Data Security – 6 Practical Tips For Keeping Business Data Secure

The Issue

Today’s business landscape, regardless of the industry, has seen massive strides in light of the speed of the acquisition and influx of data through various online platforms. May it be through social media or privately-owned establishments, data have become easily accessible through a simple website visit. While some would opt to be more transparent, the more sensitive data stays within the confines of a business database.

For the latter, multiple threats abound that may compromise their integrity. This becomes especially alarming with companies that store client data. In this regard, decentralized systems like blockchains are attractive as they effectively augment protection for all its participants. While there is plenty to be desired with blockchain technology, the system holds promise when it comes to diminishing bad actors.

Integrating monitoring tools such as Google Analytics might also help your company’s website determine the kind of visitors that frequent it. Analytics tools assist in ensuring smooth business continuity by detecting bad activity on your website.

However, these do not entirely solve our concern with holistic data security. And mind you, not everyone is willing to hop into the decentralized systems anytime soon in light of apprehensions about the relatively new system. For everything else, there are ways by which companies and organizations can help establish data security.

Recent Data

A notable jump in the number of hacking incidents and breaches has been recorded due in part to the pandemic and the sophistication of exploitation techniques developed by hackers and system infiltrators. Such has been reported to be common in workplaces and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, making business proprietors apprehensive of how their data are being handled. And this is not without basis as 95% of breaches in cybersecurity stem from human errors according to a report lodged by the World Economic Forum.

Apart from this, concerns on cybersecurity are shared by 68% of the business leaders Accenture has surveyed; they feel that the risks are steadily increasing.

On top of this, data security platform Varonis has recorded a mere 5% of companies have installed security checks in their folders.

On average, only five percent of companies’ folders are properly protected. Compounding these concerns, 54% of companies, according to security software and hardware company Sophos stipulate that their IT departments do not possess the complex technical know-how to handle advanced cyberattacks.

This is a valid concern as Checkpoint reports that the nature of 43% of all breaches falls under insider threats, unintentional or otherwise.

6 Practical Tips That Ensure Data Security

The figures laid out above make cybersecurity an issue of great urgency across industries. To help with the cause, here are 6 tips that will help in ensuring your data protection.

1. Perform Encryption on All Your Data

Defenses may be breached by hackers or other malicious actors. It may easily come in the form of slipping past the firewall your company had installed or through a phishing email. However, these would only prove effective if they can see the content of your data.

As the matter stands, your company must encrypt its data. By doing so, even if your client data gets stolen, the hackers would not be able to see what exactly is inside it.

2. Perform a Software Patch; Update Regularly

Detected vulnerabilities can be solved by performing software patching.

Should the scan detect it, developers can conveniently determine the flaw, make the necessary amendments, and then come out with an update.

From your end, you may need to accept automated updates. Manipulating the settings to prevent these updates will only increase your system’s vulnerability. It would be wise to check for options on updates and patches that resolve loopholes.

3. Approve Devices for WiFi Connection One by One

Companies and employees are protected with greater effectiveness should the former whitelist those who will be connecting to the company WiFi.

Approving employees wanting to connect one at a time effectively filters devices that might be infected by malicious software. For this reason, the IT department should strictly check devices and approve accordingly.

4. Do Not Store Passwords Anywhere in Your Internet Browser

This one is a no-brainer. While users might find it convenient, storing passwords in your internet browser gives easy access to others who should not have their eyes on them.

You need to check your company’s desktop web browsers and synced devices for any passwords saved and advise they be removed.

5. If You Are Selling Equipment, Delete All Data in Them

Selling your equipment for an upgrade? Before doing so, make sure that you have already wiped out any company data that might have been saved in it.

It would also be recommendable for IT personnel to teach employees to wipe out any of their data should they transition into a new position in the company. This way, they are not going to leave any sensitive information on their former devices.

6. Always Delete Old, Irrelevant Data

Most of the time, companies are not concerned with storing data even if they do it through third-party hosts. As this is the case, they often forget that they have this data in the first place, leaving it to get buried in some folder or drive that may no longer be relevant to the company’s operations.

The healthy way to go about storing data is to perform yearly audits to determine which of them are no longer significant to the business.

Should some files are already old but still relevant, you need to rid them of identifying data and just retain the survey information.

Miscellaneous Measures

Apart from the six tips above, here are three more ways by which you can safeguard your business’ data.

1. Scan Regularly to Determine Possible Vulnerabilities Early On

The software that your company uses needs to be regularly checked for any security gaps. Regular scanning for vulnerabilities allows you to scrutinize your software for any loopholes hackers could exploit.

2. Always Scan New Devises Before Installing Them

Bringing your device to work is not necessarily wise. Possible attacks would only be exacerbated by introducing devices not provided by the company.

If using personal units at work cannot be avoided, the company’s IT department needs to prioritize device scanning.

3. Keep File Sharing at a Minimum

Exposing your network to more devices and file sharing opens it to more online threats. But as file sharing cannot be avoided altogether, you may need to isolate permissions.

It will also serve your company well if you are to disable the sharing function if it’s not being used.

The Value of Stringent Data Security Checks

Businesses should implement regular checks to see if their databases have vulnerabilities that need fixing.

As already mentioned the business landscape is highly reliant on the acquisition of data that allows them to determine the direction their operations need to take. That said, keeping these data secured should take precedence.


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