As a business owner, you know that data is business’ lifeblood. So, it is essential for you to keep all your company data safe and secure. Do not let your data fall into the wrong hands. It will be beneficial to both your clients and business.
According to the 2015 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, 60% of targeted attacks of data breach affected small- to mid-sized businesses.
Whether it occurred to a newest startup, small businesses, or a huge corporation, data theft and web threat cause massive disruptions to day-to-day business operations. If you have no proper security measures in place, your business becomes vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.
While lost or stolen data can cause vast damage to your company, there are several ways on how to protect your company data.
- Create A Strong IT Security Strategy
Regardless of the size of your business, having strong data security practices will give you protection against security breaches and other data vulnerabilities. Make your security strategy as exhaustive and detailed as possible.
Your IT security strategy should include how to protect company data like customer information, employee access, or credit card information, and solutions when things go wrong. Then, update the strategy and keep it accessible.
- Secure PCs and Network Against Malware
Malware can cause massive data damage. It happens unknowingly, especially on unprotected devices. So, make sure to keep both your PCs and network secure from malicious software.
You can apply a firewall on the router as it provides the first line of defense. Install a security software that deals with hacking and identity theft without affecting the performance of your PC and network. As for your emails to stay clean, you can install an anti spam software that protects against unwanted emails.
- Create Strong Passwords
More complex passwords can be a nuisance to remember. However, strong passwords provide more protection against a security threat.
It is ideal for creating a password with eight characters. Make sure to combine numbers, special characters, and random letters so that no one can guess it easily. Do not forget to change them often. You can take advantage of password managers so that your employee does not have to risk writing them down or remembering them.
- Use the Strongest Encryption
Another way to protect your company data against cybersecurity attacks is by using the strongest encryption. You are scrambling the data through data encryption to make it useless without the password to decrypt it.
Having the strongest data encryption means even if your files are duplicated or stolen, a person will find it harder to access the data. Apart from encrypting your desktop computer, you also need to secure your laptops, tablets, flash drives, emails, and other digital storage.
- Consider Automatic Software Updates
Mind that hackers often scan websites or networks for them to know which software version you are running. This helps them exploit the older version vulnerabilities.
To prevent this risk, make sure to update your operating systems, device security settings, and other software to their latest versions. Then, set up improvements and patches for automatic updates in the background for further protection. For example, you can check for microsoft security updates here.
- Build A Personal Devices Plan
As your employees bring in and use their personal devices, they may cause security risks to your company data. To prevent this from happening, create a plan towards protection against mobile system costs and legal repercussions.
Your plan must be clear and comprehensive and covers Internet monitoring issues, location tracking, and pertinent data deletion. You also need to create proper provision for employees working remotely as they might bring new security threats if not properly managed.
- Perform Background Checks During the Hiring Process
When hiring new employees, being extra vigilant is a good information security practice. This helps you prevent internal threats that may result in cybersecurity attacks. Make sure to conduct background checks and get an idea of what kind of person you will be hiring and working with.
Keep in mind that you also need to be observant of your existing employees. Be mindful if there are some changes in their characters as it indicates potential issues.
- Use Cloud Service
In case you have the expertise or time to manage all of the security measures and updates, it Is best to take advantage of cloud services platforms that enable companies to benefit from the best practices of Cybersecurity.
Look for a reputable cloud service provider who can help you implement complete data security, maintain software patches, and store data securely. This might not be fit enterprise-level companies. Small businesses can benefit a lot in terms of high protection levels.
- Dispose of Company Data Properly
There is some data that is no longer required in your business. So, it’s better to dispose of them to reduce security breach risks properly. Make sure to have the right disposal measures in place.
Remove all the contents from reused or retired storage media and devices to prevent retrieving of any confidential data. Keep in mind that deleting particular files and folders, formatting the hard drive, or reinstalling the operating system does not guarantee complete data removal. Most of the time, your data remains accessible without knowing it.
You can create and implement a data destruction policy that covers a protocol about each device’s use. This policy should be applied as to whether they will be redistributed or discarded at the end of their life cycles.
- Spread Awareness to Your Employees
Not everyone in your company is aware of the damage that a data breach may bring. So, make sure that all of them understand the importance of security policy within the company.
You can educate your employees through bi-annual refresher courses or even during onboarding. Make sure that all of them are heeding security practices.
Improving your data network security is one of the best ways to start protecting your business against cybersecurity attacks.
No one knows when security attacks would occur, so make sure that your company is protected at all times. With the above tips, you can then provide your business’ extra layer of protection. Do not wait for tomorrow. Now is the best time to implement strict security measures.