As the owner of a business or the person in charge of a network or anyone that oversees the collection of personal information, you can’t ignore security. You have to handle it carefully and securely – or else.
The security of your customer’s data is only as strong as the weakest link that protects it. A recent example is what happened to Target. If you somehow missed the story about their customer info being stolen here it is. According to a post by Brian Krebs their weak link was an HVAC vendor that had access to secure systems. Surprising isn’t it? Something you think has no earthly business let alone connection to your secured data turns out to be the entry point for someone to steal credit card information for more than 40 million people.
Think about your website. Do you know how it was built? Do you understand all of the code and what it does or how the server it lives on is configured and protected? Probably not. I know I don’t. But this isn’t unusual in our line of work. I’d have to be a speed reader with a photographic memory and superhuman power to see all of the intricacies of how the thousands upon thousands of pieces work together. But I can’t and I don’t. What I do is trust a professional. Why? Well because, well, they’re professionals!
If you collect personal information then you’re responsible for securing it. Period. It’s fine if you don’t know all of the technical details but you’re still responsible for keeping it secure. You don’t have to know all of the details of how it’s done but you do need to make sure it is done! Find people that know more than you and hire them. Use really good service providers that are experts at handling and protecting data. Hire employees that can make sure the important stuff is secured AND can communicate well WITH you! I emphasize with because the communication is bidirectional and you need to be an active participant. Learn what you don’t know so you can talk intelligently with the people that know what they’re doing. Make sure to hire someone with experience and skill – check references. Empower them. Pay them well – this person is worth their paycheck and then some. A bit of work (okay – sometimes it’s a LOT of work) up front, can protect you from a disaster later.