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7 security tips to protect your customer data

Tanvir Zafar | Apr 17, 2017 236 views No Comments

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Today every business faces a tough competition online and several measures are called for surviving in today’s market. Customers always wish to stay with a business they can trust. It is important that the personal and sensitive information of the customers are protected with top priority to sustain the trust of the customers and build the brand image of the company. Any security breach to customer data will mean ruining the image of the business losing out customers and making a huge loss. Understand that with the evolution of technology, challenges also evolve phenomenally leading to newer and more complicated risks. Here are 7 security tips for every business from experts to protect consumer data.

‘Security‘is the watchword

The term security must reverberate across every act of your business planning. Whether it is an issue connected to personnel, marketing, accounts management or IT related requirements, ensure that security is given the top priority while planning. For instance, you can approach the issue of security in this way. Never collect any customer data that you will not need. Also, if it is necessary to collect the personal and sensitive data of the customers, collect only what is necessary and nothing much. Remember, RockYou was sacked by FTC for email addresses and email account passwords of their customers.

Regulate data access

If you have legitimate reasons to collect customer data, then implement some reliable steps to keep them secure. If some employees in your company do not need to use confidential information as part of their responsibilities, it is not necessary for them to gain access to it. Apply the same logic to administrative access too. In one of its investigations, FTC cited an example where Twitter granted all its employees the administrative rights over all of its systems and member accounts. FTC claims such a practice could eventually increase the risks of data security breach.

Insist on secure passwords and foolproof authentication

While you store sensitive information, it is necessary hat you also implement rigorous authentication policies and strong password procedures so that none else can access the data other than the authorized individuals. Insist those on responsibility to go for unique passwords and to store the passwords in a secure manner preventing brute force attacks. In some firms, common directory words are used as admin passwords. In some cases, businesses facilitate accessing multiple accounts through same passwords. These instances will make the situation vulnerable to hackers.

Store customer data securely and protect it while transmitting

Implementing a strong cryptography can help secure the confidential information while being stored and transmitted. Use the encryption standards evolved by experts. Set them up properly and configure them well. If the encryption is applied wrongly or the SSL certification validation is turned off, your transmitted data is under risk of being decrypted by hackers.

Isolate critical data

While operating with a limited access network, isolate the sensitive data through a firewall. It is a wise measure to invest in an Intrusion Detection System (IDS). FTC cites the popular case of a business wherein hackers could easily penetrate within the network of a firm that had not implemented an IDS and transmitted the data to a remote location once in every four hours.

Protect your network from remote access

A lot of data breaches were reported on account of remote access. In this connection, experts suggest that businesses make sure of adequate levels of end point security and also limit the possibility of remote access as much as necessary. In one of the instances of security breach, FTC charged a company for not restricting the third party access to its network. In an instance of data theft, an intruder was found connecting to the network several times to intercept the personal information.

Implement sound security practices during software development

Businesses must educate their engineers to implement best practices in coding. All the security guidelines issued by the given platform must be followed thoroughly. From time to time, it is necessary to ensure how privacy and security features function. The software developed must always be tested for any vulnerability issue.

The digital environment is ever changing around us. It is necessary for every business to constantly update its understanding of the evolving scenario and also upgrade the best practices to develop the business. Cyber security and data file protection must be the top concerns for business. Failing to focus enough on these avenues can lead to damaging the reputation of the business and consequently losing out to the competitors. Hence, as much as it is important to strengthen the marketing strategies, it is equally important to invest enough resources to ensure data security.

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