Is there anything scarier in today’s Internet-obsessed world than a data breach? Discovering that your data has been breached is akin to walking into your house and finding that it has been ransacked. There’s the sense of your privacy having been violated, as well as the feverish speculation over what was taken.
In these cases, the best you can do is to assess the damage, try to recover, move past it, and take steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Of course, at the risk of coming across as Monday-morning quarterbacking, if safety measures were implemented sooner, this situation wouldn’t be happening in the first place.
So, in the spirit of planning ahead, here are the steps you can take to reduce the risk of a data breach.
Keep Security Software Current
Your firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spam software are a huge part of your data security plan, so it’s imperative that you keep these utilities up to date. Viruses, malware, and spam are always changing, evolving, getting trickier and nastier. Updates and upgrades help take your security software to the next level and keep up with the latest tricks.
Speaking of updates, make sure that all of the updates and upgrades that pop up are actually from legitimate sources. It’s amazing and a little frightening how often fake updates insinuate themselves onto systems, both for business and consumer systems.
Reassess Your Data Saving Policies
How much data does your business save? Is it all necessary, or is your company turning into a data pack-rat? The more data you keep, the bigger the job in keeping track of and protecting it. Revisit your data-saving policies, and see if you’re saving things that don’t need to be. For that matter, reduce the number of places where your data is stored. Granted, it’s a balancing act because you also want to make sure that you have multiple copies of your data stored in the event of an emergency. All things in moderation.
Make Sure Everyone’s Trained
The article “Protect Your Practice: Advice on Preventing a Data Breach” makes a case for employees to be trained in the proper security procedures, including what’s expected of them and the risks of non-compliance. This is something that can be handled by Human Resources or if you have a policy compliance officer, perhaps someone in the IT department. If your employees have a good idea of what their data security duties are, it will close up one of the biggest potential security breaches that any business can suffer from.
Make sure that your security policies are written down somewhere, and encourage employees to reread them every so often.
Consider An Online (Cloud) Backup
Many data security breaches occur due to the theft of physical backup tapes. Avoid this by having one set of your data backed up on cloud storage. That way, the data is safely offsite, and can’t be stolen.
Adopt A Standardized Password Policy
It’s amazing how little thought some people put into their passwords. That’s regrettable since it’s one of the easiest security measures to implement, as well as one of those most common vulnerabilities. Make sure your employees use a password system that you’ve devised, something that offers a level of complexity, thereby making it tougher to hack.
There’s no such thing as 100% invulnerability, but at least you can turn the odds in your favor. Follow these suggestions and search for others online. Keep that data safe, and sleep easier at night! For more thoughts on data security, why not check out “Know Benefits and Security Risks Of Internet Of Things For Small Businesses”?