Feb 11, 2021
3 Easy Ways to Safeguard Your Small Business Data
Julissa Merius

Imagine:

- You are Walgreens.

- It is 2017.

- You have finally designed a mobile app that’s modern hip and cool.

- Best of all, your customers love it.

- It’s an absolute hit.

Fast Forward to:

It's the middle of a pandemic, the same app suffers from a data breach that compromises over 50 million individuals private data and you are hit with a class action suit.

Or imagine, you are the CEO of the Marriott and you have taken all the necessary steps to create an app that’s easy to use. Then fast forward to, it's current day and your data breach is splashed all over the news. but the GREAT news is...

If you take the proper steps to safeguard your small business data this will probably never happen to you. Want to learn more about how to protect yourself in a world that is heavily reliant on data and technology? Keep reading.

1. Beef Up Security

Security is not just important for the front of your store, it is important for the data involved with running your business. To both the small business owner who keeps physical records and those who have made the jump to digitizing, security sometimes comes as an afterthought. To most business owners, security is simple. Keep your records under lock and key or whatever you do, don’t share the password.

In 2021, that's not enough but there are simple steps you can take to make sure private information stays that way, private.


•Require multi-factor authentication
• Prohibit credential-sharing among employees
•Backup your Data
•Only use software you trust.
•Audit Frequently

2. Set High Standards

There should be a high standard when it comes to data security at your place of business. The Sarbanes Oxley Act  is the compliance standard for retaining and sharing business records among major corporations.  As a small business you’re not required to follow these heavy requirements, however, it is a good idea to try. In fact, there is no reason why your business shouldn’t be coming at least close to these standards:


Here’s a Quick Snapshot

•Using Encrypted Files to store Data

•Using Removable Storage Drives

•Keeping diligent digital Standards

•Auditing Frequently

*If you are completely lost because your business still stores things on paper and pen, then you have a long way to go to be future-ready compliant.

3. Keep up with Data Privacy Laws

The California Consumer Privacy Act  is the biggest indication that times are changing. This new legislation comes as win to consumers as a law that requires business owners to be transparent about their data that is collected. On one end, you have to secure your business's collected data and on the other hand business have to now be more transparent with what data is collected.

A crash course on the differences between data security and data privacy is:

Data Security is comprised of the policies and processes that dictate how your business collects, shares, and uses data.
Data Privacy is about the privacy surrounding data gathered by a business about their consumers. Both are important in protecting your business.

The problem is: things in the Data Privacy world are constantly evolving. That is why it is important to keep up with it.

Recently. Virginia adopted legislation close to The California Consumer Privacy Act and many other states are considering following suit. The problem is, many big tech companies oppose this move because they see it as another thing requiring diligent regulation and compliance.

To thicken the plot:

Lawmakers are currently torn on just exactly how much data can be used to promote / market a business and the new Biden administration is slated to focus on a new federal data legislation addressing these concerns.

The biggest takeaway is:

When it comes to data regulation, nothing is yet set in stone. That means it is up to the diligent small business owner to keep up with the forthcoming new policies.

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Remember:

Protecting your business is not an afterthought. It is something all small business owners passionate about innovation should invest time in. It is not enough to just implement technology as a way to keep up with the trends, the second step is making sure that the proper safeguards are in place. You want to earn your customers trust as a business that knows how to innovate while being safe.

Repeat after me:


I am not Walgreens. I am not Marriot

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