The changes made in business during the past twenty years have been significant to say the least. The birth of the internet, with its increased efficiency and altered workforce has greatly changed the security requirements for business, and client, safety. Something as simple as client data protection was taken for granted when all records existed on paper. But the accessibility of cloud digital storage has put a very different face on the game.
In the past, it would be simple for a company to utilize physical locks and security measures, maybe even investing in a security guard for the protection of themselves and their clients. Today’s security measures must be increasingly complex in order to prevent criminals from breaching the system. Included here are a few reasons data protection is critical, as well as means for implementation.
Personal Information Stored Digitally
Can you imagine what would happen if Google somehow had to keep paper records of all of their data? There are likely not enough trees on the planet to support that kind of documentation. For this reason, Google is a company that exists solely on the capabilities of this digital age. Without cloud storage and digital devices, it would be impossible for them to manage the amount of information they utilize.
In addition to Google, millions of other companies have come to realize the indispensability of digital storage. While this can be great for their bottom line, it can leave millions of customers’ information vulnerable. The amount of sensitive information utilized and stored by companies is enough to make your head spin, and security measures must be implemented.
While many websites claim that their data transfer systems are incredibly safe, they are failing to take into account the area most prone to hackers. Data that is in the process of being transferred, or wired, is not typically vulnerable to hackers. Websites take great care in preserving the transfer of your information to them via encryption.
The problem lies in the fact that many companies fail to accurately protect the information they have already received. How safe are your data storage servers? Without encrypting this information properly and making sure your systems are up-to-date, you are putting your company and countless clients at risk.
Client Information Sells
In recent years, the risk of data breaches has risen astronomically. Hackers are some of the most savvy internet users out there, and they are using their talent to make millions. You may be surprised to know that your personal data is worth a great deal of money on the black market and many identity thieves will pay to get it.
While all of this information can be scary for companies, they must realize they are held responsible for every piece of customer information they store. From physical addresses and birth dates, to credit card numbers and personal health, the company must be protecting the client’s sensitive information.
Companies Will Pay
In spite of the general moral concern a company should hold regarding personal information, many companies do not take data protection seriously enough. If client safety is not important to them, they must also be concerned about their own personal protection. Aside from business secrets getting out, the company will be held financially responsible to identity theft damages to their clientele.
For instance, any of your consumers who experience a data breach through your system, will be able to file a lawsuit against you. These lawsuits can cost you millions of dollars and easily bankrupt your company, whether or not the client suffered financial loss from the breach. Without protection, many small businesses cannot weather a data breach lawsuit and stay afloat.
Giant companies, like Sony, are able to come back from data breaches, but not without significant damage to their reputation and financial health. In 2014, Sony experienced a massive breach of security amid political fire from Korea regarding the controversial film “The Interview.” Employee salaries and emails were released, as well as identity information sold on the black market. Sony ended up paying out $8 million to settle these claims, a remarkably small amount considering the size of the breach and company.