Personal data is an area of great concern for many organizations today. Diverse industry players currently collect and store client data as part of their operations. Besides, data management and processing have created a dynamic business model.
Although technological advances have made data more accessible, client data is also vulnerable to fraudulent third parties. Clients currently rely on various state, federal, and international data regulations to guarantee their data’s safety.
Small businesses are often susceptible to data compromises and cyberattacks that cripple business operations and damage the company’s reputation. Besides, the potential of future breaches keeps growing as companies keep collecting digital content.
It is incumbent on your organization to secure clients’ data proactively. Understanding the present security landscape is an essential step toward safeguarding data.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards
The Payment Card Industry (PCI) is the first of many to take proactive steps to secure clients’ data. This industry enacted the Data Security Standard (DSS) that focuses on network security, control measures, and vulnerability management programs. While smaller organizations manage DSS compliance internally, global companies need to outsource the services of a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA).
Other industry segments have created compliance initiatives to foster client data security. Organizations can seek to become ISO 27001 certified or achieve HIPAA, NIST 800-53, and Cloud Security Alliance compliance. However, complying with such standards doesn’t always mean business security.
Compliance Versus Security
Compliant businesses may be vulnerable to security breaches. Performing security audits often reveal minimum security requirements that don’t always focus on company security. Besides, such audits also hardly cover third-party vendors that could compromise your client data. It may also be helpful to consider your company’s legal position in case of a breach. In most instances, local law often supersedes data security requirements creating vulnerabilities for businesses that operate on the global scene.
Achieving Top Security
Organizations looking to achieve complete data security need first to cover the basics. Essential security measures include network security, hardening guidelines, security assessments, and best practices. An integrated risk management approach will also improve your system’s security.
Also, organizations need to provide security awareness training to staff members and the IT staff. Conduct such training regularly to foster a security-conscious culture among your staff members. Your company could also work on activating SLAs with general IT security requirements. Independent audits for third-party providers will also help boost your security posture.
Your organization’s IT team should also regularly review the SANS Institute’s security standards. You’ll need to institute secure configurations on all your company’s devices. The goal is to avoid unauthorized access to client data and information.
These IT security principles will defend your systems against malware that can initiate costly data breaches. Secure network engineering is also vital in safeguarding client data. Your IT teams can monitor activity on your network and curb security breaches before they occur.
Guidelines for Securing Client Data
Today’s technology-driven business landscape requires your marketing team to adopt data security measures. Certain principles and guidelines are essential in enhancing your company’s data security position. Here are the top steps to help you guarantee the security of your client’s data.
- Only collect vital client data to increase consumer confidence and decrease your data’s external value
- Limit access to data to minimize your risk of exposure
- Use password management tools to create and store complex passwords for all your devices and software
- Avoid data silos that store data in non-approved, unsecured storage devices
- Set and adhere to minimum security standards
- Manage risks related to customer data
Securing Client Data is Vital for your Business
Most clients trust you with sensitive data, like social security information and credit cards, and it’s incumbent upon you to secure this data. Take steps to evaluate and strengthen your data protection practices regularly. Securing client information will safeguard your company against costly fines, lawsuits, and reputation damage.