In the past, we have offered lots of good advice on ways you can keep your data safe on your own servers and website. However, there was always the risk that sensitive information – including your company’s financial data – could be exposed through a vendor.
Whether it’s just bad luck or a situation where a company or supplier you work with isn’t as careful as they should be, you could have big problems if someone else is able to access email, website, or even offline records. You don’t have to use very much of your imagination to consider this possibility; you probably read about data breaches every week.
With that possibility in mind, let’s look at some simple steps you can take to protect yourself if you are notified that a business you work with may have had their information compromised.
Don’t Panic About a Data Breach
As always, an important first step is to keep your calm. You don’t want to ignore news about a data breach (a common mistake), but you shouldn’t start taking drastic steps, either. Instead, see if you can figure out what kind of information was taken and what the immediate consequences might look like.
Change Passwords as Needed
The easiest and most common way to stop someone else’s data security problem from becoming your own is to simply change your password and login credentials. Also, ensure that you aren’t using the same login and/or password combinations for multiple websites or vendors. That way, thieves can’t use what they’ve stolen to get data that wasn’t already online.
Keep Your Protection Software Up to Date
The good thing about a vendor data breach is that it alerts you to impending danger. So take any news of this kind as a sign that it’s time to update your virus protection, firewall, and networking packages. Often, cyber theft is committed through known exploits in outdated applications. You’ll be a much tougher target if all your software and firmware tools are running the latest versions.
Watch Your Analytics Closely
Sometimes criminals leave small clues (like hundreds of failed login attempts on your server) when they are trying to steal data. By watching your analytics, or having your IT team do so on your behalf, you may be able to identify concerns before they turn into real problems. That’s much better than the alternative.
Consider Taking Precautionary Financial Steps
You don’t want to find out about a data breach by looking at your bank statements. So if you are worried that sensitive information about your bank accounts, credit card numbers, etc., has been exposed, then it might be a good idea to make bigger changes. For instance, you might alert your bank and order new debit cards. That’s a minor inconvenience in an afternoon, but it can save you tens of thousands of dollars later.
Is Your Business Protected From the Unknown?
How confident are you that you’re protected from the next inevitable data breach that’s coming your way? If you aren’t so sure your data and financial information are safe, it might be time to get some help from an expert IT vendor who can assist you with monitoring, security, and backups.
Contact the affordable outsourced managed services team at Fantastic IT in Los Angeles today. We will be happy to review your technology and procedures with you to ensure your data is kept as safe as possible.