Every business owner and executive knows the consequences of a cyberattack or data breach. Costly downtime, negative publicity and disgruntled clients are all to be expected when even the smallest breach occurs. Despite this knowledge, a survey of senior managers found that 22% of them rated their IT security as a low priority.
Consider your own security network and processes. Could you do more to ensure you’re protected? Here are seven tips from our security specialists which will keep your sensitive data safe.
- Good Password Management
- Dispose of Unwanted Data Correctly
- Utilise Effective Data Protection Software
- Create and Regularly Update a Backup
- Control Access to Sensitive Information
- Good Hardware Management
- Work With an MSSP
1. Good Password Management
Basic yet often overlooked. It’s still important as ever to encourage everyone at the business to practise good password management. Here are a few quick tips:
- Use password checker tools to ensure they score as ‘strong’, making them harder to crack for any would-be thieves.
- Staff shouldn’t use the same passwords for their home and work computers.
- Passwords should never be written down and left unattended for anyone to see.
- Regularly change and update them.
2. Dispose of Unwanted Data Correctly
When sensitive data is no longer required, it’s essential to make sure it’s destroyed correctly. In the same way that you’d shred physical documents, take similar precautions when disposing of digital alternatives.
In particular, when hardware is no longer needed, you need to ensure all sensitive data has been completely removed. Every server, computer and tablet needs to go through the same comprehensive process. Whether this is data erasure software, physical destruction or an alternative.
3. Utilise Effective Data Protection Software
Preventing data loss is a much more difficult task without the right software in place. Firewalls, VPNs and anti-virus software are just some of the tools you should already have in place. Carry out a thorough audit of your existing security setup today and identify any gaps in the software you use.
Ensure all software is operating with the latest version. Download and install patches as soon as they’re available to protect software from potential exploits.
4. Create and Regularly Update a Backup
After experiencing significant data loss, 60% of businesses shut down within six months. The impact can be devastating, especially if there isn’t a separate backup available to make the disaster recovery process easier.
Around 20% of businesses admit to not backing up their files at all. This is a recipe for disaster and if you think your business might be part of this group, then it’s time to act. Ensure all files are backed up and stored offsite. That way, should anything happen at your office, you know your files are protected elsewhere and you can begin operating as normal with minimal disruption.
5. Control Access to Sensitive Information
Creating access levels within your business helps to protect data from falling into the wrong hands, whether it’s by accident or otherwise. Staff should only have access to the files and data they need. That way if their accounts are compromised, there’s a limit to the data that could be lost.
This can be implemented as part of a wider confidentiality policy that staff would adhere to. Make sure to consider how any actions you take regarding data are still GDPR-compliant. All staff members should know their responsibilities when it comes to handling business data and understand the consequences of breaking the policy.
6. Good Hardware Management
A common cause for data loss can often be overlooked. The physical aspect of your IT environment needs to be carefully managed just as much as the digital side. If your business doesn’t yet rely on the cloud, then it might only take a damaged server or corrupted hard drive for important data to be lost.
Keep computers in a safe and dry location. Dust can build-up and cause overheating while humidity can induce rusting - potentially damaging your hardware. Ensure they’re regularly cleaned to prevent dust and dirt from building up.
7. Work With an MSSP
The most effective way of preventing data loss at your business is with expert assistance. Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) offer a focused cybersecurity service that keeps businesses safe from the latest methods of attack.
Trusting your network to an MSSP is a major decision but it gives you the freedom to focus on other areas of the business. You can rest easy knowing that security experts are monitoring every aspect of your network, identifying gaps and resolving issues before they can escalate.
It’s not just a case of updating software and keeping an eye on systems. MSSPs like PSTG provide complete end-to-end services. We analyse your existing setup and look for any immediate improvements that could be made. Next, we configure a bespoke solution that deals with the exact security requirements that your business has. We then install, implement and monitor everything 24/7.
It’s a collaborative effort between your business and ours. We enable you to manage and scale your security internally so there’s no lost learning.
Investing in IT Security With an MSSP
Preventing data loss is just one area of your business’ IT security that an MSSP can assist with. Invest in security and you can rest easier knowing that you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your business from evolving cybersecurity threats.
For more information on IT security investment and what working with an MSSP would be like, make sure to download our free guide now using the link below. Until this is ready why not contact a member of our team to discus more on IT security.