5 Ways to Keep Your Online Business & Consumer Data Protected
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5 Ways to Keep Your Online Business & Consumer Data Protected
How do companies protect customer data?
That’s literally the million-dollar question!
The average cost of a data breach in Australia is $3.35 million per data breach.
And while you might think that your business is safe because it’s not big enough to attract cybercriminals, the reality is that 43% of the cyberattacks in Australia target small businesses!
What’s more, a recent report revealed that 44% of employees compromise their company by not being familiar with cyber risks and being negligent. And guess what? Employees working for small and medium-sized businesses are the ones who put their employer at risk the most.
Now, a data breach can be extremely costly because it can cause massive disruptions to your operations. And it can also negatively affect your reputation and lead to bankruptcy as your clients lose trust in your ability to protect their data.
As a business owner, you’re expected and required to have preventative cybersecurity measures in place to protect your customers’ data.
But how do companies protect customer data exactly?
Here are five practical tips to help you implement adequate safeguards and enhance your business data protection.
1. Create A Cyber Risk Management Plan
The first step to improving your business data protection is to write a cybersecurity risk management plan.
An effective cyber security risk management plan will help you establish a strategy to reduce cyber threats, including the corruption or destruction of your databases or leaking of sensitive information, and mitigate their impact on your business.
Your plan should be as detailed as possible and highlight potential threats and how you would respond in each scenario.
An effective cyber security risk process usually includes the following pillars:
- Risk identification
- Risk assessment
- Risk treatment
You’ll find more information on creating an effective cyber risk management plan in our latest guide.
Having a formal and regularly updated cybersecurity strategy accessible to all employees will help you secure your digital assets, including your customers’ data, and stay cyber-safe.
2. Protect Your Business Against Malware
Malware (malicious software) is intrusive software designed by cybercriminals to disrupt your systems, networks, or computers, gain unauthorised access to your data and leak sensitive information. Now, the servers, networks, and systems you use can have security flaws. And these flaws create vulnerabilities cybercriminals prey on. They exploit these vulnerabilities using malware to steal private information and critical data.
Here are a few steps you can take to protect your business against malware:
- Apply the firewall: Your firewall acts as the first line of defence against cyberattacks.
- Use anti-spam software: Anti-spam software allows you to keep your company emails clean, preventing unwanted emails and eliminating the risks of employees opening corrupted electronic communications.
- Protect your computers: Along with having a firewall and anti-spam software, you should use security software to protect your computer against threats such as identity theft or hacking.
3. Secure Your Wireless Network
One of the easiest ways to enhance your business data protection is to secure your wireless network.
Whether you work from home using your Wi-Fi network or a business network in the office, you should prioritise your wireless network security. That’s because an open wireless network without security measures makes your business and consumers’ data vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Here are the key steps you can take to protect your wireless network:
- Turn on WPA2 encryption on your wireless router
- Never use a Default Wireless Network Name (SSID)
- Choose a strong router password
- Turn off admin privileges on your router
- Disable the broadcasting function to hide your network
4. Use Strong Passwords
Sure, using your cat’s name or birthday as a password is much easier to remember than eRT%456VB87op(9)2023!EbN.
Yet, the more complex your passwords, the more business data protection you can provide. As a best practice, you should encourage your employees to use a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. They should also change their passwords frequently.
And to make it easier for them to remember these complex passwords, use password managers.
5. Set Up Automatic Software Updates
One of the best ways to enhance your business data protection is to turn on automatic software updates.
Cybercriminals are adept at scanning devices, systems, networks, or websites to see what software version is running. The older the version, the easier for them to exploit vulnerabilities. That’s why setting up automatic software updates is so important.
Automatic software updates can help you with the following:
- Fixing security holes
- Removing computer bugs
- Protecting your data by patching vulnerabilities and preventing hackers from infecting your computer systems and stealing sensitive data.
How Can Cyber Insurance Help You?
While implementing these preventative security measures is a no-brainer, you could still be exposed to data breaches. Hackers are increasingly sophisticated and can exploit any vulnerabilities they find. And as mentioned before, as a small company, you’re particularly vulnerable.
So, to protect your business against the devastating consequences of a data breach, you need to add cyber liability insurance to your toolbox.
At upcover, we’re committed to helping small businesses and sole traders thrive. That’s why we provide insurance policies specifically tailored to cater to small companies' needs. Our cyber & privacy liability insurance is designed to cover data restoration costs and business interruption losses resulting from a data breach.
So, to find the best insurance for you, don’t hesitate to hop onto our instant quote generator. Alternatively, feel free to shoot us a message. We look forward to discussing your needs and seeing how we can help.