Having a predetermined plan can be the saving grace of a catastrophic data breach. The article from Bizjournals.com explains the top 6 ways to guard your business’ data. You can also call us for information on how we, at Citon, can design a personalized defense system to protect your data.
Protecting against a data breach:
Know what to look for. One important step in preventing a data breach is knowing what to look for to prevent a third party from intentionally compromising your data. Be on the lookout for these two things:
- Understand ransomware: An increasing number of stories demonstrate the threat of ransomware — the term used to describe malicious software that will lock your business’ data, offering to provide a password to unlock the data in return for payment of a ransom.
- Suspicious or unknown emails: If you receive an email from an unknown address, do not click on any attachments or linked information. Look at the email address of the sender carefully. Scammers can mimic email accounts to look as if you’re receiving email from Google®, Yahoo!®, TurboTax®, PayPal®, or even your business associate.
Backup data regularly. Backing up your customer data will put you ahead of the game when it comes to efforts by third parties to ransom your data back to you.
Encrypt your data. As simple as it sounds, taking efforts to encrypt your data can provide a significant shield from liability in several states.
Create a computer security policy – and enforce it. Require password protection on your business computers and require the password to be re-entered after a period of inactivity. Set up firewalls, install anti-virus software, and draft an employee policy that sets certain security and privacy standards when using company computers or technology. But remember, for these safeguards to be worthwhile, you must regularly update your programs, set up strong passwords and change them regularly, and enforce your company policies.
Keep data only as long as you need it. Small businesses often get into trouble by retaining credit card information and former customers’ information longer than necessary. Maintaining customer information longer than necessary increases your chances of becoming a target for a breach and widens your potential liability.
Prepare an incident response plan. Hackers and scammers are continuously becoming more sophisticated. Even if you take all the suggested precautions, your business could still be the victim of a data breach. An incident response plan is your game plan for dealing with a breach — how the breach should be handled, who will handle it, when counsel needs to be involved, who needs to be notified and what to say about it. Having an incident response plan in place can reduce the stress, and potentially some of the liability, of a data breach.
Contact us for more information on how to protect your business.
If you have had a data breach we have specialized tools to help mitigate the damage, and get your business back up and running fast.