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6 Best Practices to Prevent Data Leaks

by | Aug 13, 2018 | IT Security, News

With the implementation of the GDPR earlier this year, the pressure for businesses to protect their data and prevent data leaks is stronger than ever. Not only is keeping data safe important for the protection of your business, it’s also important for safeguarding the privacy of your clients. But what exactly can you do to stop your data falling into the wrong hands? We’ve highlighted some of the best practices to prevent data leaks.

Monitor Activity

Taking time to carefully monitor your network activity can help you to prevent a data leak, as it gives you a more comprehensive view of how your data is used. As part of the monitoring process, you’ll learn which users interact most with the data and how they use it. Over a period of time, you’ll understand what is normal and acceptable, and which users may require extra guidance to best protect your data.

Encryption

Randomly generated passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA) play a great role in protecting data, but they aren’t failsafe, and login information can– and does– fall into the wrong hands. Encrypting your data is a great way to prevent leaks as, even if regular login security details are compromised, the data will be illegible without the decryption key. This is especially useful if your data is stored on the Cloud.

Educate Staff

Your data protection protocol is only ever as effective as your least vigilant member of staff, which means it’s vital that you provide all members of staff with thorough data security training. This training should cover how staff can protect themselves against social engineering, with a lesson on how to recognise phishing emails and telephone calls – if social networking giant, Snapchat can fall victim to such a scam, so could your business. All members of staff – no matter how little contact they have with sensitive data – should receive this training, as it’s employees in more administrative roles who might not understand the extent of the sensitivity of the data they are in contact with.

Conduct Regular Audits

One of the best ways to prevent any data mishaps is to find out if you’re vulnerable to them. Data security audits are perfect for this. These audits will give you an idea of how secure your data is and will highlight any flaws in your data storage and data protection that could put your data at risk, allowing you to act upon this information immediately. You should conduct these audits as regularly as possible – around once a week is best! This prevents any potential vulnerability going unnoticed for longer than necessary.

Minimise Bring Your Own Device

In the modern business world, it’s increasingly normal for businesses to allow employees to use their own devices to access company data. While this can be especially useful in providing your employees with the flexibility to work remotely, it can significantly increase your chances of a data leak- even something as casual as replying to work emails from an employee’s personal phone has its risks. This risk partly stems from the potential for human error, the fact that business data is accessed over a network other than your specifically-secured business network could also be a problem.

Don’t forget ITAD

The potential for data leaks doesn’t stop when a device has reached its end of life, so it’s important to take a responsible approach to ITAD. Enlisting the help of an accredited IT asset disposal provider, such as EOL, will ensure that your data is effectively erased before your device is resold or recycled, and prevents anyone outside of your business from accessing your data.

With over 25 years industry experience, tier1 are proud to be the UK’s most accredited ITAD supplier. We possess the skills, accreditations and experience to handle our clients’ data with the care they deserve, and to dispose of it responsibility and legally.

Contact us today on 0161 777 1000 or visit https://www.tier1.com to find out how we can help you dispose of your data safely and reliably.

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