Mind the hackers: Tips to maximise the security of your user data.

By Angelina Liparteliani, Marketing Assistant for PixelPin Ltd

Source: Pixabay

As we discovered in our article last week, today’s users are likely to ignore the security of their online data and rely on the service provider for security. However, in light of massive cyber-attack scandals, such as the data breach on Ashley Madison, the issue about user data protection has become especially acute.

In order to deal with this problem, policymakers have developed new information protection regulations, the latest being the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Enforced from May 25th 2018, the GDPR exists to synchronise data privacy laws across Europe and to protect information about individuals by making companies review their privacy policies. However, such new regulations have created some problems for marketing specialists whose advertising strategies are directly dependant on customer data and analysis of this data, which helps to better understand the customer’s needs and how to meet them.

Therefore, compromise should come into being and in exchange of customer data, companies should make sure they apply their best sources to protect it.

Here are some things that you can do to help increase data security:

1) Firstly, it is important to ensure your client what data you collect from them and how you use it. This will increase the willingness of your customers to share information about them with you. Companies that misinform their customers about data they use and how they use it risk getting into brand image and legal problems. HMi

2) Do not delay the updating of your software until “quieter” periods because it can increase the chances to be attacked by hackers, who are in a constant search to find new hacking solutions to access and leak your data.

3) Encrypt your customer data. This will help to protect the customer information by encoding it to make it unreadable for hacker and for insider access.

4) With data breaches, they affect companies’ reputation every day so it is a good security solution to separate the collection of information that you need (names, emails) and information you do not need, for example stored credit cards. To avoid issues associated with the hacking of your customers’ credit card details, it is helpful to build a framework and let a third party verify your customers’ cards information.

5) Constantly train your employees to make them more familiar with data protection policies and risks that might affect the security of the data that you store. The staff of any company should be educated on how to minimize the possibility of your data get into the “wrong hands”.

6) Test the weaknesses of your site to identify the vulnerabilities that are not protected by your current security sources.

7) Get ready for the worst. You should create a recovery plan in case of a disaster which should include instructions for tackling a cyber-attack. It is necessary to have a plan for recovery so that if an attack does happen, you can handle it with speed and confidence- with a detailed plan ready, daily business can continue as normal with minimal distractions.

8) Ensure that your website offer two-factor authentication and its users and employees set strong passwords. (The password must have a capital letter, numbers, symbols),

9) Make sure you are using security computing devices such as Hardware Security Modules, that manage digital keys for secure authentication.

Cyber-attacks happen every day, no matter whether you are a big or small company- everyone is at risk. However, you have the power to minimize this risk by following simple rules. Forewarned is forearmed.