Data security has become a hot topic nowadays, as hackers and scammers across the globe are arming themselves with the knowledge and the sophisticated tools needed to breach almost every firewall that hasn’t been updated or upgraded. Likewise, it’s important to note that this rising threat is not only directed towards established businesses and global enterprises, but that even the small family-owned companies are at risk from data breaches and sensitive data leaks.
Naturally, you cannot allow a cyberattack to be successful, or for any of your employees to inadvertently give valuable information to an online scammer, because that might be disastrous for your brand’s reputation. Improving data security should be your no.1 priority if you want to keep the proverbial ship afloat, so let’s take a look at the most effective data security tips and solutions you need to integrate into your business operations.
Start with employee education and training
Even though the average employee should have a basic understanding on how to behave in the online world, you can’t expect of your team members to know everything about cybersecurity and sensitive data handling without proper training and education. If you fail to educate your employees, then it’s only a matter of time before a valuable piece of information slips through the cracks. It might happen with them inadvertently giving away customer data to a scammer, or they might download malicious software – whatever happens, it might jeopardize the future of your brand.
First up, bring in a cybersecurity professional who will structure an easy-to-follow seminar, and conduct a few workshops with your employees. Make sure that every team member understands how they should behave online and while handling company and personal tech, and pay special attention to the employees who might be having a difficult time adopting the knowledge. Typically, the team members who are not “digital natives” will require a bit more personal training.
Improve password security
The next step towards better data security is to improve the password strength on every device, and every piece of software in your company. Unfortunately, employees usually don’t know what constitutes a strong password, oftentimes going for the phrases and combinations that are easy to remember. Worse yet, these passwords are typically near-identical versions of the security keys they use on their personal accounts and devices.
It only takes a single personal password to get stolen to put your entire company at risk, which means that you can leave nothing to chance. Instead, be sure to switch to password management software, a tool that will create truly random password combinations for every account and device, and store them in a safe place. This will ensure that your employees aren’t using their personal passwords for work accounts, and most importantly, that the password strength is truly up to par with the latest industry standards.
Migrate to an advanced cloud infrastructure
Running a secure data center in-house is a cumbersome, time-consuming, and financially-taxing chore. Unfortunately, unless you have a world-leading IT infrastructure, you cannot hope to ensure the same level of data security as that of a cloud-based platform. Private cloud security, and especially advanced hyper-converged infrastructures have become the gold standard of cybersecurity for businesses nowadays, simply due to the number of benefits the technology brings to the table.
When you migrate your business operations to the cloud, you can enjoy the multi-dimensional security protection that the leading private cloud providers offer among numerous other benefits that come with an advanced cloud infrastructure. You will be able to control the flow of data more efficiently, expand your data center seamlessly as you go, and enjoy the latest cybersecurity measures without having to waste financial resources on research and implementation.
Combine software and hardware firewalls
Speaking of top-level cybersecurity, it’s important to keep in mind that a software firewall is not the be-all end-all of cybersecurity. In fact, ready-to-use software firewalls rarely have the specific features a company needs, and they are rarely optimized to accommodate the data protection requirements of a growing business. This is why it’s important that you optimize and upgrade the software firewalls in your company, but also integrate hardware firewall systems in order to enhance data security and stay on top of all data going in and out of your company.
Introduce an effective security policy
Your business needs to have a strong security policy in place in order to provide guidance and structure to all employees and processes, as well as to ensure complete compliance with the laws and regulations that govern the use, storage, and handling of sensitive data. Likewise, creating an efficient security policy means that you will be able to manage cloud resources easily, reduce security costs, and integrate the policy into every process and department.
Make sure to differentiate between three classes of data: restricted, private, and public. This will help you and your employees access, handle, and store data by knowing exactly how sensitive it is, and thus prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
Data security has become more important than ever before, as the cybersecurity threats are becoming more prevalent across the globe. With these tips in mind, you can effectively safeguard your sensitive business data, and protect your company from nefarious online activity.