How to Keep Your Business Data Safe

man at the office

The way businesses, big and small, are moving operations to digital and online realms has deepened the already grave problem of data security. All kinds of information from addresses and phone numbers to social security numbers and credit card information to corporate secrets have already been stolen and exposed.

If large, multinational corporations can fall victim to hacks and leaks, how will the mom-and-pop store fare in this new frontier when they’re so outgunned?

Thankfully, there are still several steps business owners can take that can drastically reduce the risk of data security breaches for big and small enterprises alike.

Cyber Security

This is what people think about the most when data security is mentioned. Business owners want to know how to protect their enterprise from online threats, and there are several ways to do this.

  • Malware Protection – Contrary to popular belief, malware breaches only make up 17% of all security breaches in 2020. But that doesn’t mean this threat should be ignored. In fact, the reason it only makes up only one-sixth of all successful threats is because businesses usually already have protections against it.
    • Use a firewall.
    • Install a comprehensive virus protection program.
    • Use built-in email security.
  • Avoid Phishing – Phishing emails, websites, messages, links, and more trick people, in this case, employees, into thinking they are accessing safe content when they’re really falling into a trap. This may give hackers access to important information or sensitive software.
    • Use email filters.
    • Be more cautious about correspondences.

using a laptop

Onsite Security

Business data is not confined between the streams that come and go through the internet. In fact, most businesses store their valuable information in their stores or offices. These important pieces of information also don’t have to be digital to pose risks.

  • Backup Systems – Make sure that your data is backed up. Hackers also often hold important information in ransom. Having backup systems in place will help you recover more quickly when this happens. Backup systems also keep your information safe in case of natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances.
    • Have multiple storage redundancies including offline and on cloud services you trust.
  • Data Migration – If you have been in business for a long time, there is a good chance that you keep a large number of files on paper. As part of having backup systems in place, it’s a good idea to migrate these files online or at least to digital form.
  • Proper Data Disposal – Some sensitive information need to be disposed of in an efficient way. When dealing with digital information, make sure that no copies are present after you erase them. This includes emptying your recycle bins or using the ‘permanently delete’ function instead of the ‘delete’ one.
    For paper documents, using shredders is a proven way of making sure that the sensitive information stay protected. According to PDC Presentation Solutions Ltd, shredders are still an indispensable tool, even for modern businesses.

Human Error

Unfortunately, most resources point to human error as the biggest contributor to data security breaches in any company. Whether it’s forgetting to lock their computer in a public place or clicking on a highly suspicious link, humans tend to be the weakest link in this struggle to protect business information.

Education is the most important tool in deterring this threat. Everyone in the team should understand that data security is a responsibility for everyone and not just IT. They also need to learn what the common mistakes are that lead to breaches.

Conclusion

Protecting your valuable business information is a three-pronged approach that looks into cybersecurity, onsite security, and human error. Learning more about these areas of risk can help build your protection and make sure your business stays safe from both intentional and unintentional breaches.

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