The more we see large companies become the victims of security breaches, the more it raises serious concerns about the best ways to secure our data.
With so much data being produced on a daily basis, it can be hard to ensure the protection of digital information. So how do we decide what tools and techniques should be used to keep our IT assets on lock?
The vast number of products promising data security tends to make the search very confusing, but today, you’ve got some help!
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some ways to keep your company’s data safe.
Determine the Who, What, and Where
Performing an internal audit is an important first step. Determine who has access to your data, where that data is currently stored in terms of servers and hard drives, and what machines can access those systems.
This helps you get an idea of where a breach might come from and easily narrow down who may have compromised your assets if a breach does occur.
It also helps to give you an idea of what data should be segregated to ensure that it has a higher level of security.
Secure your Data
There are many software programs that use encryption to protect data. Used by military, government and large corporations alike, encryption is a great way to data safety even if you do experience a breach in security.
What this technology does is scramble your information so it is unreadable when accessed by unauthorized parties. While encryption cannot necessarily stop someone from taking your data, it can make it difficult if not nearly impossible to do anything with that data once they’ve taken it.
Knowing that data is useless makes it much less attractive to a thief. That being said, encryption can be broken. Preventing a breach is still your best option for security, so think of encryption as a backup plan.
Use a Secure Connection for Transferring Data
Without protection, the data your transmit over the internet or other networks can be intercepted with relative ease.
Connections secured by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol or something similar can help ensure that your data is safe as it is being transmitted back and forth between parties.
This is especially beneficial when sending and receiving critical financial data or credit card info.
Secure your Wireless Connection
An unsecured wireless connection can be an easy entrance for a data thief. Ensure that your connection is protected by a wireless router that has WPA2 encryption.
This version offers a much higher level of security than WEP encryption, which is no longer recommended.
Make sure that All Employees have Updated Anti-Virus Software
Chances are you were very diligent about installing anti-virus and anti-malware software on all of your office computers.
However, chances are even higher that your employees are not particularly good at making sure the software is up-to-date.
Virus definitions change almost daily and updates should be executed whenever your software suggests them if not more. Outdated security software can expose your business to many opportunities for a security breach.
Only Download from Trusted Sources
Make sure that you and your employees are only downloading programs or applications from sites that you trust.
Malicious download sites often add bits of malware to programs that you may never know are there until it’s too late.
Most browsers now have warnings if you are downloading from an untrusted site and your anti-virus software should flag Trojan Horses and other attacks quickly.
However, the only way to ensure security is to be cautious about what you’re downloading.
Use Strong Passwords
Password strength is one of the easiest ways to immediately improve your data security. A strong password can really make it difficult to steal data.
It is important to choose passwords that do not have a connection to any person or the brand. You’ll also want to choose passwords that have odd characters and symbols included within them.
Changing your passwords regularly helps increase your data security a level further by increasing the number of possible letter, number, and symbol combinations that could potentially grant access to your info.
Thoroughly Vet your Employees
Run background checks on employees to ensure that they are credible and trustworthy. All other attempts to secure your data can be undermined if your employees choose to steal your data.
References offer a great opportunity to talk with former co-workers about the disposition of a prospective employee and get a feel of their character.
There is no way to ensure 100% protection, but equipped with these tips, you can greatly improve your data security.
What are you data security tips for businesses?
Image courtesy of tungphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net