What are the effective ways to keep your company data safe? Security breaches happen all of the time and whether you own a small business or work at a huge fortune 500 company you will be subjected to security threats daily.
Security threats can cause downtime in a business and when they do the results can be catastrophic. A well-known stat is that a business that suffers a cyber-attack is 60% likely to go out of business within 6 months.
Computer security has to be taken seriously in this day and age as not only could you lose your data but you can get fined heavily too for the data breach.
In today’s article, we will look at some of the most practical ways you can keep your company data safe and we will also look at what you can do in the event of a data breach.
Have a plan for your computer security
Firstly, having a plan for when something goes wrong is going to keep your entire team on the same page. A strategy or standard operating procedure should also tell your employees what’s acceptable computer usage and what isn’t.
For example, if your employees are told not to open attachments from unknown addresses or not to download executable files from unknown websites then they are far less likely to infect your computer system and expose your business data to hackers.
Having a strategy in place will allow you to act quicker too in a data breach.
Protect against the basics
Every business should be protected against the basics. Businesses should be running malware protection, virus protection and a firewall as standard. If your business isn’t running any of these then you are waiting to be attacked. All of the above software can be purchased for a small fee so there are no excuses.
Rename your wireless network
Leaving your wireless network in its standard state gives away information to hackers that make their job of cracking your network easier. For example, if a hacker knows a certain company uses a default password or a default password length then your password is much easier to brute force than if they didn’t have that information.
When you’re changing your WiFi username change your default password to something stronger too, this will make your network much harder to crack than if you left it alone on its default settings.
Keep your passwords secure
Data breaches can happen when people get careless with their login details. Instead of writing your password down on paper using a system that stores all of your passwords in one secure location.
There are plenty of software choices out there that do this. Not only does this keep your passwords secure but it also saves you from having to remember your passwords which allows you to select more complex passwords that are harder to crack.
Create rules for mobile devices
Your employees are the most likely sources of your company’s data being breached. This is why it’s important to have rules for how devices should be used especially devices they take home with them.
Your staff may use phones, tablets and laptops in a different way than when they are in the office. For example, they may only use the devices for work during working hours but outside of work they may think it’s ok to watch movies online, online shop or something similar which could lead to your devices being infected with malware.
Creating rules for your employees is a great way of decreasing the chances of your devices becoming infected.
Conduct background checks on your employees
Infecting a system or stealing a company’s data is a difficult job and if the right steps are taken your system will have a good chance of staying secure. It’s often employees who bring internal threats inside the business which cause data breaches.
Sometimes these threats are intentional and a new employee could be working for a competitor or they could simply be malicious. This is where background checks come into place. Background checks can highlight any red flags which would suggest not hiring the person in the first place.
Background checks are often carried out by a third party such as a private detective agency. This way you can focus on your business and let a third party carry out all the checks and balances you need to before hiring a person.
Backup your data frequently
You should be backing up your data frequently and to multiple devices. When you back up your data frequently and back it up to multiple devices you are protecting yourself from a wide range of potential problems. Some businesses don’t back up their data at all and when a breach does happen it puts them out of business.
Data backups are cheap and you can even automate them so once again you shouldn’t have any excuses for not being able to back up your data.
Get rid of your hardware securely
Every few years, you will replace your old computer system with a new one. What most companies will then do is get rid of the old system, but they won’t erase their hard drives to a level where hackers can’t intercept their data.
If you are getting rid of hardware you will need to wipe it and physically destroy it so your data stays secure. Our advice would be to use software to wipe the hardware first and then physically destroy it with a hammer or a drill, this may seem like overkill but it’s the best way of keeping your data safe.
Inside a business, keeping your data safe is the job of everyone within that business. As management or even the business owner, it’s your job to keep everyone knowledgeable on the potential threats a business could be facing and how to combat those threats. It’s also your responsibility to provide the right tools and training so that everyone works together for a safer company. These are all to keep your company data safe.
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