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Is Data Security A Priority At Your Business? It Should Be.

Are you doing everything you can to protect your customers and your business against identity theft?

As cybercriminals look for nefarious new ways to access sensitive personal or financial information, businesses of all sizes need to fortify their defenses. That means having policies and procedures to protect data, as well as ongoing education about best practices and what to do if something goes wrong.

Management and employees should be trained to know what type of action is required on a daily basis and what happens if policies aren’t followed.

That means you’ll need to plan for situations ranging from who can access what to ensuring user accounts are terminated immediately when an employee quits or is terminated.

Make sure each employee has her or his own user account and limit access to information based on need. Require employees to use strong account passwords and that they don’t share usernames or passwords. Also, make sure people aren’t writing their access information down and leaving it on their desks.

Strong passwords should contain eight or more characters with a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. That’s because accounts with strong passwords are harder to hack and not sharing any login information helps keep the doors to data shut.

It’s also important to have staff log out of desktop computers whenever they’re away, and make sure that they password-protect portable devices such as smartphones or laptops. Require them to report the loss of any device.

You might also want to consider multifactor authentication. This requires a password and additional information to log in. The extra information could be a code sent to the account holder’s phone or a random number generated by a token or app. 

While it might require extra effort on the part of the IT staff, you should also lock accounts when a login attempt fails after a fixed number of tries.

By creating a work culture where security is a focus, you’re protecting both you and your customer – and that’s good business.