How To Keep Your Company Data Safe

how to keep company data safe

It seems like every other week there is an announcement that another high-profile company has had their data hacked. Talk Talk, HBO, Equifax - they have all been breached and not only have those breaches brought the companies affected a lot of negative publicity, but they are also lost the significant sums of money and in some cases, put the public’s data at risk. 

If you don’t want your business to be similarly afflicted, there are a few things you should do to keep that essential data, which most businesses rely on, safe from hackers, blackmailers and other criminals who might seek to gain access. Here are some of the most important: 

Protect Yourself from the Enemy Within 

Although most of the big profile data hacks have been carried out by malicious hackers from outside the business, it is nevertheless the case that more companies are seeing their data being breached by their own employees, which is why it is absolutely vital that you secure your files with strong password protection and limit the handing out of that password to only those individuals who strictly need to know. You could also implement a software package which prevents certain individuals from getting anywhere near specific sets of data. Obviously, you can never 100 percent ensure that your data won’t be breached by an insider, but it is much less likely when they know that, should they opt to steal your data, they will be pretty easy to identify. 

Enforce Secure Passwords 

A company that uses the same passwords across a range of services, or which does not make it mandatory for staff to create complex passwords and change those passwords on a regular basis, is much more likely to be hacked than a company that does do all of these things. So, make sure you’re hot on password policy enforcement. 

Plan Ahead 

As a business owner, you will be used to pinpointing future tech trends and producing your future financial forecasts, but do you spend any time thinking about the future of cyber hacks? If you don’t, you really need to start because, it is only be anticipating future vulnerabilities and methods of stealing data that you will be able to put measures in place to prevent them. 

Companies like Recover Reputation offer disaster planning solutions, which you can use to ensure that should your data be hacked, or your network goes down, you won’t suffer as much as some of the big name companies mentioned earlier did. It makes sense to use services like these to minimize the possible future impact of not only malicious attacks but also system failures. 

Install Firewalls

Firewalls and antivirus software might seem a little old school in the modern digital age, but it is still an important tool in the fight against malware and malicious hacks, which is why you should have a decent firewall and antivirus package, like McAfee Antivirus, installed on every single piece of equipment that is connected to your network, including your employees personal tech. Once installed, you should be diligent about updating software on a very regular basis, as doing so might just save your data and files

Have a Strict Email Policy 

Every modern workplace should have a strict email policy whereby staff are instructed not to open attachments or suspicious emails from unknown sources. Depending on how practical it is for your business, you might even want to put a total ban on opening email attachments because as the recent hack on the UK’s NHS, which practically closed the health service down there shows, all it takes is for one person to mindlessly open an attachment for your whole business, and all the sensitive data you hold, to be put at great risk, even destroyed. 

Have a Security Audit 

This is particularly important if you hold a lot of very sensitive data, such as financial or medical information. A good security auditor with basic intelligence will go through your security setup to identify anything that you are not doing now, which could improve the security of your data going forward. 

Offsite Backup 

If you can’t afford to lose all of the data you currently have stored, then it is probably worth paying for offsite data storage. By backing up your data off-site, although you won’t be able to prevent anyone from gaining access to your data, should your system be taken over by ransomware or your hardware fail, you will still be able to access all of your files from the back up, and this could save you a whole lot of trouble. Basically just think of "The Box" from the TV show Silicon Valley. Not very glamorous but it could be a lifesaver for your company. 

Consider Encryption

Encrypting your data to keep it safe might seem like a no-brainer, but it isn’t always so simple or practical because when encrypted data is corrupted, it can be a mammoth task to retrieve it again. However, it is certainly something worth considering and if you have a good IT team and other companies in your industry are using encryption, it is probably a safe bet that you should be too. 

Stick With Your Staff 

Once you have built up a team who you trust, it really does pay to hold on to them in any way you can, not only because recruiting and training up new staff costs time, but also because, when new employees enter the workplace, you have to reset your security protocols and more closely monitor access to your data until you’re confident that your new employees can be trusted with sensitive information. It is fair to say that businesses with a high staff turnover are at a greater risk of data security breaches than those who don’t, which is why you should aim to be a good boss who runs a happy, safe and secure workplace with plenty of perks if at all possible. 

The Bottom Line On Better Data Security

Data is certainly a big part of business life right now, and it is fair to say that keeping data secure can be an arduous task at the best of times, as more and more hackers see the potential in causing havoc for companies, but if you actually take the time to think about data security and implement the practices above, you’re much less likely to become a victim.

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I hope you enjoyed this article about how to keep your company's data more secure against hackers and viruses.

Interested in more articles about cyber security?

Read My Posts:

- How Artificial Intelligence Will Reduce Cyber Crime

- Understanding & Preventing Ransomware

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