Data Security: 3 ways to protect your business reputation

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Proper data security is key to protecting business reputation. Improper data security practices can result in significant data breaches which harm brand reputation, and even your business’ success. 

In recent years, data breaches have been on the rise. If your business is at fault for a data breach, financial losses can occur in the form of fines and lost business. To minimise your company’s risk of lost reputation due to data security, we’ve curated these 3 solutions.

Understanding the consequences of lost reputation

Before we delve into prevention, it’s important to understand the effects lost reputation can cause on your business. Some of the most well-known names have experienced huge blows to their brand due to mistakes and data breaches.

For example, a study conducted in America asked people how likely they were to continue using a company after they had a breach. The results varied from business to business, but it was commonly found that companies who held more sensitive client data, were less likely to retain a client’s loyalty. Only 17% said they would continue their use of a bank and 52% said security is the main consideration when they choose a product or service. This shows that customers care about how their data is handled and the effect a breach can have on their future purchasing.

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Furthermore, the study found that 52% of customers were likely to use competitors with better security. Meaning a data breach could improve your competitor’s reputation while yours is lost.

So how can we prevent this from happening?

Don’t rely on unsecured methods

Preventing a data breach also helps to prevent the risk of lost reputation. This means by minimising the risk of a breach, your business can protect its reputation. Using secure methods of data keeping and destruction is key to prevent unauthorised access to your customer’s data.

First, ensure the proper practice is used with all current data. Using secure databases and password protected systems help to prevent unauthorised users from accessing the harboured data. 

View our data protection tips for more information on best practices for protecting data.

Monitor old information

As mentioned, keeping currently used data on a secure system helps to secure it from illegal users.

Along with this, how old data is handled is just as important as current data. GDPR law states that data must be protected against unlawful processing, access, and loss, this includes unused data. When your business wants to erase old data from a device, using the correct method is crucial. 

Using unsecured methods such as factory resets can leave sensitive information on the device for the next user to find. This can be especially dangerous if the asset is then accessed by an unknown user and can result in a data breach. To prevent this, using certified data erasure and destruction services can prevent a breach and protect your business reputation.  

Train and teach staff

One of the main ways data is breached is due to human error. Although hackers have broken into systems that were thought to be secure in the past, many breaches occur due to a single person making a minor mistake.

Training your staff on how breaches can occur is an effective way to prevent lost data. Aside from the usual phishing and password protection training, there are other elements of data theft your staff should be aware of.

One of the top causes of a data breach is the theft of a data-carrying device. Your staff can help prevent this by being more aware of site visitors, and ensuring every guest is monitored and signed in. This is especially important if your site has lots of visitors, where it can be difficult to keep track of people. Keeping data-bearing assets out of public reach and disabling a device’s access to certain information when removed from the premises can be a good way to minimise these risks.

Actions speak better than words

Taking the steps to actively protect your customer’s data work better than simply stating their data is safe. False promises can result in a serious loss in business reputation when they are broken. Clients trust your business to keep their data safe, so ensure you are doing everything you can to do this.

Learn more about protecting your business’ data with our free data security articles.

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