6 Tips for Protecting Your Business’ Data
Both small and large companies are targets of hackers. Today, there are about 3.5 new threats every second. Hackers are often looking for ways to steal business information so that it can be sold to make a hefty profit. With so much business data housed in the cloud, knowing how to protect it is more important now than ever before. Here are 6 tips to follow to keep your business’ data as secure as possible.
1. Know the Threat
Most companies don’t put too much emphasis on cyber threats until they’re the victim of an incident. But, in today’s world where online attacks are growing in complexity, it’s important to know the impact that a cyber-attack can have on a company. Businesses that have been hit by an online attack face a loss of data, legal issues, as well as financial hardship. Even worse, an attack can mean the end of a company. In fact, a study found that one out of five small businesses have been impacted by a cyber-attack. Within 6 months of the attack, 60% go out of business.
Online we face all sorts of vulnerabilities including email hacks, mobile device threats, and even threats on social media. Being blind and undermining the impact of these threats can put your business at serious risk. Though it’s a pretty scary topic, be willing to face the threats head on and implement methods to secure and safeguard your sensitive data.
2. Promote Secure Email Practices
Email is the backbone of all companies. We use it to communicate with partners across the globe as well as to send and receive contracts, budgets, and other sensitive data. In order to protect your business’ data, you’ll need to practice safe online shopping, data storage, and communication. This includes using spam filtering, including digital signatures in emails, and verifying email senders before opening the message.
Hackers know that email users are an easy target. They also know that a business inbox is a goldmine of information. Be sure that you and you employees are following secure email practices to avoid the risk of data compromise. If possible, use email security services in addition to a secure email server to create extra walls of security for every member of your organization.
3. Use Encryption
Encryption has become the go-to security measure for keeping data protected. With encryption, the risk of a hacker gaining access to your business data is extremely low. Even better, in the event that your data is somehow stolen, if it’s encrypted, the hacker won’t be able to access it without the key to decrypt it. Be sure to encrypt all data, applications, and hardware that your business may use including:
Be sure that your IT team uses a robust encryption system for all of your business data and assets. This way you can share confidential business data confidently and without the worry of unauthorized access.
4. Embrace Need to Know
While you can send encrypted emails or password-protect a file, need to know is an even bigger factor. If you’re sharing confidential business information, be well aware of who is receiving that data. Before sending an email or granting access to a folder on your company’s shared drive, ensure that you’re only sharing this data with people who absolutely need to see it. Your IT people probably shouldn’t have access to your HR files and your marketing staff shouldn’t have insight into top level management documents. Always practice need-to-know when sharing business information.
5. Educate Employees
Some hackers use certain attacks because they know that users aren’t always able to spot the signs of a phishing email or a hijacked browsing session. Humans are the biggest security vulnerability and because of this, it’s important to educate your employees about security best practices as well as information about detecting a potential hacking attempt and mitigation strategies.
The training should provide a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to using the Internet and business computing device. For example, employees should know how to spot a phishing email just as they should know the risks of connecting their work laptop to a public WiFi hotspot. Educating your employees and keeping them in the loop about new threats is a must. Protecting your data starts and ends with each one of your staff members.
6. Passwords Are Key
We can’t talk about data protection without mentioning passwords. And while we all can relate to the frustration of having to remember numerous complex passwords, the stronger the password, the more time it takes to crack it. Hackers are notorious for using password cracking apps. To lessen the chance of a hacker being successful, be sure to require complex passwords for all employees.
Don’t let your business become one of the names in the news! Data security may not be the easiest business goal to achieve, but it’s definitely one of the most important ones. Follow these 6 tips to ensure your business data is properly safeguarded. Did you fint the information in this article helpful? Leave us a comment in the section below.