Mishandling sensitive data can be fatal for your business. Not only is this data usually given to you in trust by your customers, but it’s something that you’re legally required to protect, keeping safe and secure. In this article, we’ll look at ways in which you should be handling all sensitive data internally. The tips below will ensure that you’re able to keep handling sensitive data – whether that’s credit card details or personally identifiable information – without being at risk of data breaches or leaks that could damage your business.
All good data handling begins with training. All your staff should be trained in how to keep data secure and how to keep their logins and passwords safe. This might take a training day, with you bringing in external facilitators to show your staff how to best handle data. Alternatively, you could appoint a data manager who is ultimately in charge of how your data is handled internally. They’ll have the master key for your sensitive data, and they’ll be an employee that you can trust to know how to handle data without leaving it at risk of being stolen or exposed.
Sometimes, you’ll need to transfer sensitive data from place to place. That might be from one physical server to another, from your business to another business, or from a physical server into the cloud. During these moments of transit, your data is more likely to be intercepted and exposed, which means that you should concentrate on finding ways to secure your data when it’s in transit. Use Globalscape secure file transfer technology to ensure that your data is moved from place to place without the risk of being intercepted by bad actors or leaked accidentally when you need to move data to a new location.
Even when your data is simply sitting in a database without being moved, it could be exposed by bad actors who hack into your systems. This has happened several times in the past year, often via ransomware attacks that steal company data and demand a ransom payment to have it returned to them. The best way to protect from these threats is to install a reliable cybersecurity system. These are sold to businesses in many shapes and sizes, so it’s well worth doing a little research before deciding on which package you should purchase. Many are tailored to businesses just like yours.
The final tip in this guide is to keep your data clean and readable at all times. If your data is scattered across different platforms, is difficult to read, and will take a lot of manual editing in order to understand and leverage, it’s more likely that your workers will have to access sensitive data on their laptops and work devices, instead of leaving that data protected within files and databases. If you practice good data hygiene and keep your data machine-readable, you’ll never have to expose your data in the first place – it’ll be read and processed automatically, which means you’ll rarely have to access it in the first place.
Use these tips to secure your sensitive data in the future.