Data is vital for businesses these days. And it’s never been easier for businesses to get their hands on that data! These days, customers are trusting companies with more and more of their data. Whether or not that’s a good thing, I’ll leave to more philosophical or political writers. Which isn’t to say that I don’t care about the privacy of customers and the sensitivity of their data. In fact, that’s what I’m here to write about today.
If your business is dealing with a lot of customer data, then you have a responsibility to protect it. And I’m not talking about some abstract, unspoken, moral responsibility to protect it. (Although, of course, there’s that to.) I mean you have an actual legal responsibility to make sure all of that data is safe! If that data gets into the hands of criminals or the public at large? You could end up with some hefty fines and some even heftier lawsuits.
So to say that protecting the data is crucial is almost an understatement. It’s necessary. Here are some of the things you need to consider.
Improving general network and computer security
Most modern offices have a local network that connects the PCs of everyone in the workplace. It allows easy and collaborative access to the files you need to do your jobs. That’s great and everything – but what if someone on the outside were able to access that network?
There’s no doubt that making sure you have the best security for these connections is a must. Not all businesses have the necessary know-how, though. We shouldn’t assume all businesses can afford super-comprehensive IT departments! If you need your network security or any other tech problem reviewed, look into local IT support.
The danger of public Internet connections
Is the Internet in your office kind of slow at times? It happens in a lot of offices. And if you’re working in the city, the chances are that there’s some strong public WiFi nearby. In fact, you may even be able to connect to it from the office. And for free, too!
But, y’know, don’t.
The danger of public WiFi can be found in its name – it’s public. Sure, the average person sitting in that café on their mobile phone might not know how to access the data you’re sending across the network. But any cybercriminal worth their salt knows how to compromise a public WiFi connection and access other people’s data. Make sure absolutely no-one in your office connects to any Internet connection other than your own when doing business.
BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. But it may as well stand for Bring Your Own Danger if you’re not doing it properly!
Basically, many offices these days allow their employees to bring their own devices to work on. Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, that sort of thing. This means you end up getting sensitive work information on their devices. That can be fine – unless the security of those devices isn’t the best of the best! Make sure employees know the importance of personal device security.