If you’ve been following the news, you know that cyber breaches are becoming more and more common. If your business has been affected by a data breach, it can be costly to address. You might even incur liability if you’ve been negligent in protecting your customer’s data.
The data breach landscape is constantly changing, but here are some tips to avoid liability from a cyber breach:
- Develop a Cyber Security Policy
A cyber security policy is a set of rules and regulations to preserve the security of your digital assets and technology infrastructure. It helps protect your company against liability from a cyber breach.
A good cyber security policy will cover topics like:
- How to ensure that data is protected while being transmitted, stored, or used
- What information should be protected by encryption, passwords, or other means
- How employees should handle sensitive information like customer credit card numbers
- What to do if you suspect malware on your computer
- How to report a suspected breach of data security
Your business may already have some cyber security policy in place, but it’s important to revisit it regularly and update it as needed. If you don’t have one yet, consider choosing a managed service provider who can help you develop one that meets federal standards set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
- Train Your Employees
Cybersecurity is a top priority for every business, but the employees often pose the biggest threat to your company. While it may seem like a no-brainer to encourage employees to use strong passwords and avoid clicking on suspicious links, the reality is that cybersecurity training doesn’t always stick.
While training your IT staff to protect against cyber-attacks and secure their devices is essential, most people don’t have access to sensitive company data or accounts. That’s why it’s crucial for all employees—not just those with high-security clearance—to understand how they can make their work environments more secure.
By providing regular training sessions and encouraging everyone from executives down to interns to attend them, you can help ensure that everyone understands how they can contribute towards improving overall security practices at your organization.
- Maintain Cyber Insurance Policies
Cyber insurance policies can cover damages caused by data breaches, the loss of sensitive information, fraudulent transactions, and other losses associated with cyber-attacks. These policies come in two forms: first-party coverage, which protects against internal incidents, and third-party coverage, which protects against external threats.
First-party coverage protects a company’s assets from damage caused by cyber-attacks, such as data breaches or ransomware attacks. Third-party coverage, on the other hand, protects against lawsuits filed by customers whose personal information was stolen during a breach or whose accounts have been hacked.
A comprehensive cyber insurance policy typically includes both types of coverage and other essential components like identity theft protection and forensic investigations services. Cyber insurance costs vary depending on factors like industry and location, but most companies spend between USD$1 million and USD$5 million annually to purchase adequate coverage.
- Keep Systems Updated
An update is a change made to a computer program or operating system that fixes bugs or improves functionality. Updates are typically released as new software versions, which means you’ll need to download them from an official source, such as the manufacturer’s website or an authorized reseller.
It’s critical to keep your operating system up-to-date because hackers often exploit security vulnerabilities in outdated software to gain access to private data. Once they have access, they can steal personal information or install malware on your device to spy on everything you do online.
They can also use this access to take control of your computer and use it for other purposes, such as sending spam emails or mining cryptocurrency without your knowledge.
- Monitor User Activity On All Network Systems
Monitor user activity on all network systems, especially those containing sensitive data. This will enable you to detect suspicious activity and act quickly if a breach occurs.
Implement robust password policies. Hackers use brute force attacks—trying thousands of passwords at a time—to gain access to accounts. By requiring complex passwords with special characters and numbers, you can minimize the risk of someone cracking into an account by guessing the password.
- Back Up Data Regularly
Cybersecurity isn’t just about protecting your business data from being stolen or corrupted; it’s also about protecting your customers’ data. If someone’s credit card information or other personal details were compromised because hackers got into your network, you would risk liability and reputational damage. Also, you could lose your data due to human error and hardware or software failure.
That’s why it’s vital to back up your data regularly and use encryption, especially if you’re storing sensitive information in your system. If something happens and all the data is wiped out at once, you can restore the original data from the backup.
- Limit Access To Customer Records and Payment Information
You must limit access to customer records and payment information. The more people with access to your data, the greater your risk of a breach.
If you need to find out where your data is stored and who has access to it, consider doing a quick audit by looking at your network and file permissions. Then, determine what policies and procedures need to be implemented to ensure that only those with a legitimate need for the information will have access.
For example, if someone on your staff needs access to customer records for administrative purposes, such as processing payments or resolving disputes, make sure they have proper authorization from management before granting them access.
Furthermore, be sure that employees are trained on proper security protocols so that they understand how important it is for their own protection and yours as well.
With the prevalence of cyber breaches, it can be challenging to keep up with all the latest regulations and laws. But if you follow these tips, you can avoid liability and keep yourself out of trouble with the law.