The information age has given businesses a new set of responsibilities for customer data that just didn’t exist before, including anything from basic name and address details all the way through to legally sensitive details, medical records and serious financial data. This has enabled major advances in everything from logistics to advertising and healthcare, but it’s also a major burden for companies – so how can you make sure you’re doing your best?
While the tricks and tools that hackers use to get at your data are genuinely becoming ever more sophisticated, by far the most popular way to steal from you is with the good old fashioned confidence trick. Fake email solicitations, clones or mirrored websites and even the impersonation of trusted contacts can get your staff to hand over data voluntarily – so make sure a culture of suspicion is built into your workforce. Set up a secure inbox that staff can forward suspicious emails to, so IT can safely dispose of them, and make sure to train staff regularly to spot fraud.
Layer your defences
The holy grail of any hacker’s attacks is to get at not only the target of their crime but all your other data as well. While one file may not be enough to cause harm, it can be linked to other files that can be used cumulatively to carry out more serious attacks on people like identity fraud, so make sure you have several layers between other areas of your systems so one breach doesn’t cascade into several. It can also help to restrict access on a need to know basis, so accidental breaches simply can’t happen or ban things like portable disk drives just in case.
Trust the experts
While it’s totally possible to fashion your own defences, it’s hard to give your customer true peace of mind without some official credentials to back it up. Using software with IASME backed certification like Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus ensures that you have the industry’s gold standard protection in place, and with the GDPR Readiness standard you can become GDPR compliant and showcase your efforts to world-class customer data security, which in turn can open doors to new contracts with companies who insist on only working with the most secure firms.
Keep your patches up to date
Another sadly common way that hackers access your systems is through known back doors in software that has been fixed but isn’t the latest version with repairs included. These obvious flaws are like gold dust to hackers who can just stroll right in, so it’s a good idea to get software like CyberSmart Active Protect that automatically detects old versions of operating systems as well as software vulnerabilities. Find out more.