Whether your business is a huge corporation or is just start-up, web threats and data theft may cause major interruptions to your day-to-day operations. Not only is it a threat to your productivity, but it also spells trouble for your finances. Hence, you must pay attention to data security.
You’re leaving your business vulnerable to these attacks without sufficient security processes and procedures in place. At best, these breaches are just an inconvenience that you can fix in half a day. However, at worst, they can be irreparable, something that will lead to a business failure. Investing in long-term data security is critical if you want to secure business continuity.
Here are practical strategies your organization can employ to keep your data safe.
In the article
1. Formulate a clear data security strategy and write it down
Rather than hazy policies and procedures that can easily be misinterpreted, it is critical for your business to have written IT security and compliance risk management strategies that are clear and comprehensive. Make sure that it not only explains how to safeguard data and resources but also what to do if something goes wrong. An incident-response strategy assures you’ll be one step ahead of the situation, rather than reacting recklessly in the heat of the moment, which might only make matters worse.
2. Consistently educate your employees
85% of data breaches have some sort of human aspect. No matter how much you trust your staff; they can still be the source of your security troubles. Offer regular training programs for new and existing employees. Those who handle private data can’t do it safely unless they have the expertise to take all the necessary precautions and adhere to the established security protocols.
Organize an onboarding training program to assist anyone new to the company in mastering the requirements for secure data handling. Allow your employees who need to brush up on their data security fundamentals access to the same program. Furthermore, it would be helpful if you gave them the resources to learn and explore web security design. You can also ask them to do frequent IT audits to ensure that everyone is following the correct procedures.
3. Defend yourself against malware
Protect your data by safeguarding your PCs and network against viruses – especially malware. Malware is malicious software that may cause huge data loss as it swarms onto vulnerable PCs without you even realizing it. You can protect your business by doing the following:
- Use your firewall – While it isn’t enough on its own, it is your data’s first line of defense, so use it
- Activate PC security – Advanced security software secures your machine or network without sacrificing speed and performance. Look for protection that can handle identity theft, suspicious websites, and hackers all at once
- Keep your emails clean – Anti-spam software guards against unsolicited emails, which can pose a risk to employees and cause disruptions. With the right measures, you can stop them in their tracks
4. Control who has access to any sensitive data you own or collect
Some businesses have already switched to remote collaboration. Others use a hybrid approach that includes both in-office and at-home work. When it comes to enhanced security and data protection, you need to know exactly who has access to your most sensitive data. Do all of your workers have equal access to all of your company’s files on the cloud? Is it possible for all of them to read your virtual mailbox? Controlling access to consumer data and any sensitive business information is a critical step in securing them.
First and foremost, implement two-factor authentication for all data access. Ensure that passwords and other sensitive information are only accessible to those who require them. There is no need for you to give the same level of access to everyone in your organization. Protect your business from internal breaches as well. Make sure to manage who can view, edit, or delete sensitive information.
5. Keep your software and systems up-to-date
Hackers love to scan a network or website to see what version of the software it’s operating on. If it’s running on older and more vulnerable versions, it can be attacked easily. You can avoid this from ever happening by updating device security settings, operating systems, office chat software, project management tools, and other software to their most recent versions. To further protect against possible risks, set any patches and improvements to update automatically in the background.
6. Encrypt absolutely everything
Don’t forget about encryption. It’s the last and best defense you have against your data being read while it’s in transit over the internet. Encryption is powerful because even if hackers disclose, copy, and escape with a thousand lines of consumer data; they will have nothing if your database is encrypted. As long as they don’t have the encryption key, even a successful hacker will only find a thousand lines of unintelligible nonsense.
Obtain a security certificate and ensure that communication to and from your website is encrypted using SSL. This is crucial, especially if your company operates a website or service where users transfer information to you. Many computers nowadays support whole disk encryption for your personal files and folders, which can keep your information safe just in case your computer gets lost or stolen. You may also keep your online data safe by using cloud storage companies that feature end-to-end encryption.
Regardless of how quickly cybercriminals develop their abilities and the equipment they use, your company needs to become more and more efficient at securing the data they’re after. At the end of the day, safeguarding your business’s information is the only way to grow your business in today’s digitally driven world, secure your clients’ sensitive information, and ensure that you’re competitive enough to advance in your field.