According to Identity Theft Resource Center, 1,291 breaches have occurred in 2021, which is higher than 1,108 breaches in 2020. The year 2021 is a record-breaking year for data compromises, and it’s expected to rise. Data breaches have also become costlier than before, creating more trouble for companies in high-risk industries.
Moreover, companies affected by the pandemic can also experience more adversity if a data breach happens. Remote work should also be considered as a risk factor for a data breach in companies. Incautious remote workers that are deceived by constant phishing attacks by cybercriminals have also caused danger to businesses’ data.
Therefore, it’s vital to know the reasons why a data breach occurs. Reasons include internal threats, human error, malware, unpatched security vulnerabilities, and physical theft of devices that carries data. You must consider these factors to prevent a data breach from happening.
Data Security 101
Knowing the cause of a breach is essential to prevent one, but so are the steps. Applying security tips can ensure that your company won’t suffer the repercussions of a data breach. Adverse consequences of a breach include loss of reputation, damage to customer’s trust, loss of money, and even litigation.
Concerning having a secure and fast data transfer, many managed files transfer solutions can assist you. Some of the features of a managed file transfer (MFT) are that it can track the company’s file transfer activity, encrypt the data in such transfer, and provide excellent security controls. If you want to know one type of MFT solution, try checking GoAnywhere MFT software and others.
Here are the three data security tips to protect your business and customers:
1. Secure Passwords
Passwords are a way for business and customer data to be secured. However, hackers can easily retrieve passwords, especially if it’s not well-created. Therefore, in creating a good password, it should be:
- Composed of numbers, lower and uppercase letters, and special characters
- It should be at least eight characters long
- Shouldn’t have all or parts of your ID or name
- Cryptic but easily remembered
- Shouldn’t have personally identifiable information such as credit card and social security numbers
You must change your passwords often and add an extra layer of security by using multi-factor authentication and by encrypting them. The use of a password manager is also advisable if you want to store, manage, or even create a good password, especially if you’re having difficulty coming up with a strong one.
2. Only Collect the Necessary Data
Check the types of customer data you have, and decide if you need all this information. Customers’ birthdates, social security numbers, credit card information, location data, and household income can make your data more of an interest to potential hackers. Cleaning your business with unnecessary data is helpful to prevent unwanted activity. It can also be advantageous in furthering consumer confidence as the collection of unessential data can make your consumers question the reason for such data gathering.
If you want to know what data is vital to your marketing team, the business must audit the data collected at least once every year. You can start by looking at all the business’s means that are used to gather personal information. This practice will help ensure that the business complies with the Data Privacy Laws. If you want to lessen the amount of data from your customers when your business needs to identify them, you can go for log-in identification and passwords.
3. Create a Strong Cybersecurity Plan
60% of small businesses close down after a cyber-attack, and the repercussions that a single cyber-attack can bring to a small enterprise and its customers are serious. With such consequences, a solid cybersecurity strategy is crucial for every online store opening.
A good cybersecurity plan must include things such as:
- Making sure that the basic security systems are working well
- A plan that allows a business to enforce security policies correctly
- A threat intelligence within the business
- A plan for risk assessment
Overall, it’s better to be prepared than to be surprised by cybercriminals, so apply this third tip to reinforce data security.
There have been a lot of data breaches in 2021, and the numbers are expected to grow. Such breach is now costlier, and businesses under difficulty caused by the pandemic are more susceptible to further trouble once a data breach happens. Also, the rise of remote work in the last two years has been one of the main reasons breaches occur.
Therefore, it’s just necessary to know the reasons that cause a breach. It’s also equally essential to be aware of the tips to secure the company’s data and its customers. The tips that you can apply in your business are to avoid collecting unnecessary data, have a strong password, and have a solid cybersecurity plan.