Businesses cannot risk putting data security aside. With hackers and identity thieves using more advanced methods, it’s crucial for any enterprise to adopt new tools in keeping sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands and preventing cases of fraud. In fact, there is no better time than now for you to invest in beefing up your defenses. According to the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM, businesses could lose at least $3.86 million to a data breach. The best way to avoid losses and a reputational blow are by implementing the right preventive measures and keeping your exposure low. For this, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Use encryption

The easiest way for hackers to obtain sensitive information from your business is through plain text. You can make it difficult for them to obtain anything valuable simply by scrambling the data that travels to and from your server. Through data encryption, you can keep transaction data and other information from being used for illicit means. You just need to find encryption software based on your industry and your data traffic volume.

2. Install an enterprise VPN

A virtual private network does more than letting you access geo-blocked content. If your business is handling remote employees, you need to make sure that all the information they share and obtain is properly protected against interceptions by hackers. Opting for an enterprise VPN helps you set up a secure line of communication between your business and your employees, especially those who often connect to public Wi-Fi networks. It’s only a matter of setting up strict policies for VPN usage so that everyone will be on the same page when it comes to data security.

3. Secure customer data during checkout

If you are running an e-commerce website, you will need to verify customer data and use the right tools to prevent a possible breach where credit card numbers, addresses, and birthdays are at the most risk. Apart from a KYC process that verifies customer information and prevents fraud, you will also need a secure payment gateway, obtain an SSL certificate, and update your website’s firewall and security plugins. It also helps to encourage users to set up complex passwords and activate multi-factor authentication. Through these simple methods, you can build trust with customers and prevent hackers from breaching their accounts. 

4. Profile every piece of data you handle

Deciding what to do in terms of preventing the exposure of sensitive data starts with knowing the kind of data that passes through your onsite and cloud servers. The best way to go about this is through a robust data classification process. Through this process, you should be able to sort information based on their content and in line with current privacy laws. This will make it easier for you to identify appropriate security measures. 

Exposing critical data about your customers and your business won’t bode well for you. Although it may cost a lot to beef up your defenses, there’s no good enough reason to ignore your security needs.

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