In 2020, businesses thrive on data, an invaluable asset that can increase the prospects of customer acquisition by a jaw-dropping 23 times. According to McKinsey, such businesses are also likely to have a higher customer retention rate as compared to their peers. Since data is an invaluable asset for any business, one must invest in data protection measures and we will tell you why.
Businesses are more data-driven than ever before, but little are they aware of the pitfalls of weak data protection measures. As this data relates to someone else – potential customers, existing customers, employees, and strangers – it becomes inevitable for businesses to implement strong data protection and cybersecurity measures. This does not apply solely to online businesses but also to brick-and-mortar malls, hospitals, and other set-ups that capture CCTV footage and other customer data.
Any failure to enforce strict data protection measures can lead to non-compliance with several data protection and privacy laws worldwide. For example, the US makes it mandatory to protect patient-related data which binds all companies that deal with Protected Health Information or PHI under HIPAA. The European Union, on the other hand, protects its citizens under the General Data Protect Regulation Act (GDPR) applicable in the European Union.
So, let us now discuss some data protection tips that can help you comply with existing laws and regulations.
Data Protection Tips to Keep Your Data Secure in 2020
Data Protection is not rocket science! You can easily plan and implement data protection measures with just a few useful tips. If you are wondering where to start, then we must admit that we cannot give you a precise answer without knowing the type of business you run and the regions you operate in. However, to get you started we shall now list some data protection tips that businesses of all sizes can benefit from.
With IoT and mobile applications becoming a way of life, there is more data flowing electronically than ever before. All of this data is confidential personal data, which may be protected under region-specific laws and regulations. So, you need to first list out the regions your business operates in and the type of data you are likely to store. You can then check the applicable laws to further your data protection plan.
Also, you need to consider industry-specific laws that you may have to comply with. In the past, Google has been fined close to 57 million US dollars in France for violating the GDPR. In the UK, British Airways had to pay close to 230 million US dollars for a security breach that affected close to 500,000 customers.
Secure your Website
Your website acts as the virtual gateway through which potential customers connect with you or take an action. So, visitors might use your website to book an appointment, purchase a product, or simply subscribe to your newsletter. SSL certificate encrypts server-client communication that helps to secure your website from hackers. It improves customer trust and security of your website. There are types of SSL certificates available in the market.
For example, if you have a website with multiple subdomains then installing Wildcard SSL certificate is the best way to secure the whole site. This SSL certificate secures not only your website (main domain) but also all its subdomains. You don’t need to buy separate SSL for every subdomain. It saves you time and money.
Sound Data Storage Policy
Your onsite and offsite data remains vulnerable to security breaches such as DDoS attacks, ransomware, and supply chain attacks. Other threats include the destruction of servers due to natural disasters, power outages, and vicious insiders. It may sound dramatic but according to a study, often the enemy is within the organization. In fact, insiders are responsible for close to 43% of all security breaches and almost half of those are intentional. So, your data storage policy must ensure that the data is secure from both internal and external threats.
Restrict and Regulate Access of Data
Businesses store employee data, customer data, financial data, vendor data, inventory-related data, and several other types of data. However, there is no need for your CPA to access customer data nor for your Sales Reps to access data of other employees. In other words, you need to lay down strict guidelines that restrict the access of data only to certain persons. According to a study, most accounts that do not make use of 2FA gets hacked. So, to further strengthen your fortress, make two-factor authentication mandatory.
Create a Safe Work Environment
One of the most important cornerstones of data protection is to create a safe work environment for your employees. This eliminates unauthorized intrusion into the organization’s private network and improves overall security. You can do this by hiring a security firm to assess and evaluate the attack surface and plan necessary data protection measures. Also, scheduling periodical penetration tests can prevent security breaches and help create a safer work environment.
Data is the new oil and using it to your organization’s benefit can accelerate its growth and prove to be extremely lucrative and profitable. However, depending on the nature of the business you are involved in, you may have to comply with additional requirements. With the above-mentioned data protection tips, you have a clear roadmap to plan your data protection strategy.