In the increasingly digital world we live in, customers are entrusting more and more of their sensitive personal data to companies.
59% of European consumers have experienced a data protection issue, according to Symantec.
Unfortunately, increasingly frequent and high-profile data breach cases have highlighted the fact that personal data isn’t always safe.
Losing customers’, or clients’ personal data, either by mistake or to an organized hack, is incredibly damaging for a company’s reputation and bottom line.
So what can you do to protect personal data – from your own to your businesses?
Read on to find out:
1. Get audited
First things first, hire a security professional to evaluate how secure your website, devices and network are. They’ll be able to highlight any glaring chinks in your armor and also help to ensure that sensitive data is properly protected.
In an article on ComputerWorld, Reed Harrison says this about the benefits of getting audited:
The auditing and monitoring of security controls checks the condition and administration of security point products and offers numerous benefits including: Measuring efficiency of operations, Evaluating compliance to security policy or standards, The ability to determine which assets are most mission-critical, and The foundation for a comprehensive incident response plan.
2. Install software updates
Hackers often exploit known flaws in software which app makers will then patch to fix. By installing the latest updates to your browser, operating software and other apps, you’ll have up to date protection from known problems. Similarly, security software updates will increase the amount of malware they protect against.
3. Educate your staff
Unfortunately, your staff can be a weak link when it comes to protecting data. From using inadequate passwords to downloading dodgy programs or falling victim to phishing scams, it’s important that your employees know what threats to look out for and avoid. Human error is the cause of 52% of data breaches, according to CompTIA.
4. Have a response policy
Increasingly, data breaches are not a question of if but when. The US saw 781 data breaches last year, according to ITRC. That’s a lot of companies and organizations being affected. Having a policy in place to deal with such an eventuality can limit the fallout from the breach.
5. Monitor computer activity
One of the best ways to keep your data safe is to use to employee monitoring software. Solutions such as KnowIT can be installed remotely onto all of your company computers, smartphones and tablets. From there you can see exactly what sites and apps employees use and monitor for any unusual activity. The software can also immediately alert managers if sensitive files are accessed or copied
Over to you
Have any personal data protection tips that you think we’ve forgotten? Let us know in the comments section below!