Here are some recommendations for small business owners to help protect sensitive information:
- First, take stock of all the data you collect, store and transmit. How do you store sensitive information? Who has access to it? In what ways could data be compromised?
- Work with your financial institution to establish a “dual control” payment system so that payments can be initiated only with the authorization of two employees.
- Check your account balances daily, and notify your financial institution immediately if you see any suspicious activity.
- Regularly update anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Last year, malicious or criminal attacks accounted for more than a third of the total breaches.
- In addition to shredding discarded paper documents, don’t forget to shred discarded CDs and DVDs that contain sensitive information.
- Secure laptops and smartphones. These devices are loaded with sensitive data, and because of their portable nature, they are particularly vulnerable to loss or theft. Use password protection and encryption software as an extra layer of protection on company laptops and smartphones.
- Have a plan in place in case a data breach does occur. In some cases, a rash response to a data breach ends up costing more. Companies that take the time to decipher which clients are actually at risk, as opposed to over-notifying customers who are not in danger, ultimately spent less on data breaches.
- Practice constant vigilance. About 39 percent of data breaches result from negligence. You’ll eliminate much of your risk by proactively implementing and following through on security measures. Also, be sure to include employee training in your security plan.
Let Zions Bank’s Business Resource Center assist you with your business needs. Call us for a free appointment at (801) 594-8245. We are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beth Holbrook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org