Business, Technology

How to Best Safeguard Your Customers’ Data From Cyberattackers

Your customer is the best asset you have and should be roundly protected from any form of harm. With the unceasing onslaught by cyberattackers on governments, businesses, and individuals, the least you can do is to go to any length to ensure that your customers’ data are safeguarded.

A quick recap of some very ugly incidents in 2019, will bring to the front-burner why safeguarding your customers’ data must be your uppermost priority. In May, a surveillance contractor for US Customs and Border Protection suffered a breach, and hackers stole photos of travelers and license plates related to about 100,000 people. 

A destructive strain of ransomware called LockerGoga has specifically been victimizing industrial and manufac­turing firms. As if that is not enough, in March, a research report from the threat intelligence firm Kaspersky, says that computer maker Asus disclosed a supply chain attack sometime in the second half of 2018 that had compromised the company’s Live Update tool to push malware to almost 1 million customers.

We can go on and on as this is just the tip of the iceberg. The important thing to note here is that it’s now more necessary than ever to put serious measures in place as regards safeguarding your customers’ data.

The very first realization you must consider as of the highest priority is that your own workers pose a security threat. Some actions they embark on quite unintentionally can lead to the complete crackup of your operational technology/industrial control systems (OT/ICS) automation. 

These actions are partly due to a lack of awareness, especially in the area of new digital OT automation systems. To, therefore, ensure wholesome security,  you need to apply the zero-trust strategy. 

It’s the best standard practice to assume that all users in your organization, devices, and transactions have already been compromised, the fact that they’re inside or outside of the firewall is of little or no significance. By effecting a zero-trust strategy, you have effectively ensured that access is withheld until all users, devices or even an individual packet have been thoroughly inspected and authenticated. 

Even when you have been able to do this, you must still make sure also that only the least amount of necessary access is granted. If you have a zero-trust strategy working in your organization, it means you have effectively started treating all potential threats the same way. 

You don’t have any cause to differentiate between internal and external types of threat and you have saved your customers a whole lot of catastrophe. A zero-trust strategy works but just as was the case for firewalls once, you shouldn’t take it to be an end goal for security. 

You must continue to be vigilant inasmuch as attackers are still dedicated to developing ways of exploiting or bypassing security solutions.

To complement the gains you must have been able to enhance as regards safeguarding your customers’ data, you can deem it fit to consider a decentralized blockchain-based VPN. You must be aware by now that the basic route through which hackers access your data is your IP address. 

This has always been a potential source of tracing your transactions and since this is so, the invariable thing to do is to ensure that you protect yourself with VPN. If for any reason you are financially constrained about subscribing to a paid VPN, you always have the option of a free VPN extension like the Urban-VPN that can go all the way to mask your IP, choose from a constantly growing pool of international locations across the globe, protect your data, and internet connection with encryption and DNS/IPv6 leak protection. 

It’s true that most VPNs are designed to provide security and privacy, you must, however, not lose sight of the problems that come along with centralization when using traditional VPN services. The good thing though is that best standard practice deems it fit that a VPN’s data protection compliance processes must take into consideration the implementation of technical, physical, and administrative security measures to protect Personal Data.

In order not to be caught with your pants down, you must not completely put the trust your customers have reposed in you into jeopardy. You can’t overly be dependent on the non-vulnerability of any central server as is the case with traditional VPNs.  

A decentralized blockchain-based VPN, in this case, will serve as the much-needed antidote to overcome the problems occasioned by centralization as the network will not need to rely on a central point of control.

With a zero-trust strategy and a decentralized blockchain-based VPN working in tandem, you must be able to go a long way if not absolutely safeguarding your customers’ data. You are also bu this, giving your brand the much-needed safe landing in the overly competitive global market as referrals from your customers will be an added tool in your customer conversion bid.

Photo Credit: mikecogh Flickr via Compfight cc

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About John Ejiofor

John Ejiofor is a curious life-researcher, whose quest to finding answers to life's pertinent questions has led to founding Nature Torch. This blog aims to debate and explore many questions about our earth -- including those a lot of people are uncomfortable with asking. He has been published on some of the internet's most respected websites, which you can find online.
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