Five Tips to Protect Business Data
It doesn’t matter if you have a huge corporation or a brand-new start-up; data protection needs to be on your radar. Today, web threats and data theft occur all the time and can cause significant disruptions to your business’s day-to-day operations. If you don’t have the right security and procedures in place, your business data may be breached, stolen, or sold.
The Importance of Protecting Business Data
Data security is important to private and public sector organizations for several reasons. First, companies have a moral and legal obligation to protect user and customer data from falling into the wrong hands.
Another important aspect of data security is your business’s reputation. If you don’t take data security seriously, your business reputation may be permanently damaged or publicized if a high-profile hack or breach occurs.
You may also experience logistical or financial consequences if data breaches occur. It’s necessary to spend money and time assessing and repairing any damage, then determining where the failure occurred and what steps you can take to improve data security.
While threats to your business’s data security can be serious, they are also mostly avoidable if you have the right safeguards in place. To ensure business continuity, it’s essential to invest in the proper methods. Here are five key tips to help you get started.
1. Strong Password and Multi-Factor Authentication
You must use strong passwords and change them often. Doing this makes it more difficult for thieves to access your sensitive information.
When creating passwords, either use a password generator or create a combination of letters, numbers, and characters that would be almost impossible to guess. It should go without saying but also be sure to never share your passwords with anyone else.
Along with using strong passwords, it’s also smart to use multi-factor authentication. With this, you must prove your identity in more than one way. This provides an additional level of protection for any sensitive data or information you have.
2. Automatic Software Updates
Like most people, you may skip software updates from time to time because they take a few minutes to complete and don’t seem that important. However, this can be a huge mistake that leaves a door wide open for hackers who want to access your private information, putting your business at risk for more problems.
Setting up automatic software updates is highly recommended. These include security fixes, updates, and new features, or sometimes new compatibility to use the software with different applications or devices. Many updates also help to improve software stability while removing any outdated features.
3. Use the Cloud
Using the Cloud offers an array of data security benefits that are not available elsewhere. For example, when you move your data to the Cloud, it helps your business:
- Secure applications and data through several environments while maintaining visibility into all files, folders, and user activity.
- Identify and mitigate risks proactively, including malware, suspicious user behavior, security threats, and more.
- Improve and monitor access.
- Define procedures and policies.
- Prevent and help detect potential data disruption and loss.
Even start-up companies collect data every day. Some of this is extremely confidential, and some are less important. However, making sure data is safe and preventing potential risks is something you must do to avoid serious data security problems.
4. Employee Training
Human vulnerabilities are some of the most damaging and expensive out there today. Unfortunately, employees make mistakes and if these mistakes relate to your business’s data security, they can cost you a lot.
Since your people are a data security vulnerability, you must invest in regular employee training. During this training, you can make your team aware of the most common data security risks and how to prevent problems on their end.
One of the most important things to teach employees about is phishing schemes. A phishing email is a fake email message used by hackers or criminals to target a business’s sensitive information. Usually, the email will seem professional and reputable, which is what encourages an employee to click on it.
Make sure your employees know how to detect a phishing email and how to respond to it. Some general guidelines to use when it comes to email communication include:
- Only open emails from known individuals.
- Only open emails from people who have sent messages before.
- Only open emails you were expecting.
- Never open emails that have weird characters or spelling, or are from a sender name that looks odd.
By taking time to let your team know what to look for and how to avoid a data breach, you can increase your company’s data security.
5. Dispose of Data Safely
Make sure you use a smart, safe protocol to eliminate or dispose of data you no longer need. Doing this can prevent data your business has from being found or retrieved down the road by anyone else – particularly hackers or other nefarious individuals.
In the modern, tech-centered world, it’s important to do more than just delete a file or reinstall your computer’s operating system. In most situations, your information will still be accessible by hacking software.
Because of this, it may be wise to hire an IT disposal partner to help. With this, you can feel confident that any data you want to dispose of is gone for good and that it won’t fall into the wrong hands.
Why All Businesses Need to Invest in Data Security
Data security is an essential part of running a business. If you don’t take the time or put in the effort to secure the data that your business collects, it can lead to serious issues down the road.
Regardless of the size of your business or what industry you operate in, investing in data security will pay off for the success and growth of your business both now and in the future. It will also make your company seem more trustworthy, especially if you are transparent about your data security policies. Today, more than ever before, people want to know their personal information will be safe – don’t let your business be the reason it’s not.