7 Preventative Measures For Avoiding A Data Breach
With data breaches making headlines regularly, consumers are losing confidence in the privacy of their personal
data. Recent incidents with Anthem, JP Morgan, Home Depot and Target are adding fuel to the fire of doubt for consumers. In addition to losing the trust of customers, data breaches are also extremely damaging for a business financially. Target estimated a nearly $148 million loss following their 2013 data breach.
As a company, relationships with your customers are your most important assets. If a customer doesn’t trust you, they won’t patronize you either. Although increasing security measures may have some associated costs, the loyalty and peace of mind of your customers are priceless. Here are some key practices to consider when dealing with data security:
#1 Monitor Access To Your Data
Make sure you monitor who has access to your data. Require multi-step authentication processes for employee access, verifying business reasons for each system access, logging and monitoring employee use to identify unusual system patterns or behaviors, installing secure internet access points, and using IP address profiling to prevent any unauthorized access. Be aware of any unusual network activity and data transmissions to unknown hosts.
#2 Change Passwords Frequently
Something as simple as a password can be detrimental to the safety of your data. There are many preventative actions when it comes to passwords, including using longer passwords with a variety of numbers and symbols, different passwords for different systems, mandatory password changes every 90 days, or requiring employees to “sign out” a specific administrator password so passwords aren’t floating around and easily obtainable by a hacker, both internal or external.
#3 Take Physical Security Measures
Physical measures for safeguarding information can involve restricting access to facilities to prevent physical intrusions, monitoring computer equipment, locking up particular rooms or file cabinets housing sensitive information, and also shredding documents.
#4 Stay Up-To-Date On Software
Install anti-virus software on servers and implement application firewalls. Any software or programs that are not up to date can increase risk and serve as an entryway for hackers.
#5 Educate Employees On Security Threats
It is important to educate employees on data security to reduce breaches from negligent behavior. Teach your employees how to handle threats or scams within the system.
#6 Periodic Risk Assessments
The digital world is continuously changing and by adding new strategies or tools to your business you may also take on greater risk levels and/or liabilities. With periodic assessments, whether through internal audits or third party expertise, you can assess new areas of concern for potential security risks. Additionally, make sure your written Security Policy is constantly up to date.
#7 Implement An Incident Response Plan
It is important to be prepared for the worse. By anticipating a breach and devising a plan of action ahead of time you won’t be as likely to find your company in an unorganized frenzy. This plan should detail actions for every department including IT, finance, PR and communications, and should specify the roles of each team member to ensure a smooth response not only internally, but for responding to your customers as well. You should be prepared with resources your customers can access following a breach to prevent fraudulent charges to their accounts or phishing attempts.
While data breaches appear to be inevitable, following these pointers can help you stay on top of your security procedures and prevent being blindsided by an attack. Having the right processes in place and working with experts that take these precautions seriously, will best prepare your business for when they occur.
Not sure exactly how to go about these steps? IPR offers a wide range of data protection and recovery services. We can help you come up with a service package specifically designed for your company’s needs. More info visit: http://iprsecure.com/contact-us or call us Today! at 877.282.4873.