Keeping client data secure is of upmost importance for professional freelancers and business owners. Data breaches cost businesses millions every year and it is of high chance that your firm has a number of assets that contain sensitive information about your customers. With this in mind, it is important to take steps to minimise the chances of confidential client data getting into the wrong hands. We have therefore listed five ways you can keep your clients data safe and secure.
1. Employee Access
It is essential to put limits on employee access to client information. Computers and servers with password protection will ensure this, however, remember to change passwords and access right when members of staff leave your company – especially if you store data in the cloud. Ensure that passwords are obscure enough that they cannot be guessed, therefore incorporate symbols and numbers.
As well as having company policies for collecting, storing and using sensitive data, you should also have policies in place for purging outdated or old information.
2. Security Software
A company can never have too much security protection as hackers are constantly on the search for easy targets and are finding new ways of accessing information. If you have multi-layered security software in place, it will be much harder and more time-consuming for them to reach sensitive data. Having firewalls and anti-virus protection on all devices used by your firm will help with this. Consider employing encryption protocols to make it difficult for them to view the data if they do breach your security – by scrambling the information, encryption software is able to make sensitive data unreadable to anybody without the decryption password.
According to Kapersky, more than 200,000 new malicious programs are detected and blocked by their software every single day. This reflects the fast-moving nature of malware. Although it can be time consuming, its imperative that not only security software, but also operating systems, are updated regularly to protect against the most recent malware. This serves for all devices – desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
4. Remote Wiping
As firms move towards using mobile devices as part of their daily activities, and this presents a new range of risks. Having a laptop stolen or leaving a tablet on public transport could see sensitive client data fall into the wrong hands. Remote wiping software can delete this data and potentially stop this issue. Apple offer users a remote wipe function as standard (provided devices are signed up to the iCloud) and Google offer a similar solution via the Google App.
5. Choose A Reliable Cloud Provider
If you store a lot of your client data on the cloud, ensure that you choose a reputable and secure solution. Google, Microsoft and Apple all offer leading security for their cloud solutions, and you can purchase more storage than necessary. If you prefer to keep your data on your own private servers, choose a well-known hosting provider. Alternatively, if you have the budget to do so, you may wish to consider hiring an IT consultant who can provide you with some options.