What do Dubsmash, Yahoo, and Adobe have in common? The data breach of millions of users; in Yahoo’s case, 3 billion user accounts. Nothing is more terrifying for your customers and more damaging to your business than to have personal data exposed to hackers.
That the biggest names in business have not been impenetrable is worrying; all the more so for small companies that don’t have the resources of large corporations. But in most massive data breaches, the lack of technology or manpower weren’t the issues. Most commercial organizations may have simply forgotten to perform the simplest of steps in keeping consumer information safe from scrupulous people.
Failure to Update Handling of Data
Data management goes through seven stages; each stage is critical to the security of your customer’s information.
1. Collection – data capture can occur through acquisition of existing information made by an external organization, creation of new ones by operators or devices for the organization, and through single devices.
2. Maintenance – involves processing information, from movement and integration to cleansing and enrichment, without extracting any value for the organization.
3. Synthesis – a relatively new stage to data management, it’s creating value through inductive logic for analytics.
4. Usage – in which data is used for tasks that the business needs to run.
5. Publication – data may be sent to a location outside the organization (e.g., sending monthly statements to clients)
6. Retention – involves the storage of data until such time it’s necessary for business application once again.
7. Purging – the removal of every copy of the data from the company’s system.
For some businesses, lapses occur at one of three stages, leaving customer information exposed. Two things could happen: one, your company may fail to govern access to data according to recent policies, and two, you may miss identifying which stage leaves critical information vulnerable to breach.
In either scenario, you need to update authorized access to your company’s data and monitor which areas need further protection.
Failure to Invest in Strong Technologies After a Breach
Replacing old systems should be a priority when your business has encountered a breach. You’ll need to spend more to acquire the right technologies that would allow you to identify how and when the breach happened. But it will be money well spent to prevent another damaging attack.
And you’ll need the right hardware or software solution to backup data. It should be specific to what you’re using. For example, the backup of Microsoft 365 emails works on cloud software designed for this office app. Data backup may seem like a simple solution, but it’s often the lifesaving instrument your business needs when faced with hackers that hold your data for ransom.
Failure to Follow Data Retention Policies and Procedures
Every data you keep is governed by your country’s policies. And compliance with these policies is necessary.
If you handle health records, your data retention should follow the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Under HIPAA, your organization should only keep a customer’s information until six years after the date of creation or the last effective date.
When you know how long you’re supposed to keep data, you minimize your company’s security risk because of a compliance audit.
Data protection is crucial to your business. When you do everything to manage critical information well, you protect your organization and keep your customer’s trust.