In this digital age, we all need to have boundaries when it comes to our data. But if you own or manage a business, those boundaries are even more important. Putting the right policies and practices in place can help protect your business and customers from having sensitive information accessed by online criminals. Even with these safeguards, however, a data breach can still impact your business. So, how can you be prepared? By keeping these fraud prevention tips in mind when gathering and using data and information.
Know How SOX Laws Impact Your Business
Many businesses may look to data purges in order to protect sensitive information. Before you hit delete, you should be aware of SOX compliance rules and how these regulations will affect the way your business manages information. These 2002 policies stipulate that businesses must retain electronic records and communications, among other files, for at least five years. These rules apply to publicly-traded companies and corporations, but it’s always crucial for business owners to stay abreast of changes in public policy. If your business is governed by SOX regulations, a compliance audit could be in your future, so be sure you are prepared to weather the storm with minimal stress and headache.
Adhere to State Laws When Notifying Customers
If you operate a smaller business, SOX laws may not apply to you and your data. Businesses of all sizes, however, are subject to state laws when it comes to cluing customers into breaches. If your business experiences a data breach or fraudulent activity, it may be a good time to consult with an attorney about what the laws are in your state. Regardless of the legal ramifications, your communication style with customers in these moments are crucial for your business. This a time for honesty and humility, and maybe even a little old-fashioned letter-writing. Written notifications and apologies tend to have more of an impact with customers than a quick email. Just be sincere, and be sure that you have your clients’ correct addresses on file.
Address Sources of Data Breaches and Insecurities
Cybercriminals are always looking for opportunities to take advantage of your business. But many instances of fraud and data loss occur as a result of employee behaviors, not malicious online criminals. Staff members may leave your business vulnerable without even knowing by not following internet- and email-safety rules. Disgruntled or angry employees may even intentionally sabotage your business’s data and operations. Your first line of defense is a secure infrastructure, but monitoring internet activity may be necessary as well. Some may see this as spying on your employees, but you have to be objective when it comes to protecting your business from fraud, criminal activity and data security issues.
Keep Your Information Secure from Future Incidents
Even with the most sincere letters, you are bound to lose a few customers in the event of a data breach. The best you can do is prevent further losses by preventing fraud and breaches from happening again. Know where your information is being stored and transmitted at all times, and put the proper security measures in place to protect every single one. That can mean investing in updated antivirus software or a more robust server. Your cybersecurity policies and training needs to be spot on as well to prevent your employees from straying from your best practices and causing data breaches that could sink your business.
Fraud and data breaches can happen to even the most established businesses, but you can at least be proactive in your attempts to prevent them. If, despite your best efforts, your business does fall prey to a breach, just know that it’s the responses that can either make or break a business’s future success, so make sure you have the resources you need to fight fraud before you need them. Make sure that your employees are invested in helping you protect your business. But most of all, make sure that if and when fraud does happen, it does not have the power to bring down your business.