Tuesday 24th of October 2017
Data is the most precious asset for businesses these days. It is used for making significant fina... ncial, marketing and sales decisions. Data analysi...
Data is the most precious asset for businesses these days. It is used for making significant financial, marketing and sales decisions. Data analysis is pivotal in understanding patterns and identifying new opportunities that help businesses grow. It is utilised by entrepreneurs to increase customer satisfaction levels and enhance profits and marketing efforts. It is influential in finding the pain points of consumers and resolving their problems efficiently.
Businesses have to collect, manage and process a variety of data. It ranges from customer information and marketing analysis to sales figures and financial reports. All these are confidential documents that are stored online. However, the digital medium is vulnerable to theft and violation, which can impact the business image and sales. Thus, here is how entrepreneurs can manage data privacy for their businesses to protect confidential information. It is essential to have data protection measures in place when cybercrimes are rising in the United Kingdom. Let us look at the solutions.
1. Prepare A Data Protection Strategy
Safeguarding data stored online requires preparing a plan for its protection from hackers and employees with ulterior motives. Thus, entrepreneurs need to follow a procedure for collection, storage and processing of sensitive information. They should not be accumulating unnecessary data to avoid storage and privacy issues. It is vital to restrict the collection of important personal details of customers that can lead to financial losses if leaked or used by hackers.
For example, businesses should not save the credit card details of customers in their databases. Consumers must use encrypted and privacy-protected payment gateways. Entrepreneurs looking for business opportunities in the United Kingdom must create a plan for gathering and storing relevant and useful information. If any data seems irrelevant, it must be discarded immediately. It is vital to set up a team for cyber security and create authorisation checkpoints for those who can access data.
2. Create Restrictions for Accessing Data
Do not allow everyone in the organisation to access confidential information. Employees can lose sensitive data inadvertently, which can cost the company dearly. The cyber security team must sensitise employees about their rights to access information and the controls they need to implement and follow while using business data.
The team leader must be responsible for maintaining privacy with authorisation controls and changes when employees leave or get promoted. They must use strong passwords and two-factor authentication to access confidential information. They must lock their screens when taking a break and should not use personal storage devices on office computers and laptops.
3. Secure The Computer Network
Computers and servers can be hacked. Therefore, it is crucial to keep them safe by understanding their vulnerability and deploying protective shields to save data. Every system must have anti-virus software that should be updated regularly to avoid malware and phishing attacks.
Critical data should not be stored in its raw form on employee computers. Entrepreneurs who purchase a business for sale in the United Kingdom must encrypt sensitive data, including confidential client emails and insightful data shared with other team members online. Employees should not download any software on their systems unless management approves. Also, access to websites that can send malware must be restricted by the cyber security team.
4. Train Employees To Protect Data
Simply installing anti-virus does not help the business. It is essential to train the users about different types of cyber-attacks and threats that workers can avert. They must be informed not to share their passwords with anyone and use password-activated screensavers. The company should have disciplinary actions planned for workers who violate the cyber security policy.
They must be educated about identity thieves and the tactics used by them to gather information. It will help prevent fraud through phone calls, social media platforms and emails. They must be trained to wipe off data from their systems that are no longer needed and use firewalls to keep their information safe. All the employees must sign a confidentiality agreement to abide by the cyber security policy to avoid making costly mistakes.
Entrepreneurs buying businesses for sale in the United Kingdom must ensure that using third-party services can be risky. When outsourcing important functions and tasks to private service providers like accounting firms and web hosting companies, it is crucial to check their data privacy measures.
The third parties must be informed about the expected security levels and data protection, and they must sign a non-disclosure agreement. They cater to various other clients who can be direct competitors. Thus, it is essential to check their regulatory policy and past track records. If they are working remotely, they must secure the data by encrypting the information shared online.
6. Prepare A Contingency Plan
Hackers are becoming smart and using sophisticated methods to attack small businesses. Cybercrime is increasing in the country and costing businesses millions of pounds. Thus, they need to step up their technical infrastructure. All the departments must update software regularly and have a backup of data to avoid downtime in case of data theft or loss.
Prompt action during a hacking incident requires disconnecting the computer immediately and finding out the source of the malware or ransomware. The cyber security team must be alerted and asked for instructions to resolve the issue. Customers and stakeholders affected by the attack must be informed about the incident and asked to avoid fraud calls and emails.
7. Monitor and Review the Data System
Data thefts can be averted by constantly monitoring the systems and testing the security measures. E-commerce businesses have to stay on top of their data system because they will lose their brand’s popularity and customer base if there is a hacking incident. They must keep monitoring their transactions and data storage to identify vulnerabilities and improve the safety of sensitive information.
Whether it is the mobile app, the website, or the employees' email accounts, everything must be reviewed and audited frequently to avoid theft and breaches. Entrepreneurs who purchase a business for sale in the United Kingdom must fix the problem areas before cybercriminals take advantage of the gaps in the protective cover.
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