When it comes to data security, any business accessing the internet is at risk. In our previous post, we analyzed the increasing frequency of data breeches, which cause your agency’s records to be vulnerable. In this world of high cyber risks, it’s important to identify these risks and prepare your agency to fight against them.
The largest threats to your agency’s data and cyber security are:
1. Viruses infecting your computer system and destroying data
2. Hackers accessing your systems and stealing personal records
3. Employee negligence such as leaving systems open or losing laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices
Many are surprised to see employees listed as one of your agency’s threats, but most data breeches in small to mid-sized businesses are a result of employee negligence. In order to protect your agency from all the above threats, you need to take preventative measures.
Create checklists, guidelines, and regulations for employees: This includes insisting on passwords for all devices accessing your system. Don’t allow employees to download personal data without encrypting files, and limit who is allowed to download. Have all emails containing sensitive data encrypted as well. Finally, discourage staff from accessing your agency’s system on public WiFi as this increases vulnerability to hacking.
Invest in secure backups: Ensure all your agency’s data is protected by backing up your system frequently, and storing it at an off-site location. It’s best to have an outside vendor, ideally your agency management system provider, store your data as they’ll have the infrastructure and heightened security needed to keep such a large amount of personal information safe.
Purchase cyber insurance: Although cyber liability insurance is nothing new, not many small to mid-sized businesses have invested in this important coverage. Cyber insurance helps keep your agency protected should a data breech occur. Among other things it will provide funds for the notification and reparations mandated by the federal government, should data be compromised.
Your agency’s data is most vulnerable through your agency management system, making it your number one priority for data security. We at SIS know the importance of keeping your management system secure, which is why we partner with the likes of RPost and Expedient Data Services, to keep you and your agency protected. Find out more about SIS and our mission to serve your agency here or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today.