Data breaches are undeniably one of the top news stories in the world. Highly valuable for companies and organizations, data at risk can lead to expensive and serious consequences that can ruin the entire business. The concerning increase in cyberattacks is generally the result of weak or failed security measures.
Among the damaging threats that a data breach can pose to one’s business include operational downtime, loss of sensitive data, and diminished reputation. It can also lead to several financial consequences such as legal fines and penalties, customer compensations, and future security casts like theft repair. Discover the best practices your business should focus on to create stronger data security.
1. Encrypt and backup
When it comes to data privacy and security, encryption is one of the basic techniques every organization or business should take into account. Encryption is commonly used for all kinds of data, including financial information, employee and customer data, and Social Security numbers. You can do this manually or by using software to create an encryption key.
In truth, data breaches can cause you to lose all your data that are critical for efficiently running your operations and processes. For instance, if you’re a Microsoft user, make sure to acquire an Office 365 cloud backup solution for your data and content. Such tactics will allow you to back up and restore your files in case of malicious or accidental deletion. Create appropriate backup protocols for all your company data.
2. Make it complex
Optimizing your password is one of the most recommended tactics to secure basic passwords. The goal is to make the passwords more complex, providing better fortification for your data. It’s advisable to create passwords that are eight or more characters long. Be sure to also include numbers and other non-standard characters to make them more complex.
Moreover, setting up multifactor authentication is also a great way to have extra layers of protection. Considered to be supercritical for both small and big organizations, multifactor authentication ensures that your data, such as employee accounts, won’t be easily hacked or accessed by unauthorized users.
3. Have BYOD policies
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are first designed to reduce operational costs and increase workforce productivity and mobility. However, for most companies that use BYOD, data privacy and security are among the top issues. If implemented the right way, BYOD can deliver effective data protection.
For instance, it’s best that employees are provided with an option to either align their personal devices with the security policies or no apply them yet assures that there will be no transfer done for any company data. Other BYOD practices to consider include keeping the company’s data and the device owner’s data separate, updating unpatched operating software or systems, and adding multifactor authentication for remote access.
4. Dispose properly
Another effective way to minimize the risk of a security breach is to create suitable disposal measures for the data you’ll no longer use. Check every piece of storage media and devices that contain your sensitive data and make sure that it can’t be retrieved. Note that data won’t be gone completely just by deleting files and folders, formatting drives, or reinstalling the operating system.
One thing you can do is to ensure to also overwrite the deleted files and delete any old files from your cloud backups. Furthermore, to make sure your company hard drives, phones, and computers will be distributed or discarded properly, you can create a sound data destruction policy for every use case.
5. Educate your people
In the chain of data protection, the human factor is typically the top vulnerability. According to some surveys, employees actually account for about 54% of data breaches, either due to negligence or ignorance. To mitigate risks, it’s crucial to educate your employees about the best data security practices. You can send out or run seminars discussing security information or even organize regular quizzes or short tests.
Most big organizations provide clear guidelines and training for all their employees, ensuring everyone is well-informed of the internal cybersecurity policies and compliance regulations when encountering different types of sensitive data. Make sure to also put extra effort into educating the higher management or C-level executives since they are the most appealing targets for hackers because of their high-level data access.
Preparing for cyberattacks won’t just help you safeguard your sensitive and private data; it’s also a way to secure the growth and success of your company. Create a strong action plan using these tips and the risks of data breaches. Lastly, don’t hesitate to seek the help of experienced IT specialists to ensure proper implementation.