You could lose £500,000 if you are careless with your customers data.
The government has lost a LOT of personal data, we have all heard about the CD’s that went missing with 1000’s of records on them, but what about your database of clients? Is it secured? How much distress would it cause your customers if their details were to be ‘lost’ from your system.
Until recently the Information Commissioner was restricted to serving notices to companies that violated the Data Protection Act, but their powers have been increased. Their new powers mean that if you have a serious data breach that causes your customers “damage or distress” you could be looking at half a million pounds – gone! Would even a fraction of that fine put you or your company at risk?
You may get away with a fine, but prison is also possible.
If you couple this with the fact that more and more employees are using their employers network for illegal file sharing (according to research from ScanSafe) which puts the company at risk from malware as well as having illegal content which could have your internet connection shut down, SME’s are at risk.
Malware can access and distribute your customer details, putting them on spam lists and misusing their information. It is not possible to get an email address removed from spam lists.
5 point check list
Here at KTS Computers Ltd we don’t like SME’s to suffer, so below is a 5 point check list to help you to keep your clients data safe:
- Ensure all computers have up to date and working internet security package
- Do NOT allow your employees to connect any of their personal devices (laptop, iphone, netbook) to the company network without authorisation and certainly not without malware protection
- Check your clients financial data (e.g. Act!, Sage) is not available to unauthorised logins (some companies have been known to allow full administrator access to all employees so they can access all financial data)
- Have a configured hardware firewall (Windows firewall is not adequate!)
- Do NOT store data on CD’s or flash drives etc which is accessible without a password, and preferably they should be encrypted as well.
- Ensure your wireless connection is password protected.
I know I said a five point plan but we always like to give a bit extra!
There is more you can do but these are the main points. If you are not sure you are doing all the above then contact KTS Computers Ltd on 01480 469019 or on http://www.twitter.com/ask_ken and we will discuss options with you.