The average cost of a data breach in the United States was 8.64 Million dollars in 2020, up from prior years. While the cost of a data breach may be higher or lower than this average depending on the scope of your business’ data breach and who was affected, the cost is staggering. When we see data breaches on the news, it quickly reminds us that no company is immune, whether they are big, small, or somewhere in between.
Managing risk, and keeping your company productive and efficient can be quite a challenge. When devices, apps, and software are becoming so cumbersome to access that your employees are spending more time talking to the help desk than to each other or to your customers, you know you have a problem!
So how do you strike the delicate balance between protecting your customer and client’s sensitive information, and keeping your company productive and efficient?
Understand your level of risk in each department or position.
Not every position, device, or department carries the same level of risk, and the nature or comprehensiveness of your data security should reflect this difference. If there are segments or responsibilities that require little to no access to customer, vendor, or partner information, work with your IT team to streamline their security protocols and policies. For those roles that are enabled with the most sensitive information, or access, it may make sense to beef up your security in this area.
Understand who needs access to what, and partition it accordingly.
Piggybacking off of number one, there are many ways that you can work with your IT team to restrict or partition off access, and grant or deny access to information according to who actually needs it. This may mean creating different networks for different areas, different employees, or different divisions of your company or organization.
Train and communicate regarding data security.
What might be common sense to the IT department (don’t open suspicious emails) may not be common sense to the customer service rep at the front desk, or your vendors and partners. Regular, engaging, up-to-date training on best practices for security can help educate and inform your employees, and keep IT and other departments on the same page. Remember, trainings should be engaging and include everyone!
Most data breaches can be accidental if they are internal, but some may be malicious.
We have all heard or experienced situations where a jilted employee retaliated against a company by using their access to apps, programs, socials, websites, or data in a maleficent way. These kinds of data breaches can be devastating not only to the company, but to the reputations of your other employees, customers, vendors, and partners. Develop a plan to take immediate action to secure devices, passwords, and other credentials or access points from individuals in sensitive positions.
Don’t go it alone, or just ‘wing’ data security.
Your IT department may not have the training, specialization, or bandwidth required to protect your company from data breaches, and this is okay! There are many reputable companies whose sole purpose is to help companies just like yours manage their mobile devices, their data security, and their connectivity! Considering the risk, and the costs associated with a data breach, investing in a partner that can not only keep your data safe but increase employee productivity and your company’s efficiency may make perfect sense.
It isn’t a matter of IF your company will experience a data breach, it’s a matter of when. And if you think you aren’t large enough, or lucrative enough to get hit, the statistics don’t support this. Taking steps now to assess your company’s risk, creating a plan, and then implementing it will save you millions of dollars and months of frustration down the road.
Want to learn more about how partnering with us can help you not only protect your data but help your company run more efficiently too?
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