5 Tips to Secure and Protect Your Clients’ Data
Every business, big or small, is responsible for protecting the personal and corporate data and their client base. This data can include names, address, social security numbers, and even credit card information. Therefore, it is not only a good idea to have a safeguard, but it is also a legal requirement. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) imposes harsh fines and penalties for your failure to adequately protect this information. To protect your client data safely and to ensure your company is not sued, fined, or tarnished by a data breach, follow these tips
- Restrict Employee Access to Client Data.
Limit employees’ access to company computers and servers containing sensitive information. Only the team members who need it should have access to it. This is often done with password protection and password sharing applications. Password sharing apps, such as LastPass, will allow you to share passwords with your team without actually displaying those passwords across cyberspace.
In addition to electronic access, limit physical access to computers, servers, and other devices that store such information. This could mean installing access controls, keeping the hardware in secure off-site locations, or storing devices in locked rooms and cabinets when the office is not being used. Be sure to take inventory of all devices that store client information to ensure that they haven’t been stolen or misplaced.
- Install Multiple Layers of Security
Anti-virus software, firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, anti-subversion software, and other systems like them can be used to protect your company’s servers and computers. The key is to add as many layers of security as possible because hackers are likely to move on to an easier target if you put up a challenge. Also, don’t forget to install regular updates and upgrades to your security software so you can be defended against the latest viruses and malware. Regular checks on your software vendor’s websites can help you stay up-to-date on the best defense systems.
- Select the Most Secure Web Hosting Service
Web hosts are business that hosts your website and data on their own off-site servers. These servers tend to be fairly extensive and may have hundreds of websites on the same machines. There are several web hosts out there, but each comes with varying levels of server-side protection.
Be sure that you have selected one that will protect from hackers, fake accounts, and website attacks. For maximum protection, open a private server account in which your website and data are maintained on your own separate server. This option is pricey but is still cheaper than getting fined and/or sued for a data breach.
- Hire Professional Computer Security Experts
While your typical IT guy or gal may be capable of offering you a minimal level of protection, it may be better to hire a seasoned security professional to monitor your company’s server and computer activity. These experts will be specifically trained in the latest trends in hacking and other electronic infiltration methods, with the ability to effectively safeguard your customers’ data. However, these IT security professionals are quite expensive, so as your Access Lawyer, we’ll help you think through the risk and reward of hiring one and advise you on whether your company requires such an investment or not.
- Notify Clients When Their Data Has Been Compromised
If your computers or servers ARE hacked and you lose your customers’ data, you need to make contact with them immediately in order to inform them of the entire situation. Not only will this give them a notification to take precautions themselves, but it is also required by state and federal data breach laws.
As a business owner, you’ll need to stay apprised of the latest legal requirements for protecting your sensitive client data. As your Access Lawyer, we can advise you on what safeguards you should have in place and how to implement them. And if you’re ever hacked, we’ll defend you in court against any lawsuits and/or penalties that might result. Contact us today to learn more.