More and more services are being moved to an online environment for convenience. However, in a world where not only technology is advancing, but also the skills of hackers and people with malicious intent, privacy and cybersecurity has never been more important for businesses, and not just the ones that operate online. Anything digital, including cars, alarm systems, baby monitors and even pacemakers can get hacked.

The recent data and privacy breach at Facebook is a great reminder that poor cybersecurity practices can be detrimental to businesses and their brand. While Facebook is likely to survive without much damage, smaller companies might not have the capital and popularity behind it to safeguard its future after a serious breach. So, what can smaller digital businesses and larger corporations do to safeguard customer data?

Why You Need Data Protection

Data protection does not just encapsulate private information like credit card details. Business entities are also lawfully required to keep personal data safe and there are strict protocols in place what this data can and cannot be used for. Cybersecurity and data protection is ever-evolving as different data breaches come to light, exposing different threats to companies.

Staying up-to-date on security protocols and secure methods of storing data is vital for any company looking to survive in the current digital market. This can include tokenization, encryption and multi-factor authentication. Also make sure that any passwords used cannot be hacked easily. While you might take every step to secure store data, if there is a hackable entry point with access to all this data, this can be a real threat.

Cybersecurity Laws & Protocols

Due to data security breaches at high-profile corporations like Facebook, UBER and banks, laws and protocols are ever-evolving. This, in turn, will mean that any software you might use to help encrypt the data will be updated and you might need to update the method in which customer data is collected. This is especially vital to stay on top of if your business operates in multiple markets, because national and international cybersecurity laws will differ. Larger international corporations are often recommended to seek advice from a legal team, such as Goodwin, to ensure no data breaches occur in regions in which the company operates. Smaller entities and companies will be able to get advice from reputable cybersecurity and software companies, like Cisco.

Learn From Past Mistakes

Since the start of 2018, a variety of high-profile data breaches have occurred. Learn from their mistakes and make sure your own data protection protocols are up-to-date. Up to 100,000 customers from Sears have had their credit card details stolen after a serious breach at the tech company was identified. Kmart and Delta Airlines were affected by the same security breach. Software service provider [24] was unable to keep payment details secure for a variety of accounts. Luckily for Delta customers, passport details were kept safe so no identity theft and fraud could be committed with these details. MyFitnessPal, a popular app used as a food diary and to track exercise, was breached which likely impacted over 150 million of its user. Parent company Under Armour admitted the breach earlier this year. Forever21 admitted to a flaw in the cashier terminals, exposing payment information for a host of shoppers. As you can see, even the bigger corporations can struggle to keep their customer’s information secure. Stay ahead of the game and keep up-to-date with the latest developments in data security.