Maintain your Company's Reputation with Data Security

Consumers feel less confident about the safety of their data than they did a decade ago. A company’s ability to maintain data security can directly impact the customer’s trust in the organization.
One in three customers believes that companies fail to communicate transparently and promptly about data leaks. In addition, there is a common perception that such incidents occur when the company is caught or forced to disclose the event.

Loyalty can quickly be destroyed by not having industry-standard transparent policies and procedures in place to prevent and respond to data breaches.

While customers can wait and see how the company responds to security breaches before making decisions about their future relationship with the brand, some consumers may choose to break the ties early, especially if they find that the organization was not responsive enough or was in violation of basic security practices.

For example, one in four customers immediately stops their business dealings with a company if they compromise their personal information.

When customer confidence is low, and their business moves elsewhere, the company’s profit can be severely affected. Here are some strategies that companies can consider to protect themselves and maintain their brand’s reputation high.

Stay updated on consumer privacy laws.

Over the past decade, data protection laws and regulations have been developed to discourage criminals and force companies to improve security and privacy. Therefore, understanding the current regulatory landscape is essential to meet modern requirements.

Several states have passed comprehensive data privacy laws that regulate how companies protect and maintain consumers’ personal information. Corporations operating internationally should be aware of extra requirements, as countries keep passing new laws or updating existing laws regularly.

Evolve comprehensive data protection strategies

The initial step in forming a thorough data security plan is to understand the kind of data the company collects, where it is stored, and with whom and how it is shared. Further, the company must determine the data’s potential risks and information in electronic or physical form (or both).

Electronic data risks include compromises or losses due to malware, phishing, theft, or human error. Physical threats may be similar and may result from theft of paper documents or equipment containing confidential information, such as laptops, external storage media, mobile phones, etc.

Once a company understands the type of data and its risks, it can determine the right combination of security and controls.

Companies should consider regularly using a document destruction service to securely capture and destroy confidential information that is no longer needed. Similarly, it can use the same process to collect and destroy old hard drives from obsolete laptops and workstations.

To protect electronic data, the company will need a robust cyber security program that includes technology, business processes, and of course, the people who use it. It is vital to complement the training with phishing simulations, which help employees better identify hazards and create “muscle memory” to prevent and report them. Data thieves are becoming more complex and constantly evolving today. For this reason, it is crucial to ensure that all employees fully understand their roles and responsibilities to protect company data assets.

Ensure employees access and store the data safely

Given the current mixed work environment, it is imperative to ensure that employees have the tools they need to keep data safe while working remotely – be it in the home, office, or a public place.

Using virtual private networks (VPNs) and implementing data protection strategies such as hard drive encryption and multi-factor authentication can reduce the risk of a breach, no matter where the employee is logged in. From a physical safety standpoint, consider training remote employees to store documents in locked cabinets or other safe places where access is restricted.

Data security is a critical component of customer retention, and companies need to take a multi-layered approach to protect information. By focusing on physical and digital risks and implementing strategies to mitigate them, the company can avoid costly mistakes that could have severe financial consequences, and in some cases, threaten the very existence of the organization.

Whom to contact for improving the data security of your organization?

After understanding the necessity for data security, you may look for a trustworthy IT service provider to implement or upgrade your data security programs. At IT of United States, we provide Enterprise-level IT services and solutions to businesses of all sizes. Contact us today. We can help secure data in the information age.