Information technology (IT) is now believed to be an integral element of modern America. It isn’t going anywhere because society is heavily reliant on technology. Furthermore, internet activity has skyrocketed since the Internet of Things (IoT) took off. As a result, much information is disseminated via the web.
However, while the data-driven society we live in today has many positive qualities, the downside is that cybercrime has risen substantially over time. As a result, the internet isn’t as secure as you’d like. Cybercrime has escalated partly due to the employment of sophisticated hacking tools like ransomware to infiltrate your systems and networks. Rising IoT engagement has also created numerous opportunities for cyber attackers to exploit.
As a result, both individuals and corporations must remain vigilant. Businesses, in particular, must protect consumer data because it is critical to their operations.
Here are some steps that companies can take to protect customer data.
Use A Secure Network
If you’re accessing sensitive client data, be sure you’re using a secure network. Remember that unprotected networks can allow cyber attackers to intercept signals and access your system. Thus, when you’re working, you should avoid using public or unfamiliar networks. Ensure that your networks are encrypted and that your passwords are strong. A VPN (virtual private network) is an effective way to protect internet traffic and keep identities private online. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel to protect your personal data and communications, hide your IP address, and let you safely use public Wi-Fi networks. You should do a VPN comparison to find the best VPN for your needs.
Conduct Vulnerability Testing
It’s a good idea to test for system vulnerabilities regularly, regardless of how secure your security infrastructure is. This is particularly true for people who run e-commerce websites or applications. It’s best to uncover system flaws before hackers do. It’s generally recommended that you perform vulnerability testing frequently. You can enlist the services of ethical hackers or specialists in cyber security in NYC or any alternatives in your locale, to undertake these vulnerability assessments.
Encrypt Customer Data
Try to encrypt all client data as much as possible so that anyone who doesn’t have the key to access that data can’t get into the system mainframe. If someone tries to access encrypted data without a decryption key, it’ll appear scrambled or illegible. Henceforth, data encryption is a critical component of every company’s cyber defense plan.
Most cloud-based storage systems, thankfully, come with high-grade security encryption. Even if you don’t employ cloud-based solutions, you should endeavor to secure your data sources. This is something that the best IT support in Rhode Island can help you with but you could use alternative IT support service providers if you live in a different location.
Create Strong Passwords And Use A Password Manager
Hackers are actively looking for ways to steal credentials from unwary users. Therefore, password protection is critical. People are reporting their accounts being hacked due to weak passwords these days. Weak passwords are more common since they are easier to remember. However, weak passwords make it easier for hackers to access your accounts. The harder ones, however, are more difficult to steal.
It’s critical that, as a company, you make sure that your platform encourages users to create strong passwords. Additionally, you should develop stronger passwords for your databases, particularly if you use a cloud-based management system with multiple personnel who may have access to it. You might use password management software in both cases to keep track of your passwords.
Plus, complex passwords are easy to forget but password managers can assist you in remembering all of your passwords.
Only Collect Data That You Need
With cybersecurity breaches on the rise, businesses must now be highly cautious in acquiring essential data and avoiding gathering irrelevant data. This is because they’ll be in danger if they acquire personal information and suffer a significant security breach – the hazards of acquiring personal information are exceedingly significant.
Credit card information is a fantastic example of client data that most businesses may not require. These details don’t need to be saved in your database. To validate card details, you could use a third-party processor instead. They’re the ones who are expected to follow tight security measures with handling personal data. As a general rule, you should only collect the required data.
Limit Database Access
Every organization has several functions with individuals that require specific information to complete their tasks. Not everyone needs access to all the customer information, except only a few individuals. Moving forward, you must restrict client information access to those who require it. This would mean that there will be fewer vulnerable points hackers can exploit.
Additionally, this will assist you in preventing internal data abuse. For example, if you fire a team member who has access to sensitive customer information, it could be a security risk. Nevertheless, restricting access to team members can eliminate this vulnerability.
Establish A Disaster Recovery Plan
This isn’t something you’d want to use regularly yet in the event of a security breach you should have a disaster recovery program. Anything might happen, so you should be prepared for the worst. A cybersecurity attack doesn’t make an announcement before it happens. Luckily, identifying the problem early and initiating data recovery techniques as soon as possible may be your saving grace in some cases.
Customers inadvertently trust you with their private information when submitting it to you. Therefore, you must safeguard this personal information. With the rising frequency of cyberattacks, now is the moment to strengthen your cyber defenses to ensure that your data is entirely safe. You should do a system evaluation as soon as possible and collaborate with cybersecurity professionals who can assist you in securing your database.
Amanda Nelson (pictured right) is currently a professional content writer.