Cyber coverage: Keep your customers’ information safe

Posted in Business

Protecting your customer data is about more than a business’s legal responsibility, it’s about keeping your customers’ trust.

According to a Ponemon Institute study, 57% of consumers who received a breach notification letter from a business said they lost trust and confidence in that business, while 31% ended their relationship.1

Few businesses and organizations can afford that kind of damage to their brand or their customer base. So don’t wait for the worst to happen. Take action now by following a few simple steps that can help you limit the risk of a data breach and losing valuable customer information—and help you keep your customers’ trust.

1. Use a dedicated server.
Yes, it’s more expensive, but using a dedicated server greatly reduces your exposure to hackers as compared to a shared server.

2. Encrypt data.
Any file that’s not encrypted is at risk—especially if it’s sent over the internet.

3. Utilize a website malware monitoring service.
If your website gets hacked, you might not even know it until it's too late. Malware monitors will protect your website and visitors and notify you if your site has been compromised.

4. Restrict access to personal information.
Limiting access to customer information to only those in your company who “need-to-know” should be part of your records management policy. Keep sensitive files—paper and electronic—in a centralized location. For employees working remotely, make sure their laptops can only access files through a secure VPN.

5. Shred your paper documents and use a wiping program for hardware.
Businesses are required to properly dispose of customer and employee information. Shred, burn or pulverize physical documents. On computer hardware, use a wiping program to erase all appropriate data.

6. Create a data breach plan.
Reacting quickly can help minimize the damage from a breach—and to do that you must be prepared. Develop a plan that can help you isolate the issue, notify customers and work with a cyber security expert.2

And in case of a data breach, make sure your business is protected ahead of time by cyber insurance coverage. Speak with an independent insurance agent to determine the right coverage for your business. Your agent will review your exposure, different coverage options and make the best policy recommendation for you.

Please contact a local independent Grange agent for complete details on coverages and discounts.

1 – Firstdata.com
2 – Quickbooks.intuit.com


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