In today’s business world, very few companies keep their data in paper form. Digitalization means the world has since gone paperless, and most companies store their data in the cloud. Online businesses collect a lot of data in their day-to-day business, especially credit card information. Data security breaches are becoming more rampant, and there are some ways companies can keep their data safe from hackers.
1.Keep Your Cybersecurity Updated
There are numerous cybersecurity programs capable of protecting businesses from cyber threats such as malware, viruses, and other threats. Paid (News - Alert) programs are more effective at securing your network and all devices on it. Avoid free programs as they are a risk to your data and could cost more in data breaches. Invest in good antimalware and check out good antivirus for Mac to protect data from potential violations. Once you set up your cybersecurity program, ensure you install all updates. In 2017, hackers breached Equifax, one of the largest consumer credit agencies in the U.S.A, because they did not update Apache Struts CVE-2017-5638. Apache is a framework that creates Java applications, and they had released a patch that Equifax had not installed and updated. The breach affected the data of over 143 million people and their names, addresses, social security Numbers, Drivers' license numbers, etc.
2.Store Any Physical Documents Securely
Cyberattacks are more common, and most businesses neglect physical documents. A company cannot wholly avoid physical copies, which can also be stolen and data compromised. It is essential to keep these physical documents safe from theft. Keep the records under lock and key in a locked room or file cabinet with access restricted to a few trusted people. That way, if there is a breach, you know where to start investigating. Dispose of any documents via a shredder. You can also upload the documents to the cloud as backup.
3.Have a Breach Response Strategy
You always have to be prepared for the worst. How you respond to security threats and incidents can make the difference between losing minor data and a devastating breach. Your response strategy should include these steps:
4.Use Strong Passwords
The need for strong passwords has been emphasized so much; it is almost a cliché. You cannot overemphasize the importance of using strong passwords to secure data. A strong password is alphanumerical, has some numbers and some special symbols or characters. The passwords should be simple enough for you and your employees to remember but impossible for a hacker to guess. Hackers use brute force cracking, where the hackers submit as many passphrases or passwords as possible, hoping to stumble on the right one eventually. Ensure you frequently change the passwords, especially when an employee leaves. Use a password manager to save the employees the trouble of having to remember all the passwords.
5.Set up internal Controls to Prevent Fraud
You may trust your employees, but it is still prudent to set up internal controls to minimize employee fraud risk. An employee may steal customer data or misuse company funds without rules in place. Limit all employees' access to data on a need-to-know basis depending on their employment level. Segregate duties to prevent one person from having excess responsibility. For instance, have two employees responsible for purchases and expense reports.
6.Have a BYOD Policy
Ensure you set a BYOD (Bring Your own device) policy where you stay ahead of risks associated with employees’ using their devices at the premises. Create a solid plan to protect against any mobile costs and legal repercussions that may arise. You must have a transparent policy detailing location tracking, data deletion, and internet monitoring. Businesses must ensure they make provisions for employees who log into the company system remotely as this can cause security breaches.
Loss of data can be devastating for a company and cost millions to resolve. For a small company, lawsuits from clients can drag the company to its knees. Instead of waiting for a disaster to happen, you need to have systems in place that ensure that data is well secured. If a breach happens, you should have a strategy and a response plan that will contain the violation before too much damage occurs.