Every business has data, and all data needs to be kept secure. From minor human error to fully fledged cyber attacks, a whole host of security threats await your business data. No matter the size of your business and no matter which industry you’re in, it’s important to establish a data security policy from the very start. With data protection regulations tightening, the pressure is on more than ever to comply with data security guidelines. But it’s not just about complying with the GDPR. IT security is about preventing data loss and cyber crime, and avoiding data breaches to keeping your customer’s sensitive data safe. With so many reasons to take data security seriously, it’s worth reconsidering your data security policy to ensure you’re covering all the bases. Here’s our guide on how to keep your business data secure.
Educate your Staff
One of the most important elements of data security is ensuring your staff understand the importance of data protection. From general cybersecurity information about how to set secure passwords and the importance of software updates to functional guidance on how to deal with phishing, your staff can never be equipped with too much information to minimise security threats.
Unfortunately, no password your employees set is foolproof. It’s for this reason that you should educate your employees about the role that two-factor authentication can play when it comes to keeping your business data safe. Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, means that even if a user’s login credentials are compromised, hackers can’t access protected folders and files without access to their emails, physical device or biometrics, such as a fingerprint. As a result, 2FA works as another barrier for your business data.
Rethink your BYOD Policies
Bring your own device policies are commonplace in today’s world, especially in small businesses. However, you should make some data security considerations before you commit to such a scheme. Does the device, be that a laptop or a smartphone, have adequate security software to protect sensitive information on that device? Whether your employees are dealing with highly sensitive business information, or your clients’ personal information, antivirus software can go a long way in minimising the threat of a security breach. Introducing a set of standards to which employees own devices must adhere, and regularly checking the devices for malware, will help ensure data security.
Ensure Networks are Secure
It’s not just the devices on which your employees are working, but also the security of networks, too. You can test the security of your networks with penetration testing and ethical replication of hacking techniques. This will reveal any vulnerabilities in your network security, allowing you to implement fixes before hackers discover them.
However, while you can take steps to ensure network security within your own office space and limit access to only those who need it, you have less control when it comes to remote work. You should avoid working on public networks to which anyone can gain access, as these connections don’t tend to have the same level of security, which can put you at higher risk of falling victim to cyberattacks.
Encrypt your data
Data encryption is a fairly simple step when it comes to keeping business data secure. You should encrypt company data at every step of the way, including backed up data files and data sent over emails. Encrypting your data adds an extra layer of protection meaning only those with the decryption key or password are able to access it. This means that even if your device were to fall into the wrong hands, or your cloud data were to be compromised, attackers would have an extra security step to contend with. The longer the decryption key, the more secure your encrypted data.
Invest in ITAD
Data security doesn’t stop when you’ve finished using a device. You’ll need to take security measures when your IT equipment has reached its end of life. This means ensuring that all computers, hard drives and mobile devices are cleared of business data when it leaves your company – whether it’s going to be recycled or resold. Unfortunately, ITAD isn’t as simple clearing the trash folder on your computer. The best data destruction method will vary between devices, and your ITAD service provider will be able to advise you of this, confirming the security of your data with a certificate of destruction.
In a time where cybercriminals are growing ever-more creative, and data security risks are multiplying, establishing a concrete data security plan is vital. It is worth investing time and money into securing your data to minimise the risk of financial loss or repetitional damage that could follow a data breach. For this reason, finding a certified and reliable IT services provider is invaluable for your business.
With over 25 years industry experience, tier1 is experienced in helping customers keep business data secure. As 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 resell your redundant IT assets.