With technology and the internet growing each and every day, an increase in data breaches and cybersecurity threats grows right along with it. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure your company is taking the proper precautions to ensure the security of all of its sensitive data.
We compiled a list of six ways to secure your sensitive company data to help you get started in protecting your company.
Set Strong Passwords for All Accounts
Passwords are like a lock on a door to keep unwanted visitors out of your home. The weaker the lock, the more likely it is that someone will break into your home and steal what belongs to you. Make sure everyone in your company knows how to create a strong password to protect all of your data.
Provide training to your employees on creating passwords to get everyone on the same page. Using pass-phrases instead of passwords, as well as including numbers and symbols in your password, will make it harder for a hacker to guess your password and break into your account.
Also, consider investing in a secure password management application such as Zoho Vault, Dashline 4, 1Password, Bitwarden, or Sticky Password to keep all of your passwords securely protected in one place, so you know you don’t have passwords all over the place that can get leaked.
Create an Employee Data Security Agreement
Make sure all of your employees are on the same page when it comes to data protection. When they are hired, make them sign a contract that forbids them from sharing any of the company’s sensitive information with anyone outside the company. Let them know what they are allowed to share, what they are not allowed to share, who they are allowed to share information with, and what the consequences are if they break this contract.
Also, with a rise in employees working from home, many are accessing their work from their own personal devices. Ensure that if they are doing so, they download security software on their personal devices for additional protection and agree not to leave their devices in public places.
Only Collect Necessary Data
It can be tempting to want to collect as much data about your customers and employees as possible just in case you might need that information down the road. However, try only to store data that you absolutely need at that moment.
The more information you store, the more data a hacker can steal. The more data a hacker can steal, the more you will need to invest in protecting your data. So, keep the amount of data you are storing to a minimum to increase protection.
When collecting your data, put it into categories of public, private, and restricted data for security purposes. Public data will require the least amount of security, while restricted data will require the most. Take these categories into consideration when creating a protection plan, and ensure proper protection at each stage.
Invest in Proper Cybersecurity Measures
No one is immune to data breaches. In fact, over 25% of businesses have experienced a data breach. Data breaches aren’t cheap, either. On average, they cost a company over $38,000. That’s enough to cause major damage to a small business, and may potentially be business-ending. Put that money to better use and save yourself a huge headache by hiring a cybersecurity or security company that knows how to use technology to prevent data breaches in the first place.
It would also be beneficial to consider investing in an antimalware program, an antivirus program, and firewall software to protect your company’s data from any malicious software.
Analyze Employees’ Computer Behaviors for Threats
With the amount of sensitive information available across employees’ accounts, they are often of significant interest to hackers looking to compromise your company’s data. As a result, it is important to monitor actions taken on employees’ computers.
While this doesn’t mean you need to be monitoring your employees’ every move while they work on their computers, it does mean you should be looking for any unusual actions that might be taking place on their accounts. Consider setting up rule-based alerts that might be able to identify any strange login attempts or network activity that might indicate a hacker.
Create a Worse-Case-Scenario Action Plan
Unfortunately, while you can follow all of the best practices and invest in the best protection software and services, that doesn’t mean your company is 100% protected against cybercriminals and hackers. Due to this, make sure you are preparing for the worst and that you have a plan just in case a cyber breach occurs at your company.
An excellent tip to get you started is to make sure you have all of your data backed up, off-site, in case it is ever lost in a data breach.
A good response plan if a data breach does happen includes immediately acting to shut down any compromised computers. Once that’s done, make sure you change all affected passwords while making sure to utilize the instructions provided in tip #1.
Next, make sure to notify any parties who might have been affected by the security breach and bring them up to speed on any changes that have been made as well as the next steps.
After that, carry on to investigate further into what might have gone wrong to cause the data breach to happen in the first place.
Don’t Wait; Protect Your Company’s Sensitive Data Today
Remember that, unfortunately, no one is exempt from cyberattacks. But taking the proper precautions can significantly reduce the chances of one ever happening to your company. Don’t wait. Act today before it’s too late, and take proper security measures to protect your company from the possibility of data breaches and fraud.
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