Data breaches are a fact of life in today’s digital world. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were more than 1,200 data breach incidents in the first half of 2018 alone.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s only going to get worse as time goes on. This article will cover some of the biggest risks facing businesses today and what you can do about it.
Data security is a big part of that, which is why we’re dedicating an entire section to it. If your company stores sensitive user information, payment information or anything else that hackers could exploit, this post will be helpful to you.
Why is data security so important?
Data security is important for a huge number of reasons. For one thing, it’s a legal requirement for most businesses. If you lose customers’ information, you could be subject to legal ramifications. That could mean fines, damage to your reputation and even class-action lawsuits. But there’s more to it than just covering your backside legally.
If you run a business, you probably have users’ data in your database. If those people aren’t customers, they’re likely to be employees. If you anxnr.com lose that data due to poor security, you could be hurting your company in ways you can’t even begin to comprehend.
There are a few reasons for this. For one thing, a data breach could lead to a loss of productivity. Employees might be hesitant to log in to sensitive systems if they’re worried about their data being breached. They might also be hesitant to give you sensitive information if they know it’s not secure.
Loss of sensitive user information
If you’re storing sensitive user information, you need to be sure you’re keeping it secure. Sensitive information includes things like names, addresses, social security numbers, credit card information and more. In other words, any data that a user may not want leaked out into the world needs to be encrypted. If you lose that information due to a breach, you could be facing serious consequences.
Damage to your company’s reputation is almost a given. Customers could also report you to the FTC and other regulatory bodies, opening the door to fines and class-action lawsuits.
If the breach also leads to identity theft, those consequences could be far worse. Imagine having to prove to credit bureaus that you didn’t open a new credit card that put you $20,000 in debt. You could be stuck with that debt for the rest of your life.
Loss of payment information
Payment information is as sensitive as any other user data. If you lose it, you could be in just as much hot water as if you lost social security numbers and credit card numbers.
Again, there will be a huge amount of damage to your reputation. Consumers are rightly concerned about companies that lose their payment information. If the breach leads to identity theft, the consequences could be catastrophic.
Imagine if someone uses your payment information to make purchases or open new credit cards. You’ll have to deal with the aftermath of that for the rest of your life.
If payment information is very old and is no longer used, it may not be as serious, but it’s still a major headache. You’ll have to disassociate each one of those numbers from your company and issue new cards. That process can take months, and it will cost you money, both in terms of the new cards and in the bad publicity that will come with it.
Loss of device and operation data
If you’re storing sensitive data and you lose it, you’ll probably be in trouble. If you lose customer credit card numbers, you could have a breach on your hands.
However, if you lose device and operation data, it could be even worse. Imagine if you lose a database of IP addresses and MAC addresses. You won’t have a database of credit card numbers to track down.
Whatever you lose could be used by hackers in nefarious ways. More than likely, they’ll be able to use it to access your systems. If they can do that, they can steal your data and wreak all sorts of havoc. They might also be able to use that information to attack other systems, including your users’ home networks.
Major breach consequences
There are, of course, major consequences that come with every major breach. There’s the hit to your reputation. You’ll need to rebuild that if you want to stay in business, and it won’t be easy.
There’s also the hit to your finances. Credit card companies will likely refund your customers for any charges that came from the breach. If you don’t have insurance to cover those charges, you’ll have to pay them out of your own pocket. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you lose that sensitive user data, it can be used to open false accounts.
Credit card numbers and other user information could also be sold on the Dark Web. Identity theft could become a major problem for your customers, and it could take them years to sort it out.
What can you do about it?
If you want to keep your data secure, you need to use a multi-layered approach. You should employ several different types of security, each designed to work with the others to create a strong defense.
To start with, you should use strong passwords. The best way to do that is to use a password manager. That way, you can have a single strong password for your account, and the manager will use it to log into everything else.
A VPN is another great way to keep your data secure. It routes all of your internet traffic through an encrypted server, where it can’t be read by anyone. It’s a good idea to have a VPN installed on your company devices, too.
Finally, you should use two-factor authentication for important accounts like your email, your financial accounts and any others that contain sensitive information. That way, even if someone has your password, they won’t be able to log in.
Encryption is your best friend
If you’re storing sensitive data, encryption is your best friend. Encryption is the process of scrambling data to make it unreadable. It’s one of the most effective ways of keeping data secure. If you store sensitive data in an encrypted format, you’ll have a much easier time keeping it safe.
If someone were to get their hands on your data, they would have a very hard time making heads or tails of it. If your data is already encrypted, it’s even more secure. You should be sure to check with your data storage provider to make sure they use strong encryption.
You don’t want to find out too late that they don’t have the proper encryption measures in place. Encryption is one of the best ways to keep your data safe from prying eyes. If you have sensitive information that you need to store, encryption is the way to go.
Cloud storage services are your next best option
If you don’t want to worry about encrypting sensitive data, you can store it in the cloud. Cloud storage is a hosting service that lets you upload and download data from the internet. It’s designed with data security in mind, so you can rest easy knowing your data is safe.
Most cloud storage providers use advanced encryption methods to make sure your data is protected. That way, it’s not just safe from hackers but also from employees who may not be as careful with sensitive data as they should be.
Don’t rely on just one type of security
If you use encryption to protect your data and you store it in the cloud, you’ll have a very secure system. However, you shouldn’t rely solely on encryption and cloud storage.
You should also have a strong password policy in place. You should have strict security protocols, including regular log-in audits and using VPNs for sensitive data. Some businesses even employ a defense-in-depth security strategy. This means they implement strong security measures at every level. They use encryption to protect their data, they use strong passwords, they use two-factor authentication, and they employ strong security protocols in their workflows.
Data breaches are a fact of life in today’s digital world. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were