It’s easy to understand why data protection is important for banks or hospitals, but it’s crucial for cleaning businesses, too.
There’s no question why data protection is important for some businesses. Credit card companies hold a lot of personal information. Your doctor’s office has everything from your social security number to your height and weight. And, of course, your bank needs good data protection, so your money doesn’t get stolen.
Commercial cleaning businesses, though? Do you really need to protect information about the mop heads you use or what kind of cleaning products you order? Perhaps not. But in a data security setting, how much is separating your supply order from your company’s financial information or customer accounts?
It’s one thing for your own data to get stolen, but when you have sensitive customer information that gets hacked, it brings extensive headaches and difficulties. Failing to protect your data and your customers’ data can lead to anything from credit card fraud to identity theft.
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Understanding why data protection is important for your commercial cleaning business
To fully appreciate why data protection is important, it’s helpful to know the many ways data and information can be stolen. While hackers and cyberattacks come to mind most often, some data theft is a matter of opportunity. For example, a credit card is left out, or someone leaves an unlocked phone on a desk, making either a temptation for someone walking by.
Other data thefts and leaks are a matter of poor cyber hygiene. We use passwords like 12345 or password, or we don’t require passwords at all for access to computers or websites.
But let’s explore other reasons why data protection is important on a more concrete level. It’s one thing to think about some unknown hacker logging into your computer and stealing your banking info. Still, it feels much more realistic if you consider things like employees clocking in or out for each other, altering inspection results, or poaching clients with stolen contract information.
Even if this doesn’t happen maliciously, it’s still a possibility. And it’s not cheap. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 73, 739 reports of data security and cyber threats in 2021. Another study by the Hiscox Group found that at least 19% of U.S. businesses with fewer than 50 employees had experienced one or multiple cyber attacks. IBM tallies the worldwide cost of cyberattacks and data breaches at $4.24 million.
Those are all good reasons why data protection is important. Now, what about some of the ways to actually protect that data?
5 Ways to protect your data
1. Use Strong Passwords. Password-protect your data and use strong passwords. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends creating passwords as long and complex as you can. They also suggest avoiding words found in the dictionary and using different passwords for each account. Here are a few other suggestions from CISA.
2. Keep Your Software and Operating System Updated. Software engineers continually improve security, so regular updates can help you avoid cyberattacks.
3. Don’t Open Suspicious Emails. As technology and hackers advance, it’s getting more challenging to discern a real email from one containing a virus. But look closely at things like the email address or consider whether someone you know would send an email with subject lines that don’t seem quite right. For example, that email from IRS.com isn’t really from the IRS since it doesn’t have a .gov address. They also probably aren’t sending you emails with subjects like, “Hey! Check out this new program!”
4. Grant Access on a Need-To-Know Basis. Not everyone on your team needs access to every feature of your software. For instance, while task checklists are helpful for most of your janitorial team, not everyone needs access to supply inventory or ordering. Your team leaders and managers may need access to inspection features, but you might limit bidding to just yourself. Incidentally, Janitorial Manager offers Security Groups within the software, making it easy to restrict or grant access to different features.
5. Back Up Your Information. When we consider why data protection is important, we don’t usually think about system failures. But it’s not at all unheard of for a computer to crash and lose everything from your client contact and billing information to your schedule to maintenance records. There are various cloud solutions for data storage, and physical hard drives are available, as well. Your janitorial software may also have your information saved. Janitorial Manager, as an example, uses multiple encrypted servers to back up user information.
If you want to go in-depth and analyze your data protection, CISA has an entire hub to help you evaluate your data security. They offer no-cost assessments covering anything from situational awareness to asset management to remote penetration testing.
While data security may sound intimidating, especially if you aren’t very computer savvy, most of it is a matter of a few minor adjustments and a little common sense. Don’t let your worries keep you from making sure your commercial cleaning company and your customers are safe.
Learn how secure janitorial software can take your cleaning organization to the next level. Schedule a free call with Janitorial Manager to see how!