Customer Data Protection – Are you protecting client data?

Published: 28 January 2022
Published: 28 January 2022

The world is becoming more data-driven, placing greater importance on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). With data breaches on the rise in the UK, our IT experts have put together a list of some of the ways your business can ensure client data is best protected.

As people’s lives continue to move online, this has presented more data privacy challenges than most businesses anticipated. The majority of companies hold some form of personal data, whether it be customer contact details or HR information about staff.

The Data Protection Act 2018 controls and regulates how businesses use and store their clients’ personal data, and you could be fined or even named and shamed if your company do not comply with GDPR guidelines.

Whilst GDPR compliance won’t prevent potential data breaches, it does mean you’re better equipped to protect your customers, and respond and react appropriately in a worst-case scenario.

Even now, some businesses aren’t storing customer data correctly, with outdated spreadsheets full of personal data and ineffective methods of data storage among the main culprits.

Below, we’ve rounded up our top easy fixes to make sure you’re doing the best you can to protect your client data.

Prepare for the worst: backup your data using Cloud solutions

If a data crisis was to occur, how quickly do you think your business would be able to recover?

The ability to have immediate access to critical data in the event of a data loss or failure is vital, so the most important thing to do is identify what you need to backup – which is the data you couldn’t operate without.

Your backup data should be kept separately from primary servers and data stores, meaning flexible Cloud solutions are a good option when it comes to keeping your data secure. With the Cloud, you can decide what you want backed up – such as your whole computer system or just specific files/applications – as well as how often. If you were to experience a loss of data, you would be able to pick up where you left off with the Cloud.

It’s also important to regularly test your backups to make sure they work – as you would a smoke alarm – in the event you need to use them!

Don’t store data for longer than necessary

It’s good practice to implement a regular process for cleansing data to make sure you don’t have old, irrelevant data lying around.

As well as protecting client data, regular data cleanses can make your life easier as you’ll be able to find what you need more quickly, which will allow you to have a better overall understanding of where your data is coming from and what it is intended to do, whilst removing any inevitable errors and inconsistencies.

Minimise data use through conditional access

Conditional access allows you to control which devices and users have access to certain applications and data sources.

You can set conditional access policies at a device-specific level, such as a policy that means only enrolled computers or mobile devices can access your resources. You can also block access when a user isn’t on a trusted network.

Multi-Factor Authentication can also help to protect access to data. Multi-Factor Authentication requires a secondary method of authentication to allow the user access to your systems, meaning that even if a user’s password is compromised, there is an added layer of protection.

Password management

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – having a secure password is crucial to protecting your data! Remember:

  • Don’t use the same password everywhere, create a unique and hard-to-guess password for each of your accounts
  • Don’t use information that is easy-to-find, such as your date of birth
  • When it comes to passwords, the longer the better – a combination of 3 or 4 random words, along with digits and special characters, is a good idea
  • A password manager is a useful tool that can help you to manage all your digital passwords in one place

Protect data with encryption

Data encryption can enhance your security measures and help maintain the confidentiality of sensitive data. This can be achieved by translating and encrypting data from text to hashed code in such a way that it can only be decrypted with a special key. Once this has been completed, only authorised users with the key can access it.

Encryption is very effective and also ensures your data is secure whilst being transferred to cloud systems, for example, even if it is transferred through an unsecured network.

How Infuse can help

At Infuse, we take the time to evaluate your existing tech environment and put together a strategic plan to alleviate any potential risks and assure GDPR compliance for your business.

For further advice on how your business can best protect your client data, contact our team of IT specialists today. We provide a range of effective IT solutions that you can easily implement to ensure data is being stored correctly.

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Talk through your IT needs with one of our friendly technicians – no commitment, no cost!

Complete our contact form and one of our experts will be in touch, or call our team on 01332 374444.

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