Though computer technology is a dominant force in modern life, it’s actually not that old. Just look at all the major industries that have only recently (like in the last ten years or so) gotten around to offering their customers online services such as the ability to make appointments or check on the status of an order.
One reason so many of these companies were reluctant to go online in the first place is that they have/had very legitimate concerns about the safety of their data. Those concerns go hand in hand with the ever rising costs of keeping electronically stored personally identifiable information in a secure manner that’s impervious to hackers.
Business owners are also concerned about complying with State and Federal standards designed to protect sensitive data such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These standards can be incredibly complicated are simply more than some business owners care to deal with.
That said, you’ll need to get that data online eventually. Here are a few thoughts on keeping that information safe once it’s up.
Yes, Someone Wants Your Data
There is an incredible amount of information about all of us online in some form or another, whether we realize it or not. Most of that information is stored in small parcels that may be as simple as the log in for a forgotten video store account, or information about online purchases made years ago.
Most of us look at these bits and pieces and fail to see a cohesive narrative. Hackers, and other online criminals, see this data as the keys to your entire identity. They usually only need one or two pieces of your data puzzle in order to access your most sensitive medical and financial data.
In this environment, it’s important for business owners to realize that every piece of personal information is valuable, and worthy of serious protection.
Long Haul Data Protection
Whether you’re installing a simple firewall or designing a truly complex security system, you’re going to have to consider how it’s going to work over the long haul. The simple fact of the matter is that no security system is going to protect 100% of your data, 100% of the time.
That said, you should be able to come up with a system that’s based on tried and true principles that will be difficult enough to break that only the most dedicated hackers will be going after it. If you’re not 100% certain of your own abilities to build such a system, we strongly encourage you to hire a consultant.
There are plenty of great data security consultants out there who can do anything from building you a robust firewall to providing a basic HIPAA assessment to evaluate compliance issues.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve done a security evaluation, we strongly urge you to get with the program as quickly as you possibly can. For all you know, your data has already been seriously compromised by hackers who may possible have already broken into your network.