Thanks to the massive breaches in recent years, companies are now in a vulnerable spot. The world of cybersecurity is always changing, and it can be hard to keep up with all the latest industry standards. But regardless of how challenging it may be, it is still crucial to remain on top of everything.
As a business, you have the responsibility of taking care of your customers and their information as well. You must ensure that sharing data is ethical, and you do it in a secure manner. If you don’t, you might ruin your excellent reputation, and find yourself in the list of hefty GDPR fines.
This article won’t cover all the ways you can protect the data of your customers. But here’s what you can do to make sure that you share their data securely, especially when you keep it in the cloud.
1. Data Auditing
Data auditing is the process of inspecting the following:
- How the company handles specific data.
- Where it stores it.
- Who has access to it?
- Does it have a positive or negative influence on the performance of the company or profits, etc?
It is a crucial step to ensuring that only qualified and trustworthy people have access to sensitive information. A study from Shred-it suggests that employee negligence and human error are the leading cause of data breaches. Data auditing can help to avoid it.
If you know who has access to customer data, you can always remove it. If you find yourself not knowing who has access to some sensitive information, you may already be in trouble.
Moreover, GDPR and CCPA rules regulate how to handle and process sensitive data. If broken, they can result in colossal fines. Data auditing can also ensure that you’re compliant with all the rules and regulations. Take note of Marriott International’s example. They can end up paying $123 million for not taking care of their data in a proper manner.
2. Remote Access and VPN
It is always recommended to use VPN software when sharing anything online, regardless of whether you’re an everyday consumer or a business. But there is a vast difference between a regular VPN and enterprise VPN.
Both encrypt internet traffic all the same. If you use a VPN, you know that no hackers, ISPs, or other snoopers on the network can see what you do, download, or share online. But enterprise-level VPNs, for example, NordVPN Teams, do much more than that. They can also grant remote access to online tools and dashboards that are available only for the employees connected to the network. Outsiders wouldn’t be part of the corporate network and thus couldn’t reach the same online platforms.
3. Employee Education
As already mentioned, employees and human error are the number one cause of data breaches. Consequently, all companies must set aside time and resources to educate their employees on best practices when it comes to sharing sensitive company data.
Employees must be aware of all the risks, consequences, and responsibilities that come with performing their duties. Also, they should receive comprehensive training on how to operate various software solutions. That includes a VPN, encryption software, or more advanced cloud functions one needs for sharing data. Only then will the chances of human error be much closer to a zero.
4. Be Careful with Third-Party Agreements
Sometimes it is impossible to operate without using some external help, be it freelancers, manufacturers, or any other third parties. But that is also scary because you are putting your trust in someone else.
The best thing would be to share no or as little sensitive data as possible. Moreover, to ensure best practices when sharing business data, be careful when putting together and signing contracts. Always double-check everything. Make sure to include specific clauses that keep you and your business protected in case of an emergency. Third-party must feel responsible for data misuse, and there should be measures in place to make them compliant with your agreement.
Bringing work everywhere with you is a common practice nowadays. But it opens up a whole new world of possibilities and potential dangers. Cloud-based file sharing does have a lot of benefits, but a lot of risks are attached to it as well. That is precisely why you need to ensure that your business is following best practices. Make sure that all the data is secure at all times. Otherwise, you’re risking your reputation, your trustworthiness, and business success in general.