A business, whether small or large, faces grave consequences of long term harm in case of data breach. The loss of revenue and potential liability is only one part, the extended recovery period to ensure that the security measures and systems are back in order is the larger damage. Despite a hefty price tag and high frequency of these breaches, most businesses still remain vulnerable to attacks, quite unprepared due to lack of information about cyber security and data breaches. These are three easy tips to be better informed and keep your business data protected:
Know where your most sensitive data is stored
According to a Ponemon study sponsored by Informatica, more that 25% security professionals are unaware of where the most sensitive structured data of their organization is stored with over 60% having minimal knowledge about this data.
When security professional aren’t aware of the sensitive data and cannot identify what exactly is the location of the data, the risk lingering increases. Only when they recognize the location of the data can they determine through a risk assessment what will best sure up potential security loopholes. Moreover, a thorough backup strategy never fails to minimize your loss in case of a data breach.
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It is hence advisable that you create a spreadsheet to document the types of sensitive data your business is handling, and its location. You must update and review this spreadsheet at regular intervals to ensure that the information remains updated.
Ensure Third Party Vendors are secure
For payroll, shipping and many other aspects of operations, a lot of businesses tend to rely on third party vendors. Your business and sensitive data could be at a risk in case of security vulnerabilities within these third party vendors.
You must adhere to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) if your business accepts transactions from credit cards. PCI compliant companies protect not just the customer but also the business. Consider a contract with the vendors to ensure that they have adopted minimal security requirements and maintain communication with them regarding their data security practices.
Train your employees
Most of the data breaches are mostly accidental mistakes, and not theft or intentional sabotage. It is thus true to say that weakest link in data security for businesses are the employees. For the data to be safe, the employees need to be imparted with training to select appropriate and strong passwords, to know when the data should be encrypted, and to know how malware is to be avoided.
With most businesses relying on just the orientation for the training of the employee, the businesses are keeping their data unsafe. For your company’s data to be secure from data breaches and cyber threats, your employees must be trained properly and kept updated to handle such issue.
Effective Data Breach Protection
Besides those listed, you could also consider other safeguards like never transmitting data that isn’t encrypted and using layered security.
However, even the best of safeguards cannot completely drive away the risk of data breach. Data breaches are costly, however implementing these best practices will not only minimize chances of a data breach but will also ensure that the impact of a possible data breach is minimal on your business. Moreover, you could also consider purchasing adequate data breach insurance to minimize the costs incurred to the company in case of a data breach.