Many people fail to understand the importance of their financial documents, such as passports, credit cards and investment portfolios, to be increasingly at risk from cybercriminals. Data criminals have been developing increasingly sophisticated techniques to compromise individual’s personal data, and sometimes demand payment to remove the threat.
Traditionally, data thieves have tried to target individuals by gaining access to emails and networks, but more recently cybercriminals are also targeting business use’s accounts through financial systems. This is one of the biggest data security threats to organisations and represents a new challenge for individuals who want to keep their personal data safe.
Data protection starts with setting a strong password for all your social media and email accounts. Let’s look at how you can set a strong password to secure your online account and some tips to protect your personal information:
- Start with a strong password: A strong password is a must in today’s modern world, as it is your first line of defence against any cyber attack.
- The typical advice for creating strong passwords is to use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. However, Fidelity recommends not using common words, such as “password” or “monkey”, as these would make it easy to crack. Instead, use four or more random words, which are complex enough but still can be easily remembered.
- You should also regularly change passwords and add multi-factor authentication. For example, you can use a login with a phone that authenticates you as an individual when you log in.
- Keep your personal information out of public view: this can prevent social engineering – where data thieves pose as legitimate companies to gain victims’ personal information. If you share your information on public websites or answer security questions on a website, such as “what’s the name of your pet?” or “the street you grew up on?”, it will be readily available to cyber criminals.
- Data security experts advise you not to put sensitive information such as your home address and bank account numbers on social media or public websites and advise you to keep personal data offline.
- It is important that everyone has a strong defence against data criminals. If you find yourself in a situation where your data has been compromised, contact your bank immediately for advice, or speak to your financial advisor if you work with one.
Now, let’s look at how you can secure your financial documents if you are using cloud computing.
Financial document protection and DRM
The growth of cloud computing has also increased the risk of many financial documents being lost or unprotected in the cloud. Security experts have identified the increased risk of a catastrophic data breach where tens of millions of customers’ personal information are exposed to cybercriminals, rather than only a few individuals.
And, of course, consumers should not share any of their financial documents online. Often with cloud storage, security can be a major issue. However, for organizations, another increasing risk is the requirement to pay for the usage of cloud services.
Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology is the only proven way to safely secure and safeguard financial content. The technology makes use of encryption to prevent hackers and data thieves from seeing or using any part of the document’s contents. Besides, it also prevents an authorized user from misusing the data by sending it across to others or altering it so as to misrepresent the original information.
Do I need a financial document protection solution?
Even the smartest computers are still subject to human error. When that happens, they can often make mistakes that can cause damage to both data and the financial industry. For example, if someone accidentally imports a client file and does not perform the necessary validation, they can create a data breach.
Companies need software that encrypts documents and sends them over the internet via secure and encrypted communication channels. Once that’s done, no one can see the contents or change the documents other than the authorized user.
Protecting financial organizations from data theft and financial fraud is the “new normal.” As more and more data gets digitized, DRM is the only proven way to provide the necessary level of security and stop criminals from entering a company’s network and wreaking havoc.
How can you protect your business from financial losses due to data theft?
Businesses protect themselves by hiring cyber security experts and testing their systems for any vulnerability or potential data breaches.
Companies often simply assume that they can easily protect their own information, and end up inadvertently making themselves an easy target for cybercriminals. In a recent cybercriminal survey, 39 percent of respondents said that they don’t know how they can protect themselves, while 33 percent believe that they can’t do anything to protect themselves. A quarter of the victims aren’t even aware that their data was stolen.
For information security professionals, the financial sector represents an enormous opportunity to deliver advanced security solutions that keep people safe, allow their business to run smoothly and to build trust with customers.
What are the benefits of using a financial document protection solution for your company?
A document protection solution offers a wealth of benefits to the businesses that use it. First of all, it ensures that confidential documents remain protected from unauthorized access or duplication. And secondly, it protects the business against any cyberattacks or loss of confidentiality, which could jeopardize their financial status.
Retain control of how employees access, receive and share their documents with DRM. The encryption technology in DRM is based on complex algorithms and advanced cryptography methods, which combine to help protect documents at rest and when in use. Here are some key benefits of using DRM to secure your financial documents.
1. A convenient method to manage and deploy protected documents
With DRM, documents are encrypted on computers and tablets, which makes it easy for them to be managed and deployed. The DRM solution offers integrated policies that ensure unprotected content never leaves the desk of authorized users.
2. Reduce the risk of employee document sharing
Employees often unwittingly take documents home with them or send them to their personal email accounts and exchange them with colleagues. With DRM, no documents can leave the company’s premises and be accessed by unauthorized people.
3. Don’t give away client information in order to get a contract signed
Whenever contracts or offers are exchanged, confidential information (such as client names, contact details and purchase information) is being exchanged. Unauthorized people who manage to take that information and have them published online, can damage a company’s reputation and hurt its business.
There are several ways for business owners to implement a document protection or DRM solution. They can either turn to a technology company to provide the solution on a private basis or make the investment to install the solution on-premises and manage it from their end.
A computer engineer by day, gamer by night. He grew up playing Mario and contra, and just like every other 90s kid, he got passionate about mobile gaming. He had done bachelors in computer science and played fps and MOBA games for years.