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In 2015, CBS reported that more than 80% of companies in the United States have been hacked and information has been stolen, changed, or made public. While we hear more about attacks on major corporations, the reality is it can happen to companies of all sizes, which means it’s more important than ever to secure your customer data. Besides the legalities of clients suing you for a security breach, your hard-earned reputation can be ruined in a matter of days.
Even the smallest attack can sink your entire company, so all employees should take precautions to protect their companies and their customers. But how do you do that? Read on to find out.
Knowledgeable employees are your best protection from any kind of data breach, physical or digital. It’s essential that everyone understands the importance of taking those extra steps—even if it takes a little more time and training.
Make sure your employees know what red flags to look for in emails, as well as the importance of not accessing work email or files on a public network (like in a coffee shop). They should never share passwords, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive information unless they are on a secure site.
Employees should know how to create strong passwords or use a password generator for additional protection from hackers. They should also know who to report suspicious activity to. Encourage reporting anything that might seem off, even if it ends up being a false alarm. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
It’s also important that all employees know how to act should your company experience a breach. A good plan includes information such as what actually qualifies as a data breach, who is responsible for doing what (IT, legal, HR, PR, etc.), the internal course of action (who contacts whom once something happens), and the external course of action (who to contact if you need outside help managing the breach). A clear plan enables everyone to take action quickly and minimizes the impact of the problem.
Even though most business is conducted online these days, don’t forget to protect hard copies and files that are physically stored in your building:
Because so much business is conducted on the internet and in the cloud, most breaches involve hacking into systems or servers. Protect your business and your customers by implementing a few safeguards:
Ideally, an IT person or an IT team would manage these steps for you. If you are short on IT help, give Frontier Business a call and discuss solutions to fit your needs.
The bottom line is that your risk of getting attacked is high, so it’s imperative to protect your business. A report by IBM found that the average cost of a data breach is more than $3 million, so it’s critical to assess where you can do a better job of securing your customer’s data and take action to fill in the gaps.
Feeling overwhelmed? Frontier Business has a variety of digital security solutions available to help.