Big Data and Data Security are at the forefront of our attention in business today. As our methods for collecting and storing data become ever more sophisticated, the need to ensure data security becomes paramount. Sometimes an organisation is doing everything right in terms of software and protocols, but mistakes can still happen. Usually down to human error, these small mistakes can sometimes result in big consequences. With GDPR coming into force next year this could put small businesses at serious risk if they violate regulations.

Email is the primary method of business communication, and cyber criminals have long targeted it as an easy way to get something from you. Adopting methods such as sending you fake emails from seemingly official organisations urging you to make a payment. Simple mistakes can also leave your data vulnerable, such as accidentally sharing sensitive information with an inappropriate audience.

An example of such a case came up recently when a software company unwittingly breached data protection regulations: by sending a seemingly innocuous email to a distribution group. Unfortunately, they failed to use the BCC tab to ensure that others’ email addresses were hidden. This meant the entire list of email addresses was visible to everyone who received the email, a breach of security for all those on the list. Not only did this result in embarrassment for the sender, but it also led to a long email chain of individuals pointing out the mistake, as well as complaints from those being bothered by the situation.

Making a mistake of this kind and exposing customer details to your entire contact list is not only embarrassing, but after GDPR comes into force it could also put your business at risk, as resulting fines are up to 4% of annual global turnover, or €20 million whichever is the larger amount. Ensuring customer data security is extremely important, especially when your business is liable for any mistakes made.

Whether using Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Hubspot or Outlook, you need to consider how your message will be sent and whether this method is secure. Getting security training for your staff is the best way to decrease the likelihood of human error occurring. Netstar provides security training to the companies we support, in order to enable them to act confidently and securely with confidential data.

To find out more about data security read our article on employee smartphones in the workplace.