Business-to-business relationships are built on trust. When companies enter into an ongoing enterprise relationship or even simply a single transaction, a lot is riding on it. They’re putting a lot of stock into vendors and service providers’ ability to hold up their end of an agreement and exercise excellent managerial oversight. A data breach can cause irreparable harm to the trust that and confidence that are foundational to successful B2B relationships. With a strong, multi-faceted cybersecurity strategy, B2B companies can protect their customers’ data reliably. Here are four important measures that your company should use to create and maintain comprehensive safeguards.
- Secure Customer Portals
To keep your commercial clients actively engaged, good communication is crucial. You have to be accessible to clients, and you also need to produce information on-demand. Commercial clients want fast, easy access to account info as well as updates on the work that you’re doing on their behalf.
If you offer a customer portal to make changes to account information, submit orders, or make payments, the infrastructure that you use to secure it must provide continuous, ironclad protection. Be sure to incorporate advanced encryption features into your portal’s framework. These features should be a key focal point when you implement changes or perform routine maintenance functions.
Be sure to utilize multifactor authentication tools. Set minimum criteria for users’ password strength that’s consistent with current best practices.
- Share Data Safely
To share documents that your clients can view or edit, use a secure file share server rather than exchanging files back and forth. This is a safer alternative to emailing sensitive information that could fall into the wrong hands. Another safety advantage of this option is that it allows you to generate reports detailing which users accessed files and when they viewed or made changes to files. Auditing user activity can also alert you to unauthorized access attempts.
Do commercial customers find these types of file storage solutions onerous? Not really. With an intuitive interface and multiple file-sorting options, many business clients will see it as a great organizational tool. For the most part, business customers find a lot of practical convenience and utility in centralizing documents. It spares them from having to search through emails to find what they need. It also ensures that everyone has access to the most current iteration of a file, so people won’t be circulating multiple versions of documents.
- Update Software and Programs Promptly
For a business with dozens or hundreds of individual network users and workstations, navigating software updates can be tricky. Ideally, you’d like to automatically update any program immediately after a publisher issues a new version or patch just as soon as it’s available. Unfortunately, this rarely happens in practice. Unless all of your work terminals access programs through a central access point, you may need to initiate the same update countless times.
Executing all of the updates at the same time presents logistical challenges. This is slightly more challenging for companies with hybrid work models in which some of their team members work remotely.
Assign responsibility for updates to a senior staff member. Even if you use an outside IT management company to handle network administration tasks and update installations, someone on your team still needs to be responsible for verifying that all necessary operating system and program updates are being taken care of.
- Weigh the Benefits of Cyber Liability Coverage
As the number of cyber attacks against businesses of all sizes continues to grow, insurance carriers have seen a dramatic surge in the number of these types of claims. Consequently, cyber liability insurance is becoming more costly than it’s ever been. Many companies that would like to incorporate this type of coverage into a commercial package policy are reluctant to do so because it would entail a substantial increase in their total insurance expenses.
Before you dismiss a cyber liability endorsement as cost-prohibitive, consider the scope of financial harm that you could incur in the event of a breach. Cyber liability coverage could equip you to mount a rapid response to a malware or ransomware attack, and it could also address direct losses or claims.
Establishing a comprehensive information security plan and investing in first-rate technological safeguards could help to make coverage more affordable. When insurance carriers determine that your company’s cybersecurity protocols are in line with recommended standards, it can sway risk assessments in your favor.
Ultimately, taking the right precautions will help you avoid potentially catastrophic losses or liability. Thorough, adaptive policies in addition to innovative technological solutions will enable your business to mitigate cybersecurity risks considerably.