The modern business environment is all about data security. No matter what industry you're in, you are going to be handling sensitive data.
Hiring your first employee, you gain possession of enough information for a hacker to steal their identity. Accepting credit card payments - now you're moving valuable personal card information through your system. Provide user accounts? Now you're collecting emails and passwords - among other valuable personal data on each and every customer.
Every business model requires a unique stack of IT defenses. It all depends on what you are defending. Every layer of business means a new type of data to protect. If your IT infrastructure is not aligned with your business strategy, a breach is always lurking right around the corner waiting for the next opportunistic hacker to see their opening.
Let's dive into the essential list of business model elements and data security alignment.
Collecting User Data
Every modern business starts by collecting user data. We collect data on employees, then leads, then customers. The more personal the data, the more valuable it is for hackers to steal.
Brand new sites and small businesses with minimal IT defenses are the most vulnerable to user data theft, though larger companies with long customer lists are the "biggest fish" in this game.
No matter how generic the information you collect, hackers still have a motive to invade your app, site, or databases.
If your business handles debit or credit card payments, you are subject to the PCI DSS. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is set of security regulations required of any business that handles digital payments. If you don't meet the standard, the payment card industry won't process your customer payments.
This means both meeting these standards and avoiding breaches are essential for staying in business.
Handling Medical Information
Most people are generally aware that HIPAA protects a person's medical information privacy. What you may not know is that any business that handles medical information is subject to the extremely strict chain-of-custody regulations of HIPAA.
If you ask for or handle medical data, your company could be subject to both fines and lawsuits for being found non-compliant or for allowing breaches that expose private medical data.
Doing Business Overseas
If your business is not shy about overseas customers, then you are also likely subject to the GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation.
This was put into place by the EU and dictates how companies must respect, defend, and handle the personal data of every single EU citizen. US businesses that have EU customers will need to comply with the GDPR standards as well.
Last but not least, let's talk about the new remote work strategy and the cybersecurity requirements related to it. In the office, you can rely on a few industry-standard security methods to keep most workstations and devices safe from most digital hazards.
With employees at home, their home connection, routers, WiFi networks, and devices are all more subject to exposure and hacking.
The entire business workforce is taking another look at secure networks and reinforced cloud services as a result. If your business strategy includes remote work, it's time to innovate and secure your dispersed team.
Does your IT support align with your business strategy? If not, we're ready to help you get there and more. Let's get your IT working to secure, support, and accelerate your current business model. If you have a new business strategy in mind, we can build you a new IT infrastructure to meet your technological needs. Contact us today to consult on your IT security and infrastructure.