10 Ways to Protect Your Data
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Is your business’ data adequately protected from internal and external threats? Data security breaches in recent years have compromised the personal information of millions of people and caused extensive damage to the companies responsible for securing that data.
Any business of any size can be at risk for financial loss and untold damages to their reputation if the right security measures are not put in place. Here are ten ways to protect your data and your company’s security.
- Install internal protection protocols – First and foremost, you must train your employees to protect your internal systems. Implementing a strategy for strong logins and passwords to your network data is crucial for protecting your data. If an employee leaves your employment, their access must be immediately terminated to protect your company’s digital assets. Having these protocols in place and adhering to them is your first line of defense from data breaches from internal sources.
- Store customer data in an encrypted database – Whether you are a tiny company or growing into a large corporate entity, you need to protect your customer’s private information. Not doing so could cost your company irreparable damage to your reputation and bring harm to your customers. Database encryption provides a layer of protection for sensitive data.
- Anti-virus and malware detection – As a business, you need extensive protection against cyber threats that can come through the Internet. Ensure you have extensive coverage the latest viruses and malware that could infiltrate your system. Your IT management team should be continually updating your system against new threats.
- Background Checks – You need to know the history of the people that your company employs. Conducting routine background checks on anyone that will have even limited access to your company’s internal data should be a standard procedure. It is worth the investment in your talent pool to only hire employees that have a clean background.
- Create a need-to-know policy for data for employees – Only employees that need access to company and customer data should be able to retrieve this data. Create levels of access determined by what information an employee requires to fulfill their work responsibilities.
- Educate your employees – Training staff about the dangers of compromised data is crucial to your business, along with knowing the dangers of accessing your network through unsecured networks that may put your company’s data at risk. Educate employees on which information should be kept confidential regarding your company, clients, and vendors.
- Cleanse data files – Do you have old data that is no longer needed? Set up a protocol for properly disposing of old data- both digital and paper versions. This includes clearing old computers, phones, and mobile devices of data when they are transferred between users or relinquished for recycling. Use a reputable source for destroying old data.
- Scrutinize your business partners and vendors – You must be scrupulous on who you conduct business with when you are trying to protect your data. The security protocols employed by third-party partners and vendors must be reviewed prior to allowing them access to your network. They must be reviewed consistently to ensure your business contacts are maintaining stringent security measures to protect business’ data that you share within these partnerships
- Update your company’s computers and operating systems on a regular basis – Utilizing the latest hardware and software provides maximum data protection by closing vulnerabilities and loopholes in the infrastructure. Are your company’s computers upgraded to the newest operating system with the most recent updates? Routinely update your devices and systems to stay protected from the latest cyber threats.
- Have an IT management system – While you may understand the basic IT requirements for your business, nothing can replace having a professional team evaluate and monitor your data security. Even small businesses should have an IT management system in place to routinely gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of your data security. Utilizing an IT management service is an affordable way to get the security your business needs without the expense of an internal IT staff.
Protecting your company’s proprietary information should be your top priority. At Loyal IT, we offer consulting and IT management solutions that create an effective data protection plan for your business. We can ensure you have the right software, firewalls, and malware protection from external threats, as well as help you design an internal protocol for securing access to your data. We also ensure you are meeting compliance regulations for data protection for your industry, such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and Sarbanes- Oxley. Call us today to schedule a data security consultation.