicity. Most importantly, they result in a loss of trust in your company from the people you wish to serve. Luckily, as unfortunate as data breaches are, they are also preventable. By educating your employees, investing in a quality IT company, increasing awareness, using strict passwords and permissions, and encrypting data, your company can prevent the costly mistake of a data breach.