5 ways your business can manage security to protect sensitive client information.
Losing sensitive client data, such as login credentials, credit card information, medical records, or financial reports, can have disastrous consequences for your business, from both a legal and PR standpoint. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to safeguard against these security breaches. Here are our top client data protection tips to help keep your business information secure.
1. Limit access to sensitive data.
Not everyone in your company needs access to your sensitive client data. It’s not just malicious employees who can damage your company. Lax security protocols, or even a tired employee making a mistake can compromise your security system, leaving you vulnerable to a data breach. One of the easiest ways to cut down on a possible leak is to limit the number of employees and systems which access that data. This leaves you with fewer systems to protect, and fewer employees who might make an error.
2. Use smart password protection strategies.
Password protection is a common stumbling block for many businesses. Advice on how to create strong passwords varies, and unfortunately, forcing deeply complex passwords increases the likelihood that a user will simply select a single complex password to remember, and use it for countless login credentials. This inadvertently creates a single point of failure that can grant access across numerous systems and services.
Instead, we recommend businesses lean on a combination of encrypted, salted passwords (using a tool such as 1Password or LastPass), and multifactor authentication. Combined, these measures virtually eliminate the threat of compromised passwords.
3. Move to a dedicated server.
Many businesses use shared servers to cut down on costs. However, this comes with a security risk, as these servers share risks with other sites. Any good hosting company will have measures in place to protect server data, but if another site on your shared server is compromised, it could still affect you. While dedicated servers are more expensive, they also provide an additional layer of protection for both you and your clients.
4. Enable firewalls and antivirus protection.
Firewalls and antivirus protection are basic security measures to safeguard your data. While firewalls help to prevent unauthorized access, antivirus software helps prevent, detect, and remove harmful programs from your computer. Without these in place, you could have vulnerabilities in your system that you aren’t even aware of.
5. Stay on top of all security updates.
Many of the recent security hacks exploited known security holes. For instance, the WannaCry ransomware attack targeted a flaw in the Windows security system — one that Windows knew about and had patched two months before the ransomware attack began. However, many users postponed their security updates, leaving them vulnerable to attack when it came.
Contact a professional.
Staying on top of all your security measures can be a job in itself. However, if client data protection is important to your business, keeping your systems safe should be a top priority. We can help make this job easier by working with you to assess your current security systems, manage security updates, and develop an emergency plan to handle any security-related issues. Contact us for a free assessment.