Technology is getting better every day and cyber-security is also progressing rapidly as improvements are needed to keep up with hackers and cyber-criminals. The increase in cyber-attacks over the last few years has become a major concern for those who use the internet, especially businesses and organisations.
Definition of Data Security
‘Data security refers to protective digital privacy measures that are applied to prevent unauthorised access to computers, databases, and websites. Data security also protects data from corruption. Data security is an essential aspect of IT for organisations of every size and type.’
A data breach is every organisation’s worst nightmare. You need to ask yourself; How secure is your data? If you’re not sure, here are five top tips on how you can keep your business data secure.
Limit Data Access
By limiting your data access, you are essentially one step closer to preventing a cyber-attack. Most organisations will give access to their data to a number of employees. It’s important that your employees only have access to what they need on a day-to-day basis, and what data is needed according to their job roles. By limiting your employees on the data that they have access to, you’re managing your data more efficiently and you’re making sure that it is being safeguarded to prevent any cyber-attacks.
Make a list of who has access to what data and change it if necessary. This will help to keep your employees organised.
Create Stronger Passwords
When you’re creating new or updating already existing passwords, you will want to make the passwords as complicated as possible so it’s more difficult for hackers or hacking tools to get a hold of your passwords. Think of random things that have nothing to do with your business or anything to do with your personal life such as names or DOB’s. For your passwords, use special characters, upper case letters, and numbers if possible. Just remember to make a note (somewhere safe) of any complicated passwords so you don’t forget them!
Each department in your business should have a different password, as well as different software and programs that your employees use.
If you want to be extra careful, changing your password every few months can be an option for you. This may just give you peace of mind, knowing that if any employees have left since you last changed your password, they won’t be able to get into your online accounts, etc.
Most online software’s nowadays will use multi-factor authentication. If you can access your mobile phone or email, this is another great way to protect your account. Once you have multi-factor authentication set up and you’re attempting to log in, it will send a code to your phone number or email address, which makes it so much harder for a hacker to get into your account as they will need that code in order to continue on to that account.
If you are currently using the same password for all your accounts and software’s that your business uses, change it right away. If a hacker was to get a hold of your password successfully, they will go ahead and try this same password on every software and account that your business has access to.
Back-Up Your Data and Update
One thing which you will need to do is regularly back up and update your data when you can. Businesses need to be prepared for the unexpected, which could be a loss of data. Try and get into the routine of backing up your data, whether that is automatically or manually, on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Your data is the most valuable to you and your business. Keeping it secure is extremely important and the way to do this is by protecting it through efficient antivirus tools. Your IT department will need to be efficient and will need to know what they’re doing in order to keep your data protected. Make sure you’re hiring those with the right skills needed for the job and someone you can truly trust with your data.
Give Training to Your Employees
When you introduce new software’s to your business, the best thing to do is give your employees training on them when they become available, so they know what they’re doing before they start using them. Especially if these new software’s are used to handle your data.
Your employees will need to understand how to properly secure data and passwords so that an outsider (who doesn’t work for your business) can’t get in. They will need to realise that if a breach of data were to happen, how much of an impact it can have on the business, and potentially their jobs. Help them to understand how important it is to keep data secure and how they can each individually help to keep that data protected.
Put a Plan or Policy into Place
One thing you can do for your business is to put a plan or policy in place if a hack or breach were to ever take place. You will need to identify your most valuable data and work on securing that first. If your most valuable data is suddenly compromised, it would cause the most damage to your company. This valuable data usually makes up about 5-10% of the total data in your company.
Again, if this was compromised, you could lose revenue and in the end, you will lose your reputation, meaning you will have to possibly say goodbye to your business as nobody will want to work with a company that loses its data.
Storing Data in the Cloud
The cloud is a network of servers which will run software and services. Many companies are using the cloud and you might be too, without even knowing. Whenever you send a message over a social networking site such as Facebook, you are using the cloud.
A lot of companies will use the cloud for accounting or it’s where they store most of their data. This means that the amount of security needed raises significantly. Once your data is in the cloud, it has moved out of the firewall range, meaning these types of firewall software’s will not help with keeping your data protected and secure. You basically have no control over your data, and it could lie anywhere in the world. It just depends on which cloud company you have used.
If you are thinking about moving your data to the cloud, you will need to know the threats of what could happen to your data if it isn’t looked after properly, whether this is from a cyber-attack or through human error.
If you stick to these tips, your business and employees will be prepared if you ever were to be a victim of a cyber-attack. You should have the security and the tools needed to safeguard your sensitive data from a possible breach.