Security breaches and compromised data are, unfortunately, quite common occurrences. Regardless of the size or the business profile of an organization, many companies are losing valuable data due to security gaps they are not aware of. It is happening on a daily basis and it occurs all around the globe.
However, these attacks have a positive side as well. They’ve done a lot to raise awareness about how vulnerable our data and IT infrastructures can actually be. As well as about where our mindsets regarding security strategies really stand. The truth is, far too many businesses need to step up their data security game and be prepared for even the worst of scenarios.
Each and every organization has their own fair share of valuable data, trade secrets, financial records, as well as employee and client-based information – all requiring high levels of protection.
That being said, here on the atulhost are some of the most important data safety and protection tips you should be considering, unless you are fine with your company’s reputation being just as vulnerable as your unprotected data.
Encrypt all your devices and test your security.
As the modern business landscape allows users to work from a wide variety of portable devices like tablets and smartphones, the ecosystem of personal computers has grown immensely, and with it, the chances of potential data breaches. Making sure that all the devices you, your colleagues, and your clients are using are trustworthy, and that all the data is safely stored on both cloud-based and on-premise servers – is of crucial importance. Especially during infrastructure migrations that have been taking place en-masse ever since the advent of affordable cloud infrastructures.
This is where data encryption and security tests come into play.
Utilizing mere antivirus software and/or firewalls can help with the protection, but these systems can only do so much to prevent malicious breaches and data theft attempts. However secure you think your systems are, relatively frequent security tests are a good idea, especially if they’re conducted by a team of professionals, as these can expose all your weaknesses and ultimately help you seal all the gaps.
Secure the data itself, not just the environment in which it is stored.
A substantial number of companies that do realize how important data safety is tend to focus on securing only the environment in which they store their data and fail to make sure the data itself is protected on a more granular level.
Many spend the majority of their security resources on firewall technology only, and think they’ve done enough, when in fact there are numerous ways for breachers to override these security layers and still gain access to valuable information.
Some of these channels include clients, suppliers, and even their own employees. These parties are often overlooked as potential weak spots through which attackers can bypass exterior cyber-security layers and reach vulnerable data.
This is why ensuring that your protective ecosystem includes both granular data-based security levels, as well as the perimeter in which the data resides.
Use strong passwords everywhere.
Though this one may seem like a too obvious one, you’d be surprised how many organizations get hacked due to weak passwords. According to a recent study conducted by Verizon, more than 80% of breaches happen because of weak passwords. These relaxed password policies often result in a vast number of employees having generic and easily hackable passwords – especially if they’re reused across multiple platforms and for the accounts that harbor critical data.
One of the basic steps toward strong and multi-faceted security is to ensure all your team members have consistently strong passwords across all platforms. Another good practice is to change your passwords every 3 months, while you can also use a quality password management software like LastPass.
Use proper email retention policies and email archiving.
Implementing email retention policies and email archiving can help businesses on multiple levels. Not only can it come in handy in potential scenarios where your company gets into legal troubles and you need to access valuable data pertinent to the case at hand, properly tackled email archiving strategy adds another strong security layer to your overall data safety.
Regular software updates and data backups go a long way.
Another boilerplate piece of advice, but be sure to keep your systems regularly updated and properly patched as they are only as secure as their most recent update. Also, ensure your data is properly backed up so it can outlive potential disaster and breach-based scenarios.
Aside from all the precautionary data safety measures one can implement, it is also of great importance to be capable of recognizing the warning signs that your data has been compromised. Educate yourself and your teammates about the indications of potential attacks, only then will your organization have an all-encompassing cyber security strategy and structure that can bring the chances of your data being compromised to a bare minimum.
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