In a world of hackers and thieves, it’s imperative you continue to learn how to improve the ways you can you protect your customers’ data. With every transaction they make, they should be assured any personal or financial information they pass on to you is safe. One slip up could herald the end of your online presence, while putting them at risk of financial ruin.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an online business or portal that serves as a source of information; your visitors’ data should be sacred. So let’s have a look at what mistakes you need to avoid when protecting your customers’ data.
6 Major Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Here are some of the most common mistakes and how you can correct them. Go through each of the following and see if you’ve made any and – most importantly – try to correct them as soon as possible.
1. Not using protection
Use protection! So true in all areas of life. Make sure you use the latest versions of antivirus and antimalware. Use the latest versions of software, hardware and cloud firewalls. Patch up your software on a regular basis as hackers are always on the lookout for security exploits that they can take advantage of. After all, there’s no such thing as too much protection.
2. Choosing unreliable webhosts
If your website sits on webhosting provider’s server, make sure they are the best hosts in the business. One of the most common mistakes businesses make is choosing a web hosting provider based on their pricelist alone. While that may be one feature to look out for, don’t settle for a choice simply because they offer cheap packages. Learn how to choose the best webhosting provider that takes security seriously, among other features. The optimal hosting solution might cost you a little more now, but it will definitely pay out in the long run.
3. Losing track of accounts
Roles and privileges should always be taken seriously. There really is no reason why one single user should have access to all parts of your website. Define a user and administrator access strategy that will allow everyone to do their job, and just that. Come up with a security policy that will assign roles to each of your employees and stick to it. Let everyone know what their responsibilities are and how much of your website they can access. Delete accounts that are no longer used and revoke accesses of employees who no longer need them.
4. Allowing physical access
Should a hacker or thief gain access to your physical devices, they will have a field day milking them for information. Whenever possible, ask your employees to lock their screens before they move away from their laptops or computers. If you have a server on the premises install a physical security feature that will prevent anyone from touching them without the proper authorization. Remember, compromising a server can be done by simply plugging in a USB stick.
5. Unrestricted remote access
While remote access can help you work on your network from anywhere around the world, it could serve as a gaping hole that the hackers can take advantage of. If you access your clients’ computers remotely, or they can login to yours the same way, make sure the necessary security features are in place. If it is an absolute must that you need to gain access to remote computers or servers, you should consider investing in a VPN.
6. Forgoing data encryption
Data encryption allows you to stay safe even if a breach occurs. Should hackers gain access to your users’ data directly from your databases or sniff your data packets as they go back and forth, they will have no way of using the loot as they will not be able to decipher it. Do some researches on the best data encryption solutions that are widely available on the market and implement the one that fits your business setup the best.
Protect your data today.
You have just seen how an oversight in the hardware, software and access of your business’ infrastructure can expose you to the bad guys. Your new data theft prevention strategy should encompass:
- Protecting yourself – don’t make it easy for the hackers
- Not settling for cheap web hosting
- Drafting a security policy and abiding by it
- Never letting anyone get near your local servers
- Using a VPN as remote access comes with higher risks
- Encrypting your data
Don’t forget to implement all you’ve learned here in your business today. That way, each protection mechanism will serve as a failsafe mechanism in case one or more of your data theft prevention methods fail.