A data breach can cause serious damage in organizations of any size. The financial and reputational impact often leaves companies with no choice but to shut down for good.
In addition to cyberattacks, your critical information is also vulnerable to various forms of data loss. This includes accidental deletion, file corruption, software error, hardware failure, and natural disaster. While certain threats are unavoidable, the ramifications can always be mitigated.
How do you keep your data safe? It’s not as complicated as it may seem. This guide outlines 5 simple security tips that you can use to protect your small business data today.
Did you know that an astounding 43% of data breaches point back to internal staff who either maliciously or mindlessly provide network access to cybercriminals? The possibilities are endless.
For example, an untrained employee may open a phishing email that deploys and spreads malware across connected devices. An attack can also be facilitated by workers with insecure credentials or unauthenticated accounts. It’s crucial to establish a cybersecurity training program that equips your team with essential cybersecurity expertise.
Your primary defense against data loss is an effective and regular backup schedule. When important files are stored on an external drive or cloud service, you can always revert to the latest restore point in the event of a breach. Another benefit is that backing up enables the encryption and remote wiping of compromised devices.
Now, where should your information be stored? An offsite location is generally favored for backups. Whether you choose an online platform or managed service, you can access and share files from any location, which is one of the reasons why you need offsite data backups as a small business.
A planned and organized approach is key. With the assistance of online resources or an IT professional, draw up a clear strategy for protecting your data and network. Here are some factors to consider:
- Admin privileges and user access rights
- Handling sensitive information
- Software security and vulnerabilities
- System scan and update routines
Be sure to occasionally revisit and revise your policies. Also, remember to cover employee training in the documentation as your plan will only succeed if everyone is on board.
The list above mentions user access rights. This refers to the privilege levels you assign to each employee based on their competency and role in the workplace. You should always know who is accessing company information and why.
It’s fairly easy to determine the appropriate level of access. For instance, the highest privileges are granted to a select few who are proficient and experienced with the Proper handling of confidential data.
Finally, always enable automatic updates where possible. This ensures that your software receives the latest bug fixes and security patches. It’s wise to list all of the programs your business uses before checking their settings. Don’t forget about firewalls, servers, encryption tools and email platforms.
Bonus tips include risk assessments, outsourced cybersecurity, and multifactor authentication. Get these right and your data will be infinitely safer.