Data is an AssetIt is essential to understand that data is an asset to your business. You must be able to protect the data your clients entrust to you first and foremost. Some simple ways to do so are to use a superior firewall and antivirus software on all your devices. You should also install VPN programs on any electronics that connect to wireless sources outside of your secured network. It is also a good idea to hire someone to manage the security of your technology to minimize your risk even further to data breaches by hackers. There are many independent contractors who specialize in this if you don’t have the budget for a full time hire.
Find Your Vulnerabilities
One of the most challenging aspects of protecting company and customers’ data is determining whether vulnerabilities exist. Most companies work diligently to protect data from outside intruders; however, you might also want to look closer to home. Your employees are often a significant source of data breaches whether it be intentional or unintentional. It is important to train your team on the importance of information security and to have them sign a non-disclosure agreement to legally bind them to data protection. Also, limit the access each employee has to sensitive data. There is no need for every person at every level to have access to all information. Approach your data sharing as a need to know basis. If someone works in data entry, they should not have access to customer files. Be smart about the ways in which you share your company and your clients’ data internally and externally. And lastly, make sure to enforce computer lockdowns everytime an employee steps away from their desk. A simple bathroom break can provide the vulnerability needed for the wrong person to access your business’s sensitive data.
Being Direct with Clients
Should the worst case scenario occur, and there has been a data breach, it is an absolute need to notify your clients immediately. To demonstrate the personal care your business practices with customer service, a direct phone call is best for these situations as well as a mailed letter. Data breaches will likely hurt your client’s trust in your business’s ability to protect their information, however, clear and immediate notification can help move you in the right direction towards repairing that trust. It is also a good idea to take inventory of all the ways you can reach your clients and to make sure your customer care department is trained in these types of phone calls.