6 Ways to Protect Customer Data

It’s estimated that a ransomware attack will occur every 11 seconds in 2021, with a new threat on individuals or businesses occurring every two seconds by 2031.

As cyber-attacks carry on making headlines, cybercriminals are using a record number of customer data files.

But, as with any potential danger, you can take steps to reduce risk by ensuring your business maintains a favorable reputation in the marketplace.

Safeguarding customer data is critical to your business’s success and reputation.

Discover how to stay compliant below.

1. The First Line of Defense Is Passwords

Establish a policy requiring all employees to use strong passwords for your company. This suggests it cannot be the same as the one on their computer or other connected devices. Re-suing passwords should be discouraged as part of the policy.

Passwords are being hacked more than ever, so when prompted by your IT department to change your password, drill down and consider what makes up a cyberhacker-proof password. If remembering them is a challenge, consider using a reputable and safe password management tool.

2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Adding a layer of protection and multi-factor (or 2-factor) authentication will increase and protect user data for your company. Internal should do access to customer data with more than one credential.

Smartphones and tokens are the most common devices used for multi-factor authentication. So for a hacker to gain access, they would need to have the second device and access that device.

3. Classify Data For Your Customer Data

Not all data is equally private or confidential. Classify data into public, private, confidential, and secret. Then apply appropriate levels of access to the classification groups. The more sensitive the data, the more protection mechanisms need to surround it.

4. Educate Your Staff on Cybersecurity

You can’t rely on sound judgment because what you believe is obvious to you may be different from someone else.

Regular training sessions on data-safety training can serve as a reminder, and teaching new staff about how things are done can be highly beneficial. Also, to show staff how to recognize ways cybercriminals use to access customer data.

5. Limit Access to Data

Personal data about customers should not be shared internally. Less access means less opportunity for hackers to exploit a flaw.

You can limit who has access to your data in the same way a bank does with access to the vault.

Employee access should be revoked as soon as they leave your business permanently. Furthermore, rules governing who has access to what – and when should be created.

Is it necessary for them to have access to sensitive information while working remotely? Should they be able to alter or only view the files? These are some of the questions to consider.

6. Keep Your Software Updated

The most preventable data risk is unpatched software; This serves as an open invitation to cybercriminals.

They swoop in and exploit known flaws in business software. While the pestering pop-ups and alerts to update are annoying, they are assisting your business in staying in the safe zone.

Updated software protects your customer data against new viruses and hacking techniques and closes off those nasty weaknesses.

Where to Start

It may seem daunting and a little nerve-racking to realize how exposed your customer data may be. But it’s not all doom and gloom.

Does your business need an uplift in business technology and cybersecurity? Then, why not contact us? We are a managed IT service company, and we carefully select each IT team member to work together with your company.

Pegasus Technologies is the IT Team for organizations that don’t need a full-time IT department. Our technology experts build you a technology plan to keep your business running at its best. We have offices in Kennett Square, PA, Media, PA, and Wayne, PA to provide better computer support and IT services to you.