Your business depends on data security. Without it, you could compromise sensitive information and face lost time, money and resources.
Fortunately, there are tools available to help you protect your company’s information and assets. Here are eight ways to keep your data safe.
1. Teach Employees About Security Best Practices
Your employees are the front line against many security threats. Hackers send emails to your company with malware attachments that are capable of infecting your network. They often pose as legitimate companies.
It is imperative that your employees recognize threats when they receive them. You can establish security policies that include measures such as:
- Using strong passwords
- Reporting questionable emails to your IT professionals
- Avoiding the download of suspicious attachments
Remind staff never to share ID cards with anyone else, even other employees. Workstations may need password protection, and hard copies of sensitive information should remain locked.
2. Use Antivirus Software and Digital Certificates
It’s critical to install antivirus software and firewalls to keep your data away from criminals. Once you have security measures in place, ensure they get regular updates to protect your system against the latest viruses. Hackers are continually creating new threats, and software companies release patches and updates to keep up with them.
You can also use digital certificates to enhance the security of transmitted data. They are electronic passwords or files that authenticate a device, user or server. Because digital certificates have varying lifecycles, admins can use certificate lifecycle management to view and maintain them.
3. Perform Regular Data Backups
If a cyberattack hits your company, a backup plan can save you from starting over. Perform backups regularly — daily is best, but aim to back up files at least weekly. Set up automatic backups if possible.
You can back up files on the cloud, allowing you to access information from anywhere. You can also use external hard drives and store them offsite. For maximum protection, use both methods.
4. Limit Employee Access
Create a separate user account for each employee. Make sure they use strong passwords to access their accounts. Keep workers’ access to data on a need-to-know basis. Give employees access to the systems they need to do their jobs, but no more.
When workers move to another position in your company, remove the previous credentials. If you have to deal with a security issue from within your company, it’s easier to track if employees have limited access.
5. Keep Your Network Secure
Keep your Wi-Fi network password protected, and do not share it with anyone outside the company. Keep the network hidden — make sure it does not broadcast the SSID (Secure Set Identifier) where others can see it. Encrypting your network adds another layer of security against outside interference.
6. Check Your Vendors’ Security Methods
You can perform every security measure you know, but what are your vendors doing? If they have access to your sensitive data, you may need to know how they protect it. Ask vendors about their security procedures.
7. Protect Mobile Devices
It can be easy to overlook mobile devices, especially when you are focusing on the security of your in-house computers. However, their security is crucial, especially if employees use their personal devices to access company data. Lost or stolen devices can create a significant security challenge for your business.
Make sure employees have their devices password-protected. They should install security apps and encrypt their data. You can also consider issuing company-owned mobile phones to maintain control of their security features.
8. Use Physical Barriers
Cybersecurity is essential, but limiting physical access to your equipment is also important. Keep laptops and other mobile devices locked up when not in use. If you have especially sensitive data, maintain a separate locked room and control who has access to it.
Data security is a challenge for every company. Taking steps to protect your information helps protect you from a significant loss and keeps your business running smoothly.