Any company that collects consumer data is responsible for making sure this data remains protected at all times. Unfortunately, even the largest companies with the greatest amount of resources can become victims of data breaches. For example, Facebook is currently facing a class action lawsuit related to a breach at occurred in 2018 and affected almost 30 million users. If this lawsuit is successful, Facebook could owe a significant amount of money.
If you own a company that manages consumer data, you need to take steps to prevent this type of problem.
Scott Blumin, CEO of Scoja Technology Services, a leading IT consulting firm in San Francisco shares important tips to help you protect consumer data and avoid breaches.
1. Keep data secure.
Investing in technologies to keep data secure is essential, regardless of the size of your company. Not only do you need to choose security measures that have been shown to be effective, but you should also be testing and upgrading security continuously.
2. Control access to consumer data.
Most companies have multiple employees who must access consumer data. However, if an employee does not need this access to do his or her job, he or she should not have it. Give each employee only the access he or she needs in order to perform job tasks effectively.
3. Teach employees to protect data.
In some cases, employee negligence can be the cause of a data breach. Make sure your employees know that they should not give their passwords to others, access consumer data from non-secure networks or engage in any other activity that could put data at risk.
4. Seek help from professionals.
Ensuring that your data is always protected whenever it is accessed or transmitted can be an overwhelming task. In addition, security needs are always changing, leading to even more confusion. If you aren’t sure whether your security measures are sufficient, consider consulting or even hiring full-time IT professionals to help you protect consumer data.
5. Have a plan.
Even with the best security measures in place, your data may still be vulnerable. Know how your company will respond in the event of a breach so you can take action quickly and minimize the damage.
These are just a few of the steps you can take to keep consumer data secure. In all scenarios, remember that you have both an ethical and a legal responsibility to protect consumers.