In this era of digitalization, customer data security is pivotal due to 2 main reasons.
- The reputation of your business depends on it.
- Customer trust depends on how you secure their data.
Cybercrime is a huge market, and Research by Cybersecurity Ventures indicates that cybercrime may cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. The most precious thing which is pursued by these cyber-criminals is customer data.
To gain this precious item, they hack systems, steal customer data, resell it in the black market, or hold it for ransom. They may resort to identity theft also for duping other clients.
With the rise in severity of data breaches securing customer information becomes even more pivotal.
In this article, we will discuss the best precautions we can take to protect customer data from these cyber thieves.
Steps to Secure Customer Data:
- Conduct Regular Audits:
The main benefit of conducting security audits regularly is that it can display the loopholes in your web security infrastructure. This can help take preventive measures and patch up these security vulnerabilities to prevent further damages.
You can also hire a cybersecurity firm for the same, which helps conduct these audits and fix the security lapses. Please take a note of all the third-party apps, too, audit them and ensure that they are not compromised or unused.
Auditing databases will not only give you a vision of breaches, but when you pin it to an audit trail, it will reflect the database record history of employees who have viewed it.
- Using Encryption Security:
Encryption needs to be done at all the places where customer-sensitive data is stored for securing the same. Hard drives, websites, cloud backups, USBs, etc. and other data storage places should be secured with encryption.
Where e-commerce sites are loaded with customer information for making product purchases, encryption is necessary as per PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliance.
For the same, an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate needs to be installed on the website, ensuring that the transactions between the client and the website are secured with 256-bit encryption algorithms. This makes the data inaccessible to hackers since they can’t read gibberish text.
There are types of certificates with different features to choose for website security. For Example, if you own multiple websites than go with Comodo PositiveSSL Multi Domain certificate that secure multiple sites at low cost.
Select the right kind of SSL certificate of any reputed brand and secure your customer data with premium encryption.
- Cloud Backup and Protection:
You must be aware of the importance of backup in storing and securing digital information. Cloud backup is the best for the storage of off-site data. The main benefit of cloud backup is that system reboot is possible without the loss of sensitive data.
Though the thought of third-party cloud vendors storing company data makes many business owners anxious, the fact that these vendors use Firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems, and Encryption securities to secure customer data is commendable. So, implement any of the cloud backup options and secure your customer data.
- Employee Awareness:
Humans are bound to make mistakes, and sometimes even a small one may result in a major data breach or cause massive damages. Sometimes it may lead to shut down of business too.
Being website owners, you need to ensure employee awareness of cyber threats and data breaches by conducting regular training sessions. The same helps in threat mitigation and elimination since humans are the weakest and the most vulnerable link in the cyber-chain. Make this weakest link your strongest weapon for securing your customer data.
- Updating Plugins and Firewalls:
Outdated plugins are open gateways for hackers to attack systems and loot data.
Shocking Statistics by WPScan indicate that 52% of the WordPress vulnerabilities are plugin vulnerabilities.
Keep these plugins updated regularly so that the security loopholes can be fixed, and data breaches can be prevented.
Even firewalls installed on your systems secure your site data by blocking suspicious sites or IP addresses. The absence of the ACL configuration (Access Control List) in the firewall may permit all suspicious and compromised entries.
Keep them updated and maintained for gaining a secured environment.
Few More Tips:
- Collect only Pivotal Data
- Limit Accesses
- Utilize Password Management Tools
- Monitor your Data Regularly
- Install Anti-virus Software
- Test your Security Solutions
- Create BYOD Policy
- Data Masking
There are ample ways to protect customer data and keep it safe from prying eyes. But using complex passwords and data security with SSL certificates are the two strongest factors that can prevent intruders from accessing your networks.
I hope the tips mentioned above can help you protect your customer data and enhance your business reputation.