Data privacy is a hot topic these days. Most of us know that personal information gets held by companies on computer systems. When there’s a data breach, both those firms and their customers start to panic. What happens if fraudsters start using those details to buy goods or get money by deception?
Businesses need to up their game to keep both internal data and that of their customers private. Dealing with the consequences of poor data privacy can often be catastrophic. In today’s blog post, I’ll share with you the biggest data privacy risks to business. I’ll also show you how you can prevent them. Here is what you need to know:
1. Inadequate Passwords
It’s accepted practice that all passwords stored on databases must get encrypted. The issue is that some firms fail to educate users on the importance of “strong” passwords.
What happens if hackers can access your database? The most common thing they can do is launch a “dictionary” attack on it. In a nutshell, they’ll try to decrypt those passwords using common words and phrases.
If people use such passwords, they are easy for hackers to crack. The same also applies to short passwords too, such as ones that are five characters or less.
The answer is simple: make passwords hard to guess! Ensure your system only accepts passwords if they have a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. And check that passwords are at least eight characters in length.
2. Poor or No Wireless Network Encryption
It might shock you to learn that some companies offer WiFi access with no encryption! That means anything sent or received can get “intercepted” by hackers with just a laptop!
Be sure to secure your wireless networks using nothing less than WPA2-AES encryption. It’s a simple change to make on any wireless router and will take just seconds to do. All modern devices support wireless encryption, so you’ll have no compatibility issues.
3. Easy Access to All Data
Your workers will only need access to information relevant to their jobs. For instance, a production line worker doesn’t need to see payroll details for all your staff!
Ex-workers can take advantage of lax data restrictions. For instance, they could leak sensitive data about your company to your competitors. In return, they get offered a job with a handsome salary.
4. Data Hoarding
Many businesses seem to hoard data but do nothing with it. Do your servers a favour and delete any files you don’t need to use. Purge your databases of irrelevant information.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that data privacy should cover offline information too. With that in mind, use a shredding service to get rid of unwanted yet sensitive paper documents.
5. Untrained Employees
The biggest danger to data privacy comes down to how your employees use your computer systems! Even today, many people still don’t know how to be IT-savvy.
For instance, they might click on email links from suspicious sources. Or they might install software of an unknown origin on their PCs. It’s crucial that your workers have the right IT training, so they are more aware of the risks to data privacy.
I hope you’ve found today’s blog post useful. See you soon!