BUSINESS POLICYHOLDERS CAN MINIMIZE RISK BY CONDUCTING AN AUDIT OF THEIR DATA ASSETS, ELIMINATING UNNECESSARY DATA, AND IDENTIFYING WHICH DATA SETS NEED THE MOST PROTECTION.
MINIMIZE THE RISKS Fortunately, there are steps businesses can take to help avoid a breach. The approach isn’t complex. In fact, it’s straightforward and affordable:
Know your data. It’s nearly impossible to secure information unless you know where it comes from, where it’s stored, and who has access to it. A simple audit of your company’s data assets can provide your team with the knowledge necessary to mitigate many existing breach risks. Remember that sensitive information may be in digital or hard copy format, so be sure to thoroughly review all online and traditional data storage locations.
Limit the amount of data gathered and stored. Your company can significantly improve its security posture by eliminating unnecessary data. If you destroy it, hackers can’t attack it. Retain only the information required for business operations and securely remove or destroy the rest. Regularly cull obsolete data to minimize privacy risks.
Deploy the right protection for each type of information. With your data audit in hand, determine which data sets are the most sensitive. Those should be given the highest level of protection, while less expensive measures can be used to safeguard lower-valued information.
Employees also can take steps to protect themselves from identity theft and fraud. Encourage them to establish strong passwords for their mobile devices as well as their online accounts, and remind them to use unique passwords for each site and system. In addition, employees should check their credit reports regularly. This enables them to quickly spot potential fraud or suspicious activities.