Data is the lifeblood of any business, and if that data falls into the wrong hands, it can damage your business’s bottom line and reputation. Cyberthreats are at every turn, and cybercriminals are becoming more versed, leveraging more sophisticated tools than ever.
So, whether it’s personal information from customers or work you have done in the past, you need to protect sensitive data from prying eyes. Here are some vital steps to make sure your business’ data is secured.
Get Cyber and Privacy Insurance
Rather than just relying on your regular business liability insurance, which might cover you in case of property damage, bodily injuries, and unfounded lawsuits, you should as well go ahead and get proper cyber and privacy insurance.
Cyber and privacy insurance policies offer protection against hackers, data breaches, and confidential data loss. Additionally, such coverage can help you recover from any financial and regulatory burdens caused by security breaches.
You should encrypt everything on all devices where you digitally store valuable data. Hackers might breach other defenses by leveraging sophisticated means. For example, they could trick someone from your company into clicking a phishing email or slip past your firewall. But, if everything is encrypted, the information they get will be useless without the keyphrase to decrypt it, making it impossible for hackers to compromise the data.
If you don’t update the software when needed, you’re making it easier for hackers to find system vulnerabilities. So, take time to update the security settings of your device, the operating system you need, and other software to the latest versions.
Additionally, do any other required updates as you use the system. You can even set it up so that any improvements and patches are updated automatically in the background as they come out. This will give you peace of mind that your network is protected against threats.
Whitelist Wi-Fi Only
Devices connected to your company’s Wi-Fi network can connect with the hub and other devices. Because you don’t want just anyone within the range connecting, you should approve both the company and employee devices one at a time. Anyone that needs to connect the device to the Wi-Fi will have to submit it to an IT technician to approve it before granting it access. This practice will prevent hackers and rogue or infected devices from connecting.
Protect Against Malware
Firewalls are excellent for blocking malicious programs from gaining access to your data. It’s best to use hardware-based firewalls as they add greater security compared to software-based ones.
To strengthen your business’s data security, keep a current anti-malware and antivirus running on all your devices, including smartphones and tablets. Likewise, ask for periodic scans on every device. Finally, enforce antispam software to protect your network from unwanted emails.
Enforce Password Protection
Selecting strong passwords and following the best password practices is crucial to securing your business’s data. To create robust passwords, use an assortment of letters, symbols, and numbers. That being said, don’t put the same password on more accounts and never save the passwords in browsers or any unsecured program like a document or spreadsheet.
For the most sensitive data, use two-factor authentication — it’s less likely that the data will fall into the wrong hands if a user needs a second passcode. Finally, enforce a protocol to revoke access authorization if an issue arises.
Create BYOD Security Policy
Embracing Bring Your Own Device policy can be great for boosting productivity and reducing costs, but should you ignore potential security issues? Accessing sensitive data from personal devices means data travels outside the secured company network. Create a comprehensive policy covering Internet monitoring issues, location tracking, and pertinent data deletion.
Create a Recovery Strategy
Hackers continuously find new ways to intrude into an organization’s network, so even if you implement the best security practices, you might experience a data breach. So, ensure you have a recovery strategy in case your organization’s sensitive data has been compromised.
After identifying the source and extent of the data breach, the first step would be to alert your breach task force to proactively address the breach, alert the authorities and all affected customers, and prepare for damage control.
Risks to data security can’t be overlooked. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep sensitive data safe, and you can do so by implementing some of the security measures we’ve outlined above. These tactics will help you reduce the likelihood of your business’ data falling into the wrong hands and damaging your reputation and bottom line.
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