The most important reason to implement data protection strategies is fear of financial loss. Data is recognized as an important corporate asset that needs to be safeguarded. Loss of information can lead to direct financial losses, such as lost sales, fines, or monetary judgments so here are some tips to protection for financial data
1. Apply strong passwords
Compromised credentials are one of the most common causes of financial data breaches. According to a Verizon study, 61% of breaches are caused by unauthorized persons accessing employee accounts.
Phishing attacks, weak passwords, and shared computers when employees move to work from home are common culprits, but they can be avoided. Best practices include two-factor authentication (2FA) or a single sign-on solution like 1Password to reduce unauthorized access.
2. Implement role-based access
Not all employees need access to all aspects of your systems. Restrict employee access to the files and folders they need and nothing else. For example, your marketing department doesn’t need access to financial data, and your accounting department doesn’t require access to your website’s back-end code.
3. Train your staff to recognize security threats
In days, these hackers don’t waste their time hacking into systems. They can gain much quicker and easier access from the inside, whether it’s through phishing emails or tricking employees into clicking malicious links.
Establish a company security policy and make sure all staff understands their responsibilities in maintaining it. It could even encourage some to become data security champions and provide incentives to enforce and promote security policies. Update your policy regularly to reflect the evolving threat environment and provide regular training to reinforce your policies.
4. Use data backup
Data backup is an essential component of financial data protection. While it won’t prevent you from preventing a cyber-attack, it will ensure that you can get back up and running quickly. In best practices, you’ll want to have three copies of your systems on two different media, with one hidden offsite or in the cloud.
Also, consider; Not all data loss comes from malicious attacks. In many cases, it can be the result of an innocent mistake. Accidental file deletion happens all the time and can be just as devastating if you don’t have a backup.
Data disasters can also be caused by faulty CSV files, incompatible third-party software, or unpatched system software. Data backup software gives you an extra layer of protection. It also reduces the anxiety that ends if data is lost since you know you can access a safe copy of your files and restore them when needed.
5. Don’t use debit cards in places you don’t trust.
Using debit cards in places you don’t trust, and there are probably very few, is risky. With credit cards, there is a layer of protection that is not present with debit cards. You can call a credit card company and have them remove a fraudulent charge. When scammers have direct access to your money, it’s much harder to get that money back, and sometimes you don’t.
6. Do all your banking online on one secure device.
Choose a secure device for your online banking. Only use a mobile phone that doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi, ever. Public Wi-Fi and even your home Wi-Fi can be hacked. These days, professional hackers can access almost any device, so you need to add some security software to the device. Bottom line: these days someone can transfer up to $100,000 from your account.
7. Change your passwords every six months.
Thieves are everywhere and they want what you have. Please act accordingly to secure your information. Change your passwords at least every six months and add two-factor authentication to all your financial accounts. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
8. Check your credit report
A regular review of your credit report can be helpful to make sure your credit hasn’t been manipulated. Look at this information several times a year to see if any unexpected lines of credit have opened up. If you find any errors or suspicious activity, you can file a dispute with the reporting company as soon as possible to clear up the problem. Also, consider the benefits of credit monitoring services. Sometimes you can find package deals that include credit reporting information and credit monitoring. Any time activity occurs on your credit report; then you will receive an alert notifying you of the activity.
9. Be careful with social media:
Most people use social media daily, but you should be careful about what information you post on these sites. Fun quizzes and games are designed to elicit information that might be related to security questions, such as your mother’s maiden name, phone number, date of birth, or your pet’s name.
Financial data protection is among the top concerns for most companies doing business today. Financial data is highly sensitive and must be protected according to international standards.
Any organization that handles customer payments of any kind needs financial data protection. From healthcare and insurance to financial services and eCommerce websites, none are exempt.
Should an organization suffer data loss of any kind, they risk severe penalties that could impact their business continuity.