According to Cybercrime Magazine, cybercrime happens to be the fastest growing crime in the US. Cybercrime attacks are increasing in cost, sophistication, and size. No wonder data security is becoming a major threat for any business, small or big. A serious attack can disrupt core functions leading to massive losses. In fact, it is predicted that in 2021, cybercrime will inflict damages close to $6 trillion globally.
Interestingly, most cyber-attacks are usually a result of human errors that create weak links used by criminals to infiltrate into business infrastructure. In this regard, the best way to protect your business data is to implement proper cybersecurity practices. Let us take a peek at some practical ways to secure your business data.
Encrypt your Data
Data encryption is a very critical step you should take to secure your business’s data. The idea is quite simple; you hide critical data from eavesdroppers and malicious parties just in case they leak. In essence, data encryption involves using cryptographic algorithms to translate data from its original form to unreadable information. The unreadable format can only be accessed by authorized personnel through the use of a decryption code.
It is time you encrypt all the sensitive information in your business on storage points and on transit. Encrypt the likes of client credit card information, messages, emails, and the financial transaction to keep them private and secure.
Guard against Malware
Cybercriminals can use malware like viruses, worms, and spyware to gain unauthorized access to your computers or network for malicious reasons like data theft resulting in huge financial losses. You should use tools like firewalls on your devices and software. A firewall will block any malware that tries to infiltrate your device. You should also take simple steps like using up-to-date antivirus and antimalware programs into your devices to scan and eliminate any malware. As for your emails, install antispam software to spot any spam mails that could be malicious.
Use Secure File Sharing Tools
Workplaces are becoming more dependent on file sharing. Your employees will be sending and receiving files for team collaboration and productivity and internal communication. Don’t let your files land on the wrong hands! Use secure file sharing practices and tools to avoid costly breaches. Pick the right tools to help implement this in your corporate workplace. For example, use sharing tools with end-to-end encryption to protect your files from interception or corruption during transfer. A good sharing tool should be able to protect your files while simplifying access.
Update your OS & software
Updating your business software and Operating Systems can be time-consuming, but it is a necessity. Updated versions have patches that enhance security and functionality. Research shows that outdated versions of software and OS are a major target from attackers.
Implement Solid Password Security Measures
Any leaked password can present an easy breach to your business systems. So, implement proper authentication for your systems. The first step is to create strong passwords for all your business accounts. Let the password be a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid saving the passwords on browsers and recycling them. Change your passwords often and avoid writing your password down on storing them on insecure programs, spreadsheets, or documents. They can be stolen easily!
Safe Tech Disposal
It is also smart to dispose of any data safely to protect it from being stolen. For example, make your deleted files hard to retrieve by overwriting them. Also, delete unnecessary files from your cloud backup and system to prevent more data from being at risk of a breach. When getting rid of data on hardware, make sure they are unreadable. You can use software to wipe the disk, shred the disk, or run a magnet over it.
Create a BYOD policy
According to research by Citrix Mobility Survey, 68% of employees access files from their smartphones. BYOD increases the risk of unauthorized access to business data. As a business owner, it is your mandate to have a strict BYOD policy that encourages best practices. Take care of aspects like access control, software installation and update and, troubleshooting to mention but a few. This will enhance the security of your business data even when your employees are using personal devices.
Last but not least, we mentioned that human error and negligence contribute to a majority of data breaches. You can’t mitigate data breach risk in your business if your team isn’t well-versed with the risks. In other words, educate your employees on cybersecurity best practices. Try to inculcate a culture of data security among them.
Cybercrime is on the rise and it is the responsibility of every person in your business to take measures against it. Data loss or theft can affect your business operation and in the worst-case scenario led to the closure. Take cybersecurity seriously and avoid being caught off-guard.