There is nothing that can cause disastrous consequences for your business other than losing sensitive client information and data such as their credit card information, login credentials, financial reports, and medical records. It will be bad for your company’s reputation, but you can suffer legal ramifications as well.
The good news is that there are plenty of safety measures and precautions you can take to ensure you never experience security and data breaches. Here are some safeguards you need to invest in to keep your customers’ trust and privacy.
Bolster your firewall and network security
You need a reputable brand of firewall and network security programs that can provide high-performance network security solutions. One example of this is the next-generation firewall by Fortinet, which was designed to protect not just your business’ network but also the data and users from constant and ever-evolving threats. As the digital world grows in sophistication, so do the tactics and strategies of cybercriminals, and this tool and its centralized management and portfolio of various solutions can provide your infrastructure with end-to-end security. Here are some of its most helpful features:
- Network security
- Next-generation firewall (NGFW)
- Enterprise firewall
- Application control and visibility
- Unified threat management (UTM)
- Web security gateway and web filtering
- Intrusion prevention system (IPS)
- Email security
Employ a tier system for access
The more employees have access to client information, the more at risk you are for a data breach. It’s not that you can’t trust your employees; it’s just that it increases the risk and that’s the last thing you want. Consider putting a limit on which clients have access to the data. It should be on a need-to-know basis and password-protected servers, as well as your PCs, can ensure this. Make sure you change the passwords every time an employee leaves the company, especially if the information is stored in a cloud system. You never know when a disgruntled employee tries to access your files and data, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure that all the passwords you use are impossible to guess, and use numbers as well as symbols.
If you have not yet employed a system of organization for client information, now is the time to do so. Here are some pointers to apply:
- When it comes to physical files, the label maker is your friend. Ensure that all of your physical folders and files are properly categorized and organized in one cohesive system, and consider investing in a locked file box to ensure that only those who have clearance can gain access to the files.
- For digital files, use password encryption. Consider hiring an IT specialist to help you amp up the security of the folder or to figure out if someone tries to hack into the confidential folders.
Strengthen your employee screening
If your day-to-day operations involve looking at sensitive information or anything that can be used against your clients, take painful steps to ensure that your company’s employee screening is solid. Follow the guidelines the government created to screen employees, which include the following:
- Criminal background check. Just ensure that you’re not doing anything discriminatory by checking the applicant’s current situation and context. You can do this by doing reference checks with their parole or probation officers.
- Drug test. The same rules apply in terms of non-discriminatory practices. If the applicant is recovering from an addiction of some sort, consider checking in with their sponsors and sober companions as well.
- Credit check. While the law allows would-be employers to do credit checks, they can’t do so without an applicant’s written permission. The applicant’s credit report can help you verify their identity, education, and background to ensure that they have no history of embezzlement and theft. It will also provide you with information on their previous employers.
- Radical views. This is crucial since you never know who holds some potentially dangerous ideology nowadays. You can do this by doing some thorough social media screenings, and anything applicants post publicly is fair game.
Protecting your clients’ sensitive information is three-fold: Data and internet security, limiting employee access and making sure the people you hire have an excellent track record and can be trusted. But even then, take time to know the people you let into the company. If they prove that they can be trusted with little, that’s when you can also trust them with more until the time comes they gain top-tier access to everything they need to know especially if their job description needs it.
Adding these safeguards may be more work, but it’s worth it. Protect your clients and let your company gain a reputation for integrity.