Why Your Company Needs Basic Data Security
For a small or medium business owner like yourself, the whole idea of safeguarding vital company data may seem like a complicated topic. However, it is not the size of your firm that matters; your data does. With the ever-dynamic technology landscape, hackers are looming large and aim to terrorize any company whose information is unsecured.
Data as an Essential Business Asset
Anyone in charge of a business entity is also responsible for all data that pertains to the business itself. It consists of information about finances, services, and products that the company provides, business plans, and customer profiles.
While some of a company’s data plays a crucial role in its operations, most of it channels to revenue generation. By the fact that data alone can breed future benefits, it comes a treasured asset. As such, an asset used to foster business continuity, growth, and sustainability should remain secure and confidential at all costs.
What Kind of Cyber Threats Is Your Company Prone to?
Many threats deprive a company of crucial information. They may include.
• Trojan horse
• Denial of Service Attacks
While it may be difficult to highlight all possible data attacks, let’s delve into why you need to double-up on securing your company’s information.
How Do You Protect Your Company’s Sensitive Data?
As pointed out, your business needs a proper information security plan to stay ahead of cybersecurity threats and nullify them, both in the short-term and long term. Here’s how you can do precisely that.
• Install Firewalls
Software-oriented firewalls exist as part of an anti-virus package or the operating system as a whole. It works in such a way that it can prevent some risky applications from accessing a computer’s data, while at the same time, allowing approved applications unlimited access.
They serve as either the first or second response gateway for all incoming data and traffic. A firewall will exclusively protect a device, network, or both against any malicious intrusion.
Since your business likely works with loads of essential data, a business-grade firewall is a must-have. According to a recent study by the Computer Security Institute (CSI), approximately 52% of the firm’s report cases of system penetration yearly. That is a pretty staggering statistic. Therefore, it is only reasonable if you erect a modern and fully-fledged firewall.
• Back up your data
Data backup conventionally refers to a mechanism that a company or a person utilizes to hold data in a secure location that allows for fast and easy access. For this reason, backing up of data is compulsory for any progressive company. It will involve regular copying, reorganization, and storage of crucial information in the cloud or a dedicated physical server.
When you back up your data, you’ll proactively protect against any future data breach. It means that your business will not stall or close down in case of a security violation.
• Utilize two-factor authentication
Exclusive account encryption can prevent your data from being accessed by rogue parties. Two-factor authentication is one of the best ways of protecting your employee’s data. It is particularly helpful when you want to safeguard online company accounts that are highly susceptible to hackers. It works by prompting any user to double-check their credentials (username/password) whenever they want to log in. Its sole purpose is to reduce incidences of fraud risk and make an attacker’s life harder. Mainly, you can emphasize its use in online financial accounts.
• Secure your passwords
You wouldn’t want to wake up on a splendid day only to realize that your company’s data is nowhere to be found. Don’t take any chances. Ensure that you discretely safeguard all your passwords. If you reside in New York, you can put up a separate remote server to store all your passwords, including your employees. In hindsight, securing your password entails composing it with a mixture of characters, letters, and numbers to make it as strong as possible. Consider a password manager for this task.
• Restrict access to delicate data
Less access translates to reduced data safety risks. You should make data available to only those that need it. To achieve this, regularly audit your access privileges. You can also revoke access when an employee departs your firm.
• Take prompt legal action
Ensure that you keenly monitor, log, and authorize all application installations. It will make it difficult for anyone to compromise the system’s functionality or data. Furthermore, follow up on data theft or intrusion culprits and take proper disciplinary action against them. By learning a thing or two about system compromise, you’ll be taking a massive step in a bid to safeguard your firm’s data.
• Embrace the teach-first approach
Employees are inevitably the leading cause for stolen, lost, or leaked data. While some workers may compromise data knowingly, many are those that have zero knowledge of system functionality. The best and most effective approach to sustainable data security is comprehensive user training.
You should organize for a user training camp that focuses on best security practices for the specific workplace systems. This education-first approach will help reduce cases of a data breach in your company vastly. Employees should learn simple security tricks, such as creating ultra-strong passwords and identifying phishing scams.
• Seek for professional IT intervention
A great way to utilize this methodology is by contacting a Managed Service Provider.
In the context of IT, a Managed Service Provider aids with facilitation and training design within your firm, in addition to offering exhaustive auditing services to evaluate whether security risks exist and how the overall system safety can be raised a notch higher.
If you have suffered countlessly in the hands of data thieves or hackers, it’s about time you employ the services of technology professionals. They can help you elevate your cybersecurity techniques and upgrade on-site data soundness.
• Apply the BYOD policy
Bring your own Device (BYOD) is a term that has picked up recently in various technology circles. In addition to raising productivity, employees are likely to feel at ease when using devices that they are accustomed to. Workers may feel happier and motivated to work. This methodology helps prevent data theft because employees are familiar with their computers. You can also improve BYOD’s effectiveness via Virtual Private Networks (VPN), which will make it easy to monitor, control, and strengthen access to remote employee-owned devices.
If your employees access the internet via a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is hidden, encrypted, and completely secure. You can privatize your Wi-Fi access by setting up a router, which doesn’t broadcast sensitive network details such as the Service Set Identifier (SSI). That way, hackers won’t be able to penetrate your networks whatsoever.
Data Safety: Factors to Consider
There’s a common phrase that is viral amongst business owners: nothing is as expensive as data. When you lose your data, you have lost control over your company too. The best way to ensure sustainable data safeguarding in a work setting is to teach a habit of information security.
If your company is in full motion, you need not worry. You can adopt formidable security practices that will protect your data. Here are a few critical aspects that you need to consider:
• What you will lose: Security infringements cost more than just money. If your business mainly relies on customer details and trust, you need to make data safety your top priority. If your business accepts credit card payments, ensure that those credit digits are safe.
• Cost: Is the cost of protection worth what you’re protecting? It is pretty easy to weigh the cost of data breaches. Scour the internet and learn how many companies of your size have lost from security contravention. With the latest technological advancements, any company can afford adequate data protection.
• Where possible threats lie: Before you channel some money into data safety, mull over the most probable security threat and which part of your system is most susceptible, is it a hacker, a wayward employee, or just mere carelessness? Take note of your weak security spots, so you get a hint of where to invest rightly.
Are you content with your company’s data security plan? If you aren’t, it’s time to take it a notch higher. Find out how your firm is prone to phishing and data theft and put in place appropriate measures to secure sensitive data. It all starts with sensitization from within- empower your workers with the necessary IT skills and knowhow to combat external system intrusion.
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