Data security is a topic that we’ve all heard a lot over the past couple of years with the impact of GDPR that came into force May 2018. Despite all of the talk, there are still many companies, big and small, that are not compliant with the new laws. Many may face the consequences of hefty fines in the future if vulnerabilities are not addressed. However, research suggests that over 75% of organisations are still struggling with understanding and complying with GDPR(1).
But the question is - why is it so difficult to get our heads around?
Data is an extremely valuable asset today, with many believing it’s replacing oil as the world's most valuable resource. It seems obvious that we need to protect data, especially that pertaining to clients. It’s very important to do the research into the steps required to ensure sensitive data is protected from any potential attacks.
One industry that is highly targeted by data attacks is financial services. Whether accounting, insurance or commercial banking, the sensitive data and client information these organisations hold are in high demand by hackers. An astonishing 35% of all data breaches have come from the financial industry therefore suggesting they are most vulnerable to attacks(2). For this reason, financial service firms need to take actions to ensure greater vigilance with data security for clients.
After doing research into the topic, and with the help of Forbes(2) and Medium(3), our Clinked team has compiled the below top tips on what organisations can do to keep client data secure. These are in addition to the steps individuals can do to reduce their personal account risks, such as maintaining strong passwords for different systems and platforms, maintaining passwords in a secure manner, and investing in antivirus software.
Below are our Clinked team suggestions for actions to take as an organisation:
1. Always Be Prepared. A common mistake usually made by smaller businesses is assuming that they won’t be targeted, however almost half of all cyber attacks are in fact targeted at small businesses due to naivety making them vulnerable. It’s always best to be cautious when it comes to your cyber security - this means having internal policies and procedures on how to carry out investigations of reported breaches, as well as an emergency response plan in case an attack hits.
2. Train Your Staff. Your employees should be trained and then regularly refreshed on the dangers and threats of the different types of attacks and how to identify them through phishing emails and other similar scams.
3. Host Your Servers Privately. This makes it a lot more difficult for any outside users to access your information, also allows you to keep track of exactly who has access to the information stored on your servers, either on-premise or cloud.
4. Test, Test, Test. Above all it’s essential that you are carrying out regular tests on all of the measures put in place to check for any vulnerabilities, you can install software that will run daily virus and malware scans on your device. It's also a good idea to have cyber security experts come in and examine your setup.
Looking for a simpler solution? A client portal software solution is a solid way of ensuring client data is kept in a safe, secure environment. A two-communication client portal, such as Clinked, helps companies across industries, particularly in the financial services, offer a white-labelled branded experience with high level security offered by the platform.
Does the idea of providing your portfolio of clients access to their data and your collaborative work that has easy to manage login and permissioning sound like a good fit? Give Clinked a try for a 10-day free trial or discuss the possibilities with our team by booking a demo. For those that require an extra level of security, we also offer private cloud options.