Taking the stance that the data owned by a business is unlikely to be exposed to a cyberattack could be one of the most significant decisions ever made for an organisation.
Keep reading as we share more about data protection and answer the question on every business owner’s lips, ‘why is data protection important to a business?’.
Why is data protection necessary?
Installing data protection systems to protect digital assets from theft, accidental loss, and corruption is as vital for sole traders and small businesses as it is for large corporations for the following reasons:
- Maintain credibility
- Avoid downtime due to data breaches
- Protect the business against legal action if sensitive information leaks
- Ensure data is safely secured against malicious attacks.
We’re all familiar with identity theft and phishing scams and it is the responsibility of the business owner to protect employees and customers from these cyberattacks. With ongoing media exposure continually highlighting the havoc threats to data can cause, the public is increasingly aware of the importance of online privacy and demands sophisticated data security assurances for the businesses they choose to deal with.
Data protection requirements for businesses
According to business.gov.au, businesses with a turnover in excess of $3 million are required to have data security systems and must comply with the Privacy Act of 1988. If your company has a turnover of less than $3 million per annum, compliance with the Privacy Act may still be required, depending on the business type.
Customers have a legal and ethical right to have personal information such as name, email address, telephone number, home address, medical information and bank/credit card details securely stored. Businesses that do not have the appropriate privacy protection systems in place could face significant fines reaching into the millions.
People are becoming more aware of their rights regarding the collection, use, analysis and sharing of their personal data, particularly younger people. This is due to rights advocacy groups educating younger people on privacy protection.
What can happen if data protection is breached?
Besides having the potential to ruin a business’ reputation, data breaches can cause a significant loss of customer confidence sending the business’s reputation into decline.
The financial impact must also be addressed as customers affected by any kind of breach may request compensation for data that has the potential to be misused.
Once data protection is breached, it may be necessary to install new data security systems, cover any legal fees involved for data security breaches and pay for a forensic investigation into how the breach occurred in the first place.
In addition, a business may incur penalties from regulatory bodies if it is proven that it did not comply with the requirements laid down for data security.
How do businesses protect customer data?
Data security starts with establishing clear business policies regarding the management of sensitive data.
Employees then need to be trained and given regular update sessions on data protection management and earn the steps they need to take if a cybersecurity threat or breach occurs.
Unfortunately, data protection isn’t something you do once and forget about. Training staff on what to look for as new threats emerge is a significant element of data protection because cyber criminals and their systems are continually evolving and finding new ways to subvert systems.
Data encryption is an essential step in data protection to ensure that files are rendered unreadable to anyone without the correct key to unlock the encrypted files. Files should be read-only, so they cannot be altered by someone with malicious intent, either within or outside the company.
Finally, data monitoring and reporting ensure that systems are tested regularly to assess whether any data is at risk. Reports on the risk assessment are sent to company officials, who can then determine what action needs to be taken to rectify the situation.
How to protect business data
You can expedite business security and privacy by employing the services of a data protection company that will assess the data security risks and provide your company with the most suitable software and data protection systems.
Buzz-A-Geek will ensure your business is compliant with the requirements of regulatory bodies concerning data security while monitoring data security so that loopholes can be closed before breaches occur.
Data protection should form part of a company’s ethics. Rather than a box to be ticked to achieve compliance, innovative technology now incorporates data protection as a matter of course.
Regardless of the size of the business, a data protection strategy must be in place to protect you, your clients and the future of your organisation.
To ensure your business is up to date with the latest data protection systems and is compliant with data security regulations then give the friendly Buzz-A-Geek team a call today for a free, no-obligation data protection consultation.