Data is the lifeblood of your business, and it is crucial that you keep it safe for the sake of your clients and business. Failure to safeguard sensitive information can have grave consequences on your business, ranging from dented reputation to direct fees and fines. Data security faces several risks, but what can you do about those risks? How can you make your business data safer? Read on for x ways to keep your business data secure.
1. Protect against malware
Malicious malware will smarm on unprotected networks and devices without you even realizing a thing until it’s too late. Use the following tips to safeguard your PCs and networks against malware:
- Apply a firewall: Although a firewall may not be enough on its own, it offers the first line of defense against malicious malware.
- Only use a trusted antivirus software
- Keep emails clean: Install anti-spam software to protect against emails with malicious links.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest attacks.
2. Back Up everything
Disasters strike when least expected, and it is crucial to prepare for the worst. You don’t want your business operations to be paralyzed in the event your computer is stolen or lost. Losing a computer is stressful enough, and you don’t want to have the stress of losing business data, too. Learn how to back up your data on a Windows PC and how to use the Time Machine Mac if you use a Mac computer.
3. Keep your wireless network secure.
Hackers are always waiting for the slightest opportunity to pounce on your wireless network. The good news is that it is easy to keep it secure by taking the following steps:
- Change the router’s default password and use a unique, more secure password.
- Change the name of your Wi-Fi network
- Activate wireless network encryption
- Turn your network off when there is no one in the office
- Disable remote access
- Keep the router’s software updated
- Use a hardware firewall to secure your network
- Reduce the range of your wireless network signal
4. Have a plan for personal devices
The workplace is changing, and so are the resources and tools that workers depend on for work. People used to rely on company-issued computers to do research, enter data, among other tasks. Today, smartphones, tablets, and personal computers are becoming more common. Businesses realize that BYOD in the workplace has several benefits, including low operating costs, and are encouraging their employees to bring their devices to work. However, it’s not without risks.
Some of the scariest BYOD security risks include:
- Devices loss or theft
- Sketchy apps
- Device infection
- Malware infiltration – people use their personal devices for all sorts of things, and it is easy to download a game or open a link with hidden viruses or malware.
Here are tips to mitigate these security threats:
- Prohibit applications that are considered high-security risks
- Passwords should be compulsory for all BYOD devices
- Educate your employees about BYOD security
- Back up data
- Invest in dependable security solutions for devices
- Apply the principle of least privileges.
- Keep all programs updated
- Enable remote wipe application
5. Dispose of data properly
Private and confidential data should be disposed of properly to avoid accidental disclosure. All sensitive physical data (paper) should be shredded. When it comes to digital data, deleting a file does not mean that the file has been removed from the hard disk (apart from some SSIDs operating on certain operating systems). If you are disposing of data or you are disposing of an old computer, you can wipe all read/writable data using disk wipe software. You should also shred all CDs and DVDs.
6. Consider cloud storage
Cloud storage is one of the safest ways to store information online. Instead of storing data in a hard disk or local storage, you can opt for cloud storage, where you can access it using the internet. There are several reliable cloud storage service providers, and almost every big tech company has a cloud storage facility.
Although everything associated with the internet raises some security concerns, most cloud storage facilities are very secure. With cloud storage, data is saved across redundant servers. Even if one data server collapses, your data will remain safe and secure in another data center. Other advantages of using cloud storage include:
- Usability and accessibility
- It’s cost-effective
- Convenient for sharing data
- Allows for multiple users
- Allows for synchronization
- It’s convenient
- It’s scalable and flexible
- Best for disaster recovery
Data theft and web threats are the greatest threats to business operations in the digital era. If you don’t have proper procedures and security in place, you leave your business susceptible to such risks, which is at best exasperating and at worst irreversible. The above tips will help you to keep your business data secure.