Running a business comes with risks, such as financial and operational risks that can dry up cash flow and mar company reputation. However, business owners may overlook this lesser-known threat that can cause just as much company damage.
Privacy risks are factors that can expose company or client information, resulting in a breach of trust, possible litigation, and multiple headaches. With more workforces migrating to online platforms because of the pandemic, the threat to privacy is more imminent than ever. In a highly interconnected world where almost every step of the workflow involves accessing and sharing information via online systems, the following privacy risks must be taken seriously:
Business and customer information are invaluable assets that can be used to commit fraudulent transactions, so cybercriminals actively target organizations to get a hold of them. In 2019 alone, the U.S. suffered 1,473 data breaches that compromised over 164.68 million sensitive records.
So if you’re a business owner, beef up your cyber defenses by partnering with a business technology specialist like SpectrumWise. We provide seven layers of cybersecurity that will keep your network, systems, and data safe round the clock.
2. Accidental sharing of information
Not all privacy breaches are caused by cybercriminals — a whopping 24% of data breaches are actually attributed to human error. Your staff handles data day in and day out, and if they’re not careful, they may accidentally share, misplace, or mishandle sensitive data.
Examples of accidental data exposure include sending or sharing files to an unauthorized user, posting sensitive information on social media, or unknowingly leaking data by connecting to unsecured networks. And with workforces shifting to remote working arrangements, cybersecurity infrastructure, defined IT protocols, and employee awareness training have never been more pressing.
3. Bad password habits
Strong passwords can protect data from unauthorized access, modification, or deletion. Unfortunately, employees tend to go for easy-to-memorize passwords that can be cracked by brute force attacks in seconds. It doesn’t help that some staff use the same password for multiple accounts, increasing privacy risks.
To ensure security, follow these password best practices:
- Never share your passwords with anyone.
- Have unique passwords for all your accounts. No two or more accounts should share the same password.
- Use a password manager to store all your passwords securely. This removes the burden of having to memorize a dozen or more passwords since you only have to remember one master password.
- Include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters to make passwords harder to guess.
- Implement multifactor authentication (MFA), which adds one or two more user identity verification steps on top of passwords.
For better account security: Password mistakes you should stop doing immediately
4. Uncontrolled access
Excessive permission can lead to unauthorized access, such as employees outside of the finance department accidentally viewing payroll records. This is why you need to implement the principle of least privilege, an approach to access management where employees only have access to the apps and tools that they need to get their work done.
By limiting everyone’s permissions to files, apps, or settings, you can control the information they can access, share, or modify. It also limits a hacker’s access in case they’re able to get their hands on an employee’s login credentials.
5. Underequipped or nonexistent IT departments
Without an experienced team of IT experts who can set up and implement cybersecurity defenses, your business is more vulnerable to internal and external privacy breaches. And even if you have a tech department, your employees have limitations: they can’t watch over your systems 24/7, and they can’t possibly know the solution to every IT problem, especially novel ones. What’s more, if your IT department is spread thin, it’s easy for something to slip past them.
Outsourcing IT management to a team of tech professionals with a wide range of expertise ensures that your business information is protected at all times. Meanwhile, shifting to a co-managed IT services model can deload your team of systems monitoring, cyber incident mitigation, and other cybersecurity tasks so they can focus on their core responsibilities.
With a managed IT services provider like SpectrumWise by your side, you can rest assured that your privacy is in good hands. Our team of dedicated IT experts will protect your business data, network, and systems with efficient, customized IT solutions. Contact us today.