If you are collecting and storing any personal data about your customers, it is important that you take that responsibility seriously. You could end up facing significant fines and damage to your reputation if your business is the victim of a serious data breach. Here are four essential tips for keeping all the customer data in your business as secure as possible.

Customer Data Protection

Protect What You Collect

You need to keep all the data that you collect from your customers safe and secure. It doesn’t matter how mundane or insignificant it might seem to you; you need to treat it all like it is sensitive. Data should only ever be accessible to people who have a need to access it. This will make it much easier to identify potential sources of data leaks.

Keep Your Policy Straightforward

If your data protection policies are going to be effective, you need to keep them simple and straightforward so that all your workers can easily understand and follow them. It doesn’t matter what policies you put in place if you can’t get your whole team on board with them. It’s also important that your customers can easily understand your data policy before they hand their data over to you.

Know What You Collect

You should only be collecting data that you need to collect, so it should have a pretty good idea of exactly what you are collecting. It is very important that everyone in your business understands what data they have access to and why. It is also very important that you know where personal data is stored physically, as in where the hard drives are that contain the data. This important both because you need to know what data is lost in any hard drive failure, but also because you need to know exactly what data you are protecting.

Don’t Underestimate the Threats

Businesses of all sizes are being targeted by cybercriminals, and those cybercriminals are increasingly looking to steal data. In fact, malware attacks – which hold data to ransom – have become a popular choice for cybercriminals targeting SMEs and large corporations. While many businesses remain quiet about these attacks, we know that some have paid substantial ransoms.

The advantage for the attackers in this scenario is that it is very expensive for businesses to deal with the impact of losing access to all their data. That means that they can request a large ransom and still be significantly cheaper than dealing with the consequences of the data loss.

Businesses like Secure Data Recovery can recover your lost files for you, and so they might be able to recover any files that are deleted by malware and viruses, but this depends very much on what the virus in question is.

Be aware of the most common threats to customer data and, more importantly, make sure that your workers also understand what these threats are and how they can counter them.

Good data security is mostly a case of commonsense. As long as you have a sensible policy that is communicated clearly, you can’t go too far wrong.