For many businesses, the data they collect is one of their most vital assets. They have data on practically everything, from their customers and employees to products and competitors. If they were to lose this information or have it stolen, it could seriously damage their business and take years to recover. This is why it’s essential that, if you own or manage a business, you take steps to protect your business’s data. Below are some strategies you can use that will help get this process started.
Use Strong Cybersecurity Tools
The best place to start is with strong cybersecurity tools. Since we store practically all of our data on a computer, which also connects to the internet, this makes it susceptible to intrusion from the outside. Strong cybersecurity tools, such as firewall protections and encryption software, can help to ensure that only people you want to have access to your data can see it.
Cybersecurity tools will not only protect your data from intrusions across the internet but from anyone who gains access to your physical devices. If you have a large data operation, one of the best things you can do is hire a cybersecurity expert to analyze your cyber risk exposure and set up the best tools for your situation.
Implement Data Safety Practices
Even if you have strong cybersecurity tools in place, they won’t protect your data well enough if you don’t have strong data safety practices as well. For example, putting a password on a file doesn’t do much if the password is easy to guess or left lying around on a piece of paper. It’s important that you not only create data safety protocols for your business but that you ensure everyone within the organization follows them.
One simple protocol you can put into place is the requirement of strong passwords. Give your employees guidelines that they need to follow when creating passwords, such as requiring at least one number, symbol, and capital letter. You can also implement two-factor authentication for increased security. Finally, restrict access to sensitive files when employees are not in the office or connected to public wi-fi networks, as you don’t have control over the security measures there.
Submit Copywrite and Trademark Protections
If your data contains any proprietary information, it’s important that you Copywrite or trademark it. Using these two legal tools will help you if someone tries to steal your ideas or create products that are too similar to yours. For example, if you don’t patent an idea for a product, another company could create the same thing but sell it at a lower price, thereby undercutting your profits. Research the trademark registration process and determine what in your company you need to legally protect. If someone tries to steal or copy your work in the future, you’ll be glad you took these legal precautions.
Refine Your Offboarding Process
A common security threat is former employees. Some may make a mistake on their way out, but others may seek ways of damaging the company on the way out. For example, a former employee may have important information saved on their laptop, which then becomes compromised when they sell it. To protect against these sorts of threats, you need to refine your offboarding process.
The offboarding process is the steps you go through when someone leaves your company. For data security, some important steps to take are immediately locking this person out of sensitive information, changing any passwords that they might have access to, and ensuring they don’t have copies of vital data. You should go through similar steps whether the person is leaving on good terms or not, as you don’t want to experience any accidents with your data later.
Create Regular Backups
Finally, the above steps should help protect you against malicious actions from others. However, there are some events that can violate the integrity of your data that are simply random acts. For example, if you store all your data on an internal hard drive in your office, and your office experiences a flood, this could damage your hard drive beyond repair. It’s no one’s fault, but now you’ve lost all your vital data.
The solution to problems like this is to regularly create backups of your important data. Set up a system where you create a copy of important information in a secure location, such as on the cloud. Then, implement another system that allows you to quickly restore this information should you lose your primary copy. By doing this, if you experience any problems with your data, you can quickly get back to work without missing a beat.
Start Protecting Your Data Today
Don’t wait for a problem before you start protecting your data. Losing your data or having it stolen can cost your business a lot of time and money, making it an issue you’ll want to avoid. Use the tips above to start formulating an action plan, and hopefully, you’ll never have to worry about your data’s safety again.