Many businesses often give priority to data collection and distribution. This is obviously critical in the process of growth, but not without taking measures to safeguard sensitive data and business information. Especially now that many people are using the internet for various purposes around the world, the cases of data theft and other forms of cybercrime continue to increase.
There are so many people with malicious intentions out there, and you cannot afford to fail to take action. You might have heard of companies being sued heavily for sharing or mishandling customer data. Cases of stolen trade secrets are also not uncommon, a majority of which are perpetrated by hackers. With this in mind, data security should be a priority for all businesses, small to large.
Thankfully, here are a few tips businesses can use to secure their data and prevent cyber attacks.
1. Invest in Cloud Data Back-Up
As your business grows, you cannot afford to lose data due to a system failure, electric interruption, or accidental deletion. With your data backed up in a separate location or server, it becomes easier to recover sensitive files in case of a cyber threat or computer issues. As seen at https://www.backblaze.com/, cloud storage is among the most reliable ways to back up and secure your business data. If you use your personal computer for work-related tasks, it also pays to consider cloud backup for all your files.
Depending on the size of your business and the amount of data you deal with, you can perform a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly backup. It is also crucial to have the backed-up files scrutinized regularly to see that everything is in good shape. If you have to store sensitive information on portable storage media, always ensure to use multi-factor authentication and encryption methods to keep your data safe.
2. Consider Data Encryption
As mentioned above, data encryption is the other essential step you want to take to protect your sensitive business information. This means utilizing encryption on your work computers, tablets, and other mobile devices. Never store encryption passwords or keys in the storage device. Apart from business IT equipment, you may also want to consider encryption for transactions, email communication, among others:
3. Multiple Factor Authentication
Also referred to as MFA, multi-factor authentication is the other standard data security practice businesses should adopt. It specifically helps minimize the access of data by unauthorized persons within the business. Basically, one requires providing two if not more forms of identity proof to access sensitive data, accounts, and systems. This serves as an extra layer of security.
4. Monitoring System
It is also essential for a business to keep track of how its networking equipment and software are used. For devices that are no longer used, it pays to erase or transfer all sensitive data to another storage location. These devices should be removed from the network as well. When an employee changes roles or leaves the organization, you will also want to ensure their access to sensitive company data is removed.
5. Safe Computer Disposal
Improperly handling old equipment such as computers and other devices can put your sensitive data at risk. In addition to keeping track of your business equipment and software, these devices should be disposed of safely and securely. This minimizes the chances that your company data could fall into the wrong hands. Experts recommend wiping off all data and destroying the equipment through shredding or incineration.
6. Regularly Install Patch Updates for OS and Software
Apart from the operating system, the equipment used in your business also contains several software and systems. Cybercriminals are often busy trying to bypass certain security measures used by the software. This is why updates are necessary because they often come with enhanced security features.
It also means that if software stays too long with patch updates, hackers and malicious individuals might discover a loophole and gain access to your sensitive data. Security patches and updates are crucial elements in data protection. Most importantly, always check out for antivirus updates, even though most of today’s reliable antivirus software apps give you the option to check and install updates automatically.
7. Cybersecurity Training
Last but not, your staff members should take the center stage in defending against cyber threats. It pays to keep them informed and educated about some of the most common cyber threats they can encounter. As they go about their duties, it becomes easy for them to identify and avoid or deal with such threats.
For any business climbing up the growth curve, it is vital to ensure your data is always protected. This means securing your business information as well as customer privacy and sensitive data. The above few pointers can help you ensure just this.