The Business of Data Security

Four often overlooked security considerations for businesses

Today, most businesses electronically store or share a lot sensitive information, including data like quarterly reports, billing statements, and often confidential client information. With that in mind, here are the four considerations for securing your data.

Your clients count on you and your employees

Your clients trust you with their information, so they expect critical safeguards to prevent unauthorized disclosure or access to their data. With secure portals for your employees and clients, enterprise-grade email encryption, and visibility into who’s accessing your data, you’ll be able to provide a robust layer of data protection.

You must comply with government regulations

Various federal, state, global, and industry guidelines regulate the exchange of sensitive information. In fact, the internationally regulated General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has strong policies in place to protect sensitive data. Companies that don’t comply can face hefty fines.
There are two tiers of fines, according to Forbes:
  • Up to 10 million pounds or 2% of annual global turnover (revenue) of the previous year, whichever is higher
  • Up to 20 million pounds or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater

You should protect your reputation

A security breach of your sensitive data will almost certainly result in the loss of clients — and possibly generate negative publicity. And that’s not good for business.

You need to keep business running smoothly

Striking the right security balance is crucial. Too rigid, and productivity decreases. Too relaxed, and an organization could face a breach resulting in the interruption of business and operations. That’s not something to take lightly. According to a Gartner prediction, 60% of digital businesses will suffer major service failures by 2020 due to the inability of security teams to manage digital risk.

Assessing your risk

The right balance of data security is hard to achieve. Too rigid, and users aren’t able to access the information they need. Too relaxed, and your company is open to threats. For small and midsize businesses, the task can be overwhelming. Also, technological changes mean that security measures can become obsolete in a matter of months. The good news is you can address these challenges by assessing your risk so you can avoid the following common vulnerabilities.

Physical vulnerability

  • Make workstations inaccessible to the public.
  • Lock away your routers and servers.
  • If possible, incorporate industry standard protocols such as magnetic doors and keycard access.
  • Maintain protection against natural disasters.
  • Archive data offsite or in a secure cloud storage solution.
  • Replace aging physical equipment.

Mobile device weakness

  • Make sure your device doesn’t scan for and hook up to open Wi-Fi networks.
  • Transfer files via secure software, such as file-sharing apps that encrypt data, rather than email.
  • Enable security features such as remote wipe and automatic file deletion if you lose your phone.

Unsecured networks

  • Configure your firewalls correctly.
  • Use strong, proven antivirus and antimalware software.
  • Keep your software current.
  • Password protect your network or make it invisible.
  • Don’t transmit private data on public networks.

Research regulations

Depending on the kind of data you’re storing and transferring, you could be subject to more regulations than you know. These include:

  • General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) data security guidelines
  • Various state data security laws
  • Records disposal laws and protocols
  • Industry standards such as Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules

Stay ahead of the game

Now that you understand what you need to do, decide how to do it. Develop a data security program, train any staff members, and enforce protocols reasonably. For instance, if you cannot secure data onsite, look for offsite storage services that offer you features like advanced encryption methods — so you can better serve your clients by staying current with your security.

Protect your client and business information.

Follow Plow Networks: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram

About Plow Networks

Headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee in 2012, the founders of Plow Networks came together over a shared vision of offering businesses a unique and best-in-class experience by providing them with a single partner for all of their technology needs.

Businesses are looking for simplicity and a partner they can trust. Plow Networks gives its clients confidence and peace of mind by analyzing their business needs and recommending solutions that Plow Networks can architect, implement, support, and operate; so businesses can focus on growing and achieving their goals. As a result, Plow Networks is now a leading Total Service Provider (TSP) in the IT industry.

Contact

Plow Networks
(615) 224-8735
marketing@plow.net

*This information is brought to you by our certified partner, Citrix.