In today’s fast-paced world of technology, the data breach has become a serious issue. Businesses are now constantly in a fight to secure their clients’ data. We see terrifying data breaches, which break into servers and steal vital information, on a frequent basis these days.
Some recent examples are Target and Yahoo!. Hackers broke into their servers and collected credit card information and user e-mail correspondences. The most recent of all was the ‘WannaCry’ attack which crippled hundreds of thousands of computers world-wide. The virus went after old PC’s, which had not been updated, and held their files ransom until a fee was paid.
So how can we combat these issues in order to build a secure business for our customers? We spoke with a personal injury lawyer at The Diamond and Diamond Law Firm to figure out how to make customers feel safe and what we can do to protect them. Diamond and Diamond is on the leading edge of client data protection, so we’re thankful they were able to share their advice with us.
Invest in the Latest Tech
The first thing that every business must do is make sure to invest in the leading technology. This is pretty simple for most businesses who only have a few desktop and laptop computers, but it is easy to fall behind. Once a year evaluate the equipment that you have and research what exists on the market today.
By purchasing the latest equipment, you’re less vulnerable to attacks similar to ‘WannaCry.’ At the very least, you should always update your equipment as soon as an update is available. Plus, this equipment is a tax write-off. You might as well enjoy the tax break too!
Purchase a VPN
A VPN is short for a Virtual Private Network. It acts as a firewall to prevent hackers from gaining easy access to your files. A good VPN can be purchased for a relatively low-cost and it will be the most-effective way to protect any sensitive data. This is especially prevalent for those who deal with credit card transactions and those who run law firms or counseling services.
From an employee level, employing two-factor authentication is an easy way to protect your employees information. If you provide laptops and phones to your employees, whether in-office or in-home, set up tech that adds an additional password protector. Two-factor authentication goes beyond a simple password by adding an additional layer.
The additional layer is something that only that user should know, such as their first pet’s name. This is identical to those annoying password recovery prompts that ask you security questions. It adds a little extra annoyance for the user, but makes their data much more protected. If you want to get real advanced, you can purchase software that logs in your employers by fingerprint alone.
Ensure Your Clients Know They’re Protected
Do your clients know that they are protect and the methods they are protected by? While this may not be important to them if you run a small boutique shop, it is important if you have sensitive data of theirs. It’s just as important to communicate with your clients about how you secure them as it is to actually secure them.
You can do this in a number of ways. For instance, you can create a colorful diagram that explains it in layman terms. If you have meetings with them, on your first meeting you can briefly discuss it. Always be open to answering client questions about the safety of their information.
Utilize HTTPs on Your Site
If you run a website this is a prime target for hackers. An HTTP is the rules that determine how files transfer. If you go onto a website and notice a large box on the left hand side of the URL, this is an HTTPs. Click the box and a detailed list of your secured connections to the site pops up.
Whatever is submitted through your site, financial or other, will be hidden from anyone who is trying to glimpse at it. This helps to make your website look very professional, too.
Back-Up That Data
Always keep your data backed up via a server in order to ensure that if something does happen, your clients are safe. Frankly, some hackers are just malicious and do it for fun. They may not be trying to get after anything; they just want to give you a headache. By backing up your data you can quickly recover anything that would otherwise be lost to history. To cover all your bases, back up your website as well as all of your computer files. This is especially easy if you have a Mac as it has built in settings for back-ups.
Develop a Response Strategy
Sometimes all the protection in the world isn’t enough. Technology advances, then hackers learn to beat the advancements. It’s a back-and- forth arms race that never ends. This can happen at any moment, so be prepared for the worst.
Create a strategy that allows you to quickly and clearly communicate with your client base. Once this is complete, understand how to recover your files through the back-up steps you’ve taken. Try to understand why you were hacked and how you can prevent that hack from occurring again.
Train Your Employees
Make sure your employees understand the importance of protecting client data above all else. These trainings can be boring, so keep your employees engaged with some good food and coffee. Try to make it as fun as possible and encourage them to always put client’s interest above all else. A properly trained employee can avoid grave mistakes that would otherwise leave your business vulnerable.
While data protection is never a fun thing to try to wrap your head around and enlist, it’s vital that every business – no matter size – is able to use it effectively. Never skimp on investing in client data protection either. It’s an on-going battle and the second you let your guard down something can happen that puts your clients at risk.
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