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5 Tips for Safeguarding Customer Data

Follow these steps to ensure safe data practices and to foster customer trust

Most small businesses, even those without an e-commerce website, collect some form of personal data from customers over the Internet. Small banks, individual insurance agencies, non-profit organizations, doctors’ offices, and even elementary schools provide forms for people to submit online—including addresses, Social Security numbers, credit card data, phone numbers, and the names of family members. We all trust that these organizations will prevent our sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. In fact, if your small business accepts customer data over the Internet, you’re responsible for protecting it from the moment a customer hits ”send,” while it’s archived on your network, and until you delete it.

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Technology Roundup: Security

These resources can help you secure your network and protect company data

Every small business knows that the only constant you can count on is change. Your business processes change, your network changes, and even the Internet changes. Each of these can make your company vulnerable and expose you to online threats. You need to make sure your security measures are keeping pace. This includes everything from battening down your network hatches to educating employees on how to safely browse the web to knowing how to securely use free Wi-Fi hotspots.

In this latest installment of our Technology Roundup series, we provide extensive resources to help you secure your network and protect valuable company information.

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Staying One Step Ahead of Security Vulnerabilities

Keeping up-to-date on new threats and software updates is critical to maintaining a secure network

You’ve installed a firewall and intrusion prevention system (IPS) to secure the perimeter of your small business network. You’ve configured your protection measures to filter dangerous traffic, secure remote access, and control who can access your network. You’ve added antivirus and antimalware software to every computer and laptop in your organization. Your business is now safe from attackers lurking on the Internet, right?

Well, yes, for now. But if you don’t keep up with the constantly changing world of security vulnerabilities, your network won’t stay locked down for long.

New network vulnerabilities and security attacks are continually cropping up. Technology vendors discover new holes and release patches to their products’ firmware and software on a regular basis. But attackers are moving just as fast to exploit those holes and invent new ways to break into your network.

There are three ways you can stay on top of this moving target. Depending on how comfortable you are handling your network security, you can take a completely DIY approach by following vendors’ advisories, subscribe to a service that will inventory and automatically update your software, or contract with a security professional to manage security updates for you.

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