As the world continues to move towards working from home, and the shift away from offices shows no signs of slowing, companies are having to be more and more vigilant of how they monitor their employees, and ensure that their data is safe even with a number of remote workers.
Even in a huge company, just one data breach can allow hackers or scammers access to extremely sensitive data, and this can be a huge setback for any business. There are data security lawyer firms out there, who can help if it happens, but ultimately it is better to avoid breaches altogether. It’s still your responsibility to keep your sensitive data secure even with a team of people working remotely.
In this guide, we explain our top tips to keep your company’s data fully secure.
Invest in comprehensive antivirus software
Whether there are five computers used within your business or 500, the antivirus that is running on them is not something to skimp on. You should ensure you have comprehensive coverage for every machine that is used to access company servers or even email accounts.
A virus ending up on one of these machines can lead to hackers stealing or leaking your data, or even demanding a ransom from the company not to do so. Some people ignore antivirus or don’t get the right level of coverage, as they don’t think it will happen to them. Phishing schemes are becoming more common and even targeting executives representing big companies. A virus could come from an email attachment that looks like you can trust it, proving that antivirus is worth the investment.
Steps you can take to secure your data
There are other steps you can take to protect your data and prevent anyone you don’t want from getting access to sensitive company or customer information:
- Force users to have a strong password, and reset it regularly. If you have staff members logging into an online platform or even just email accounts linked to the company, it is important to make them regularly set a new password that is secure.
- Limit access to sensitive information. If you have a server where you store really sensitive information about your company or even customers it is your responsibility to keep this secure. Limit the access so that only people who absolutely need to be able to get to it can do so.
- Educate staff members on the best practice for security. This could be something as simple as keeping their devices out of sight when they are in public, so they don’t get stolen.
- Only allow computers you trust into your network. Employees might offer to use their own laptop, or even want to do so because it is faster or they prefer it. It’s probably not a good idea to let them. It’s harder to track viruses and the safety of the device.
- Don’t use public networks. If staff members use public networks then it can be a real recipe for disaster. You don’t know who is looking in on these networks, and hackers and scammers can use them to track you and steal data.
Damaging after-effects of a data breach
We don’t want to scaremonger too much. If you follow all of the tips in this guide then you may never have to deal with the fallout of a data breach, but there are a number of things that can happen, all of which damage the company.
- Disruptions. Firstly, it will be a big hassle to try and put the situation right and this is likely to cost you a lot of time and hassle.
- Loss of trust. If you have lost the data of employees, customers, or other businesses then it is not good press for your business and might suggest that you can’t keep important data safe.
- Financial losses. Whether it’s paying out to hackers using ransomware, replacing lost equipment, or compensating people whose data has been stolen, it can cost you a lot of money. What’s more, if the scammers gain access to business bank accounts they may be able to steal directly.
- Legal consequences. You have certain legal responsibilities to staff and customers, and a data breach may also be a breach of these responsibilities, meaning it is time to get a lawyer involved.