Three Tips on How to Avoid a Company Data Breach
Data breaches are no small problem for businesses today. Even huge industry players have taken hits — most notably, Target this past December. The company reported that credit card and debit card data for over 40 million consumers had been stolen.
The breach had massive implications for the company, as it hit right around the time shoppers were trying to get in last minute purchases. It also ended up costing many people their jobs, including Gregg Steinhafel, former chairman and chief executive of the retail chain.
Target’s data breach, though, was only one of many. It brought home the reality that many companies have become lax about protecting their data. According to CNBC, there has been a 15% rise in data breaches since last year, and on average they cost each business about $3.5 million. For any smaller business — and even for larger ones, especially considering the mistrust it creates among consumers — such a break can mean closing company doors.
How can you better defend your company against cyber criminals? Here are three tips for making sure your data protection is up to speed.
1. Know Who’s in Charge of Keeping Track
If you’re a general manager of a company, or even the owner, you may not see yourself as being in charge of addressing data vulnerabilities. However, you do need to keep track of what your company’s IT support services are doing to keep data safe. One recent study indicates that only 45% of senior management agree that they’re responsible for protecting their company, and client data, against cyberattacks. Every employee is responsible for ensuring cybersecurity, not just IT people.
2. Outsourcing IT Work to Experienced Professionals
Why might it help to opt for outsourced IT support services, rather than in-house? Unless you’re a very large corporation, the trouble with in-house IT services is that they’re inadequately equipped to deal with data protection 24/7. They end up having to split their time between doing that, and other tasks relating to your business, and consequently something slips through the cracks. When you outsource this work, it goes to a company that specializes in doing nothing except data security.
3. Make Sure Your Cloud Platform is as Strong as You Think it Is
More and more businesses are switching to cloud, yet security remains a number one concern among them. Once you get used to using cloud computing, most businesses tend to forget their initial concerns. Make sure everything you do is being encrypted and transmitted securely so that hackers cannot easily gain your most essential information.
Do you think your IT support services are protecting your data? Let us know in the comments.