Digital thieves are always searching for ways to steal precious financial records, personal information, intellectual property, or anything they can get their hands on.
They might then misuse it to set up bogus credit cards, steal money from your bank accounts, or worse, blackmail you. Or, they might end up selling such information to someone else on the black market. It might be an uphill task to protect your valuable business data, but it is something that you have to do no matter what.
Remember that data security is only a single piece of a giant puzzle. It is also vital to implement a backup strategy for your business. Data security is all good when trying to keep hackers away, but what will do if these hackers get their grubby mitts on it? How will your recover it? An effective backup strategy combined with data security will ensure that nobody can get a hold of your business’s valuable data.
With that said, here are a few practical tips that will keep your valuable business data safe at all costs!
Perform regular security audits
If you have no idea of what elements of your business are at risk of data theft, you will not be able to secure it properly. It would be best if you worked with your entire IT department and a professional auditor to analyze your infrastructure, including all computers, networks, and mobile devices.
Doing so will let you know what steps you need to take to prevent hackers from gaining access to your business’s network and stealing data from your devices.
Promote Staff Awareness
A company’s staff is its primary line of defense when talking about data security. If they aren’t aware of what digital security practices to follow, you might as well hand over all your data to the hackers yourself. Sure, a hacker can gain access to your secure network remotely without setting off any alarms. However, a well-informed, vigilant employee will avoid unnecessary human errors that make the hacker’s job easier.
So, consider funding your employees’ education through supplementary programs, such as a masters in information security online degree program or sending them off to data security seminars. It will allow them to learn the latest data security techniques, lowering the chance of exposing data to theft.
Use multiple and strong passwords
Most of us set passwords that are just too common such as our birthdate or place of birth. However, hackers find these passwords easy to guess. When we choose complex, long passwords, a dictionary attack will never happen. It is an automated tool that Hackers use to crack your password.
Furthermore, avoid writing down passwords, especially on your mobile devices. Hackers can sometimes also gain access to your mobile devices’ files and steal whatever you’ve stored on them- which includes your saved passwords as well. Use a combination of symbols and uppercase alphabets and keep your passwords at least more than eight characters long to lower any chances of someone guessing them.
Develop a solid IT infrastructure
Your software and hardware work in tandem to keep your business’s data secure and your networks protected. Upgrading your existing IT infrastructure or installing a new one will minimize digital breach risks. Even a simple step such as using newer network devices or up-to-date computer software can drastically lower data theft chances.
If you don’t know how to update your IT infrastructure, calling in an expert is always on the cards. In fact, it is better that you do so as he or she will know better what part of your IT infrastructure needs updating or replacement.
Enforce security policies
It is one thing to allow your employees to work with freedom, but it is also vital for your business’s safety to implement security policies that keep their access to data in check. For instance, you can ask your employees to install security software on all devices connected to your business’s network.
If they are using your in-house devices, limit their access to valuable business information stored on them. Ask them to never share any security information through email or over the phone. Policies such as these will allow your staff to stay aware and on their feet at all times.
Encrypt your data
Data encryption is a vital initiative when it comes to securing your business’s valuable data. Through data encryption, you are essentially locking it. It will be useless. Even if someone steals it, they won’t decrypt it without entering the correct password. The best part about data encryptions is, you will have to be a bigger genius than Bill Gates to implement encryption.
There are numerous data encryption programs available on the internet that allow you to encrypt your data securely. Plus, consider encrypting more than just your business computers. Everything from USB drives to mobile devices to emails requires encryption to remain protected from hackers.
As we are the sole custodians of our business’s data, we have to do our best to ensure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Protecting valuable data doesn’t always mean installing antivirus software or setting up a firewall. To most experienced hackers, these are just a few speed bumps. The data protection process starts when you create a single digital file. You have to follow it by keeping tabs on who can access it and its storage location. Once you do this, no way your data will be up for grabs for whoever can get to it first.