11 Data Security Tips For Your Business

Organizations accumulate large amounts of data just by doing business and having employees. From customer information to employees’ social security numbers, payroll information, and passwords, your organization has more sensitive data than you may realize. Because your data is important, you need to protect it and keep it secure at all times. But how do you do this? The information below from a Microsoft Business Blog gives ten beneficial tips to help keep your data protected. We added an eleventh tip to provide additional information on mobile device security.

According to Security Magazine, “It is estimated that 60 percent of hacked SMBs go out of business only after six months.”

There are two things to keep in mind as you noodle on that statistic: 1) not all security breaches are necessarily cyber-related, and 2) whatever the case, there is a lot you can do to protect your small business from a security breach. Most often, data breaches stem from the following causes:

  • Hacking/malware
  • Credit/debit card fraud
  • Employees who don’t follow company usage policies
  • Lost paper documents
  • Lost mobile devices
  • Accidental disclosure by someone within the company

Being aware of these top common causes is the first step to a more secure organization. Here, then, are the top 10 ways you can protect your business from a security breach:

1. Conduct background checks on all new employees. It is important not only to get at least two references from previous employers, and to call both references, but it is also advised that you do a background criminal record check on all employees.

2. Physically protect papers and laptops. Safeguard important physical documents. Remember that employees who don’t follow company usage policies are one of the top causes of security breaches. Similarly, make sure all company-issued laptops and tablets are password protected and are kept in a safe place when not in use.

3. Shred old documents. Along the same lines, keep in mind that discarded or stolen papers are one of the top causes of security breaches. Improperly disposed-of physical documents can be a prime source for Identity theft and credit card fraud.

4. Use a secure wireless connection. On the wireless front, be sure to password-protect your wireless network; you are an easy target without this simple level of security.

5. Update your software. This is an easy way to stay protected. A lot of small businesses neglect their software updates, which make them vulnerable to some of the most severe security attacks, like ransomware. Anti-virus software is a must, and also, check out Windows 10, which has tons of security protocols built in.

6. Download from reliable sources. One of the bad guys’ top tricks is to make you download infected software from their scam sites. Be super careful about the types of files you download and where you download them from.

7. Use strong passwords and/or change passwords regularly. You know this, but do you do it? Changing passwords may be annoying, but it truly is one of the best things you can do to protect your business.

8. Use a secure connection for receiving/transmitting sensitive financial data. Your e-commerce and other vital financial transactions should be done over sites that use either SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security).

9. Institute a privacy policy. Make sure that everybody in the company understands the importance of strong security and what your specific protocols are.

10. Back-up. Should the worst occur, you will be very happy if you have a current remote backup of your system and data.

11. Manage mobile devices. As more organizations embrace the need for mobile technologies, more employees are able to share and access sensitive data on their mobile devices. While mobility can lead to better productivity and efficiency, there are also risks that come with it, including a greater likelihood of the device being lost or stolen and misuse of data and mobile applications. In order to minimize the consequences of such activity, it’s important to implement security and device management practices. Most mobile device management systems allow you to manage the users’ devices, establish a user policy, manage or control applications, and wipe or reset the device in certain cases, should it become lost or stolen.

Though the risk of a security breach is quite real, there is a lot you can do in terms of prevention. Remember that preventing a security problem is a whole lot cheaper than actually fixing one.

Which of these tips would be the most beneficial in your organization?

Technology Solutions for Data Security

Steve Simpson

Steve Simpson is an experienced Account Executive at Aureon, where he works with business leaders and technical resources to explore new ideas. For the last 30 years, his efforts have been focused on providing technology services in healthcare, manufacturing, banking, state/local government, and senior living communities.

Published

July 3, 2017

Posted by

Steve Simpson

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