Hackers often have unwitting accomplices in the companies they target. The problem occurs when employees fail to follow security rules, making cyber-criminals jobs much easier. Although employees may not mean to expose the company’s information, their lack of discretion can spell big trouble for small businesses. Compliance, an important aspect of data loss prevention, can help you avoid the following problems.
Stolen Credit Card Information
A credit card breach can cause big headaches for your company. In addition to fielding complaints from angry customers, you’ll also have to deal with unwanted media attention and possibly dwindling profits due to trust issues. When hackers obtained credit card information for 40,000 Target customers in 2013, fourth-quarter profits dropped by nearly half when compared to the previous year.
Lawsuits often follow data breaches. Unless your company has deep pockets, it may be difficult to absorb the costs of customer payments, fines, increased insurance rates and attorney fees. Companies often offer free credit monitoring for a year to all affected customers, which drives up the cost of your response to the breach.
Loss of Sales
When your system is comprised, you may not be able access customer data you need to prepare bids or contracts, which may mean the loss of a potential new customer. Breaches can also affect your ability to attract and keep customers. New customers, in particular, will probably do a quick online search before they decide to do business with you. If they find disturbing news articles about successful hacking attempts, they may just decide that your company isn’t the best choice for them.
Exposure of Sensitive Company Information
Once hackers crack your systems, there’s no telling what they’ll do with the information they find. They’ll have information that could help your competitors, derail your plans for expansion or even ruin your reputation, in some cases.
How You Can Improve Compliance
Data loss prevention starts with a detailed policy that clearly explains the actions employees must take to protect sensitive information. Unfortunately, if the rules are lengthy, it won’t be easy for your staff to remember which policy applies to which circumstance.
Software that makes the process easier, like Office 365’s DLP Policy Tips, can effortlessly increase compliance. When one of your staff members attempts to send an email that contains information that violates company policies, they’ll see a pop-up that explains the applicable policy. Depending on the rules you configure, employees may be prevented from sending the email or may have the option to override the warning.
Office 365 features DLP policy templates to make the process easier, although you can always use custom data loss prevention templates, if you prefer. You’ll also receive reports that categorize incidents and note their frequency. If you notice that employees seem to struggle with a particular rule, you can schedule a refresher training session to clarify compliance requirements.
SOHO Solutions can help you find the perfect data loss prevention solution for your business. We’ll take the time to learn about your company’s mission, customers and goals and create a robust system that increases compliance and decreases risk. Contact us today to learn how we can help you boost your compliance rate.