Large-scale data breaches are becoming more and more commonplace in today’s technology-driven world. If you’re a company that regularly handles consumer data you must ensure it is kept secure so you can reduce the risk of a data breach as much as possible. It is in your best interests as well as your consumers that you have measures in place to protect personal information.
This is because if you do experience a data breach it could cost a huge amount of money in Data Breach Compensation and possibly a fine, and the reputation of your company could be impacted. As technology and hackers’ skills are constantly evolving you might not be fully aware of what you can do to help prevent a data breach in your company. We hope this article can change that and give you all the information you need.
What steps can you take to prevent a data breach at your company?
1) Restrict access to your most valuable data
In the past, all employees of a company had access to each file on their computer within the business. Today, however, companies have learned that it is more secure to limit access to their most critical data. After all, there’s no reason that everyone who works in your company needs to view customer financial details.
When you restrict who is allowed to see certain documents, you reduce the number of employees who could accidentally click on a harmful link or could intentionally pass on private data to an outside source. This is one of the simplest and most common-sense solutions that a company can do to prevent a data breach.
2) Third-party vendors have to comply
All companies do business with a wide range of third-party vendors, and it is more important than ever to know exactly who those people are. Companies can even leave themselves exposed to lawsuits by allowing strangers onto the premises. You should ensure that you limit the types of documents that vendors can see.
Even though some precautions might seem like a hassle, you cannot be too careful when conducting business with third parties and the result of not having these measures in place could be millions lost in a data breach. For those companies that have permission to view your important data you should expect transparency and make sure they are complying with privacy laws, don’t just assume that they are. Preventing data breaches in your company means getting stricter on security measures and truly instigating change.
3) Conduct employee security awareness training
According to recent studies, employees are the weakest link in the data security chain. In spite of training, employees open suspicious emails daily that have the potential to download viruses. One mistake companies make is thinking that only one training session about cybersecurity is enough. If you are serious about safeguarding your important details and preventing a data breach you should schedule regular sessions each quarter or even monthly.
4) Update software regularly
Experts recommend that you keep all application software and operating systems updated regularly, and install patches where you can. Your network will be left vulnerable when programs are not patched and updated consistently. If your network is vulnerable your data will be at risk of hackers breaching your system and stealing your data.
5) Develop your response plan
Surprisingly not many companies have a sufficient plan in place if a data breach should occur. Maybe they haven’t thought it was necessary and it wouldn’t happen to them, or they feel they can respond effectively at the time. This is not a useful way to think. Having a constructive plan in place for a data breach will mean it can be dealt with quickly and smoothly.
Your response plan should start with an evaluation of exactly what was breached and when find out who is responsible wherever possible. By taking fast, decisive action, you can limit damages and restore trust in your company both from consumers and your employees.
6) Regularly change and use difficult passwords
Previously companies have rarely gotten involved with how frequently employees have changed their passwords, but recent data breaches have changed that. When security experts come to your company to educate employees one thing they will stress is to regularly change all passwords. If you want to prevent a data breach, make it as difficult as possible for thieves to break in and steal your important information.
If you have been the victim of a data breach or believe your personal information has been shared, visit data-breach.com to start your claim.