Do you really need to take steps for data breach prevention in your company? Absolutely!
In today’s times, data breaches are a very real threat that all companies, large and small, are dealing with. You’ll hear reports of how corporate giants like Epsilon, Target, TripAdvisor, and Home Depot, among others, have had security breaches. In fact, the Juniper Networks and RAND Corporation have released results of studies which estimate that by the year 2019, losses from information leaks and cybercrime are likely to cross $2 trillion.
As a business owner, know that your company is not immune to such threats and you must take effective steps for data breach prevention.
1. Monitor the Movement of Data Between the Various Departments
When your customers and business partners share personal information and other details with you, different employees are likely to use them to provide efficient services. Implement procedures so that this data is carefully stored and used. Make sure all employees understand the importance of security measures and coordinate activities carefully. An effective data breach prevention strategy would be to restrict access to only those personnel that absolutely need to use the information.
2. Assign Electronics to Employees for Company Use
Buy laptops, tablets, and cellphones and provide them to your employees for company use. You can have your IT team install the necessary software, firewalls, and other security applications and tools so that hackers cannot access the information on these devices. Instruct your employees to only use secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) access for working. You can also restrict the downloading of apps and prevent browsing that may lead to accidental leaks through phishing attacks. The biggest advantage of providing electronics is that employees must surrender them when they leave the company helping you safeguard the information stored in the devices they had been using.
To economize on the cost of devices, check out the refurbished and used laptop prices on various online stores like Amazon, ReUseTek, and Target, to name a few and make your choice.
3. Secure Each Device with the Appropriate Tools
An effective data breach prevention strategy is to protect each device that you provide employees by way of different security tools. Sign up with malware monitoring services that send you alerts as soon as your company systems are attacked with malicious code. Accordingly, you can instantly take the necessary preventive measures to protect your company’s database. Make sure each device has multiple layers of security applications such as anti-virus programs, encrypting software, login boxes, limited attempts for signing in, contact forms, security questions, and others. Direct your employees to change passwords regularly.
4. Install Computer Screen Recognition Software
Have your IT team install computer screen recognition software on all the assigned devices. This security tool ensures that the screen remains legible only as long as the registered user is looking at it. In case, she looks away from the screen, it will blur instantly. This data breach prevention tool makes it impossible for shoulder surfers to collect information. You can safely allow your employees to work from remote locations once they have this software installed.
5. Work with a Dedicated Server Only
When you work with servers catering to a larger number of websites, you risk hacking and data breaches. That’s because you can only ensure the security of your website. Other users browsing websites with insufficient security measures can endanger your website leaving it vulnerable to cyber crime attackers.
6. Have Your IT Systems Checked Regularly
Invite professional IT auditors that come in from time to time to audit your digital systems. They will undertake a thorough inspection of your website and security provisions and identify sensitive areas. With their recommendations, you can implement the necessary data breach prevention measures.
7. Save Personal Information Only As Long As Needed
Set up mandatory data protection protocols according to which employees must erase all information as soon as it is no longer needed. These details can include social security numbers, credit card numbers, CVV2 codes, expiry dates, insurance numbers, and any other information that hackers can find useful. One of the best deterrents for cyber criminals is simply non-availability of data.
8. Keep Your Customers Informed
Inform your clients about the personal details you’ll need for providing services so they can make a well-thought out decision about whether or not to place orders with your company. Also, let them know about the data breach prevention measures that you have in place and how you’ll keep all details secure. Your customers and business partners will want to know about the failsafe procedures you have in place in case there are any cybercrime incidents.
Once customers understand that you have their interests in mind, they will be open to working with you when you request them to create complicated passwords and submit security responses at regular intervals when browsing through your website.
9. Use Effective Data Destruction Protocols
At regular time intervals, you may need to upgrade the digital equipment you have in your office. Before disposing of any laptops, desktops, cellphones, and other devices, make sure you have the hard drives shredded so that the information on them cannot be deciphered even by the most dedicated of cyber criminals. Sign up with certified professional services that perform secure data destruction on site or off site. They’ll provide you with the mandatory Certificate of Destruction so you can keep your business indemnified.
10. Shred All Hard Copies of Documents
Use the proper cross-cutting and shredding equipment to dispose of all paper documents saved in the company offices. Any documents containing sensitive information can fall into the hands of hackers and compromise security. Prevent this from happening by hiring the services of professional paper shredding companies in case you typically generate large volumes of sensitive paperwork.
Protect Your Business with Effective Data Breach Prevention Measures
The TRUSTe sponsored Harris Interactive poll reports that 90% of American customers choose not to place orders with companies that they did not trust with their personal information. You not only stand to lose business, but you also risk losses in case data breaches in your company’s IT systems cause loss of personal information. Prevent such possibilities by using the proper data breach prevention measures.