Data security is one of the biggest challenges for today’s business. While the problem is serious, it doesn’t have to be paralyzing. With a few practical steps, you can safeguard your company’s data, whether it’s stored on your desktop computer, smartphone, or cloud-based storage service. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the main ways you can keep your business’ data secure in the modern world.
Photo By Pxfuel
1. Write Up A Strategy
When it comes to data security, it helps to have a plan in place. This doesn’t just mean creating a poster and sticking it over the door. You have to think about the big picture, from the moment when a new employee submits their first form. What should they be doing? How could they be doing it differently? What steps could you take to address issues before they arise?
2. Protect against malware
Malware is a catch-all term for programs that intercept data and damage your computer. A lot of people think of viruses and other malware as a threat to their mobile devices, but malware can also infect your computer. Malware can be spread through email and other digital communications, and it’s often spread through websites.
Some types of malware can hide in your computer, recording your keystrokes and stealing your data. Other types of malware can activate automatically when you do something that would normally trigger an action, like logging on to a network. The first line of defense against malware is protecting your computer with an antivirus program which are often free to download. They’ll have fewer functions or limited options in comparison with paid products but this is much better than no security at all.
Aim to keep your emails clean, anti spam software protects against unwanted emails, which can create risks and distractions for employees. Stop them in their tracks with the necessary precautions.
3. Train Employees On The Importance Of Data Security
Training is an often-overlooked way to address data security. The average cost of a UK data breach is £2.99bn. By training your staff on positive cybersecurity behaviours, you can help protect your data and reputation, as well as ensuring employees are receiving productive compliance training.
This can come in many forms, from a one-time class to a regular session. It can cover the importance of data security and how to protect it, as well as the specific applications and procedures you use. It can also include hands-on training, and practice scenarios that address the way your employees handle data.
4. Enable two-factor authentication
Data breaches are often the result of a security breach. This often happens when hackers use stolen credentials to gain complete access to user accounts on a network. One way to improve data protection is to enable two-factor authentication. This will add an extra layer of protection to your accounts, significantly reducing the risk of a security breach.
Two-factor authentication requires users to enter a password and an additional code, such as an SMS text, before they can access their accounts. This means they’ll need to use different passwords when logging on and logging off. With two-factor authentication, hackers will find it difficult to breach your accounts since they’ll need access to multiple credentials.
5. Don’t Use The Same Password For All Your Data Sources
You may think this is common sense, but a lot of people don’t do it. It’s easy to use the same password for all your online accounts, even if they’re from different companies. But it’s risky to use the same password for your online banking account and your online business. While it may seem like a small issue, your business could be at risk if hackers get access to your online account.
There are services that let you set up multiple accounts with a single password, so you can use a different one for every account. You should also try not to store passwords in an unsecure location, like an email sent to a Gmail account.
6. Conduct Background Checks
Background checks can help protect against potential data security issues. They can help you identify potential issues with employees, like a history of misconduct or other issues that could put data at risk. With this information, you can address the issue before it becomes a problem for the company.
7. Create a plan for personal devices
It’s important to protect your data both when it’s stored in your company’s data center and while it’s on your personal device. A set of clear goals will help to provide you with direction and purpose in all areas of your financial life.
Your goals should be SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. You should protect all your devices with an antivirus program and a data encryption solution. Data encryption is especially important when it’s stored on a cloud service like Google Drive or Dropbox. These services have been hacked numerous times, with millions of user accounts potentially at risk.
8. Set up automatic software updates
Most modern computers have automatic updates for software, but it can be a good idea to turn this on for your company’s devices. Software updates often include important bug fixes or security patches.
You want to make sure your computers are always updated. You can also use software such as Tripwire or a similar solution to perform regular device scans. If your devices aren’t always running the latest version of the software, hackers could find a way to exploit a vulnerability and get access to critical data.
9. Avoid unknown sites
The internet is full of bad actors trying to steal your data. But there are also a lot of legitimate sites that don’t protect against data theft. It’s important to keep track of which sites you and your employees visit.
That can help protect against data theft. It can also help you identify new sources of data, so you and your team can grow your data sources without having to start from scratch.
10. Limit user access
The best security practice is to let general users have user-level access and not administrative access. Only I.T personnel need elevated administrative permissions to properly manage the network, and all IT personnel should have a separate account to use when administrative access is needed.
This can be done granularly, allowing users the permissions they need to do their work while keeping the network safe. The cost for planning this step is just a little time for planning and implementation.
Data security is a serious issue, and it can paralyze businesses. These tips can help you protect your data, but it’s important to follow a multi-faceted approach.
It’s important to keep your data safe from cyber threats, and implementing the above-mentioned tips will help you keep your data secure. By following these steps, you can significantly improve your data protection.