Cyber attacks are an integral part of the digital world, but small firms are rather more vulnerable as they may not be able to invest heavily in security systems. As an owner of a tech business, you probably have a security process in place to protect your proprietary data. But if you are operating small-scale, it could simply prove an overhead. Either way, here are 10 tips to safeguard your business data in a more (cost) effective manner.
1. Have a Security System in Place
You must have a security policy, process and system in place, even if it just authorises/controls physical access into the premises or restricted areas. This can help tackle possible internal threats quite effectively, which otherwise may prove costly when undetected for a long time.
2. Opt for Business-Specific Gadget Insurance
Make sure to invest in gadget insurance for business to cover loss or damage of expensive smartphones, laptops and other portable or stationary gadgets and equipment used for business purposes.
3. Identify Valuable Data
Identify and classify sensitive data valuable or crucial to your business operations, to protect it better. Details of business offerings, partners, customers/clients, sales forecast, personnel, financial health, and intellectual property (when stolen or lost) may result in heavy consequences.
4. Change Passwords at Regular Intervals
Use software to generate new passwords at preset intervals or enforce password standards across the firm to ensure that employees don’t use the same password for different software/systems, or for more than the stipulated time period. Organised password management makes it difficult for accidental hackers to freely move through the system.
5. Enforce Two-Step Authentication
Do not rely on a single password when enabling access to sensitive data. It is possible to set-up multiple levels of authentication and permit just few employees to handle confidential information, only if and when needed. This will help track internal security breaches if any quite effectively.
6. Ensure Efficient Patch Management
You cannot afford to ignore software updates/patches as they not only fix inherent functional issues and security lapses but also enhance robustness of the system to counter newer forms of cyber threats. Systematic patch management is a must to keep hackers and malware at bay.
7. Adopt Data Encryption
Storing and transmitting business-centric classified information in encrypted formats makes it difficult for miscreants to use the details even if they manage to acquire it. Invest in suitable data encryption options to safeguard crucial data.
8. Backup and Recovery
Hosting your business on the cloud could prove a safe alternative, but there could be nothing more comforting than a latest data backup on hand during a ransom ware attack or total data loss due to other reasons.
9. Judicious Use of Email
Reportedly, most phishing and malware are triggered by file attachments or links circulated via mail. Deleting mail from unknown senders can prevent malware attacks to a great extent.
10. Educate/Train Staff on Data Security
Generating awareness on data security and cyber crimes, training staff to detect and report on suspected security breaches, and following security processes are a must to protect business data.
Security policies must also address concerns associated with use of personal devices. Authenticated access, encrypted data, plus provisions for remote data wipe-out are likely to make their use safer. Loss of business data may translate as a financial loss; however, getting business gadgets insured can minimise loss.