10 Tips for Protecting Your Business’s Data
Blog / 10 Tips for Protecting Your Business’s Data
Data is the most important asset a business holds in the modern day. Everything from intellectual property to customer information is stored on a business’s servers and computers; no matter the size of your business, there will always be bad actors looking to exploit this fact.
Because data is so valuable, yet so vulnerable, it is important now more than ever to optimise your business’s cybersecurity profile to protect data. Below is a list of tips on how a business might go about protecting its data.
An endpoint is a device which is connected to a network. Examples of endpoints are computers, smartphones, and servers. Endpoints are how hackers access a business’s data in the vast majority of cases. As an example, computers are used by employees in an office. On any employee computer, there is likely to be sensitive information stored such as important documents, emails, or passwords.
Endpoint security software usually protects a network in two ways. A centrally managed solution acts to protect the network from hacked endpoints, while an endpoint security solution such as antimalware protects endpoints from attackers.
Implementing data encryption systems is the most effective way of protecting sensitive information. It is important to use secure and encrypted channels to transfer data, for example HTTPS instead of HTTP, as data can be accessed by attackers while it is being transferred. Encrypting ‘at rest’ data – data not being currently transferred or accessed by a third party – is often overlooked as well. If a hacker gains access to a network, they can very easily access at-rest data. If this data is encrypted, the hacker would be unable to access it even if it is stolen.
As well as implementing endpoint security, other antimalware tactics are usually necessary. For business computers, having some form of antimalware software is a must as computers are the most common way a hacker infiltrates a network. Use email security solutions can help filter out suspicious emails and reduce the threat of phishing attacks.
Optimising password security is a must for protecting sensitive data. Having strong, unpredictable passwords will make it much more difficult for hackers to reach data if they breach the network. Requiring passwords to access data that is encrypted makes it extremely difficult for a hacker to access that data. It is always a good idea to change passwords, and make passwords as unpredictable as possible.
On top of passwords, using some form of multifactor authentication will provide even more data security. Examples of multifactor authentication would be a digital token from an app; a physical component like a smart card or USB device; or verification from an email address or SMS message. Implementing some form of multifactor authentication can help protect data in the case a hacker finds the required password.
Often, a hacker will make use of software vulnerabilities to gain access to important information once they have infiltrated an endpoint. Since businesses use many different types of software, there is usually at least one a hacker can exploit. Thankfully, most trustworthy software providers actively test their software for security breaches and update accordingly. It is important to make sure all software and operating systems are up to date.
Delete Old Data
Old and unused data will not only clutter a network’s storage, but also provides more data for a hacker to get their hands on. Even if a business is no longer using certain data, this data may be valuable to a hacker – for example old customer records or employee information.
Data that is not in use may be archived and moved offsite to an offline storage device, or deleted entirely. If data is still relevant to a business, but not actively in use, then it may be worth archiving it. However, if the unused information is more sensitive, it may be worth deleting entirely.
Use The Cloud
Reputable cloud storage providers will be able to store data and keep security measures up to date. While cloud storage may not be ideal for larger businesses, it could be utilised for data backups as part of a hacking recovery plan. For small businesses, cloud storage may be a useful tool for data storage if it is unrealistic to maintain a highly secure network. It is important to know that cloud storage is still vulnerable to hackers if they get access to a business’s private network, and that good cybersecurity practise should still be followed.
As mentioned earlier, hackers often gain access to networks through endpoints. Since employees are often the ones using these endpoints, it is useful to train employees to be cautious online. Social engineering tactics like phishing are very common, and untrained employees may not know when they are being targeted. Training employees will help to reduce the risk of data being accessed due to social engineering attacks.
Backup All Important Data
Finally, it is extremely valuable to a business to have backups of all sensitive data that could be a potential target. Being the victim of a cyber attack is the worst-case scenario, but even with the best security measures in place, a skilled hacker may still find a way in. Having backups of important data can help to reduce the impact a cyber attack has. If a data breach occurs and data is corrupted or stolen, having a back-up in place allows important data to be replaced.
Protecting Your Business with Securiwiser
Securiwiser can help you protect your business from cyber-attacks. It can provide a real-time evaluation of your business’s cybersecurity posture, and will provide useful information on how to further protect yourself. Securiwiser provides your cybersecurity posture report with an easily readable dashboard, providing you knowledge you need to keep your business safe. Click here for a free report today.
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