How To Secure Your Business Data?
With so much business done over the internet these days and often via multiple devices, security is paramount if a company is to survive and prosper. The larger the business, the harder it can be to keep track of operations and employee activity, leaving companies large and small open to problems and security breaches.
Some Tips To Help Keep Your Business Data Secure And Safe
Identify Sensitive Information
Whatever the industry, all companies have information that is confidential or sensitive and chaos ensues should that information fall into the wrong hands. In order to pinpoint exactly what needs to be protected, you first need to identify that crucial information and where it’s stored; CD, online, audio or paper. Work out what you intend to share with staff and partners and what you need to keep well away from the public domain.
Control Access to the Data
Now that you’ve worked out which data requires protection and you know where it’s stored, consider carefully who needs to have access to it. Limited access means less likelihood of disclosure of sensitive information, intentionally or accidentally and makes tracing the source of leaks much easier too.
Invest in some good software to enable you to track who is accessing which data and when and how they are using it.
Keep an Eye on ‘Visitors’
Large businesses often suffer from theft of physical data (and employees’ personal property) by ‘visitors’ to the premises. These visitors may be there on legitimate business or could be suppliers, temporary staff or cleaners; or they could be would-be thieves. It’s important to keep track of everyone who visits your premises and a good way to do so is through a card entry system or coded keypad on the main office door.
CCTV is also very useful to keep an eye on what people are up to while they are on your premises.
Don’t Forget about Mobiles and Other Devices
With the arrival of the BYOD culture, it’s likely that your employees may be operating in open, unsecured networks and thus bypassing your own network security systems which could leave you vulnerable to data loss or attack.
To tackle this, it’s a good idea to put policies in place surrounding the use of secure mobile technology and working only with secure apps.
Use Strong Passwords and Encrypt Your Data
Insist on a company-wide policy of using only secure passwords that are regularly changed. Encrypt your data before you save it to your hard drive; should you have your device stolen, the thief will be unable to read the encrypted data anyway and your information will remain safe.
Do Not Open Random Links
Never open random links posted to your social media accounts and be very wary of suspicious emails. These are often ploys to lure the unwary into something that could prove to be a gateway for hackers or malicious viruses.
Consign anything you’re not sure about to the spam folder and delete it without opening.
Secure Physical Documents
No matter how paperless you try to make your office, there will always be hard copy documents around which are sensitive in nature; credit card statements, bank account details etc. Always keep such paperwork under lock and key and when it’s finished with, shred it. Avoid taking prints of sensitive data unless it’s absolutely vital.
Upgrade Your Cyber Security
Keep your online security (including wireless networks) up to date to keep hackers out. Use a complex password and opt for WPA2 encryption, rather than just WEP for the best security.
Your Staff Plays a Role Too
It’s important that your staff buy-in to the whole business security ethos. Make your workers feel that they own a degree of responsibility for the security of the company’s sensitive data; encourage them to be vigilant and careful to minimise the risk of security breaches.
Safeguarding confidential and sensitive information can be achieved with commonsense and through setting appropriate company policy but you’ll also need to stay alert and on your guard. Hopefully these tips will help keep your business in profit and always one step ahead of the data thieves.