Every company is striving hard each day to protect its data from a data breach, considering the technological advancements and new data regulations. A data breach can be a disastrous event for business; more so, if it was not prepared for the threat. Studies reveal that several companies are being affected by data breaches, with the highest number being on the medium and small-size companies. Surprisingly, a data breach can also be caused by employees, contrary to the misconception that outsiders can only cause it. Fortunately, companies can protect their data by incorporating preventative measures. However, business owners need to consider the causes of data breaches and tackle them before the damage is done.
Define your data security policy
The first step towards protecting your company data is defining a clear policy on how you plan on handling data security. Your employees will get the guidelines and rules of dealing with the company’s data from the data security policy you set. You need to come up with a strategy that defines the person responsible for specific data in the company, people who can access the data, and data management, disposal and sharing.
Educate and train employees
You are not guaranteed that your employees will understand your data security policy just because you formulated it. Besides, they do not know how the policy works neither do the employees understand the importance of taking the policy seriously. You can start by carrying out a staff quiz or free survey to know how well your staff knows about data threats, such as ransomware definition then come up with a training program around the results of the study. You need to consider short and regular training sessions as opposed to long-hour sessions, which are not effective.
Encrypt sensitive information
Encryption is an effective way of protecting your company data whether you are backing it up, transmitting it, or simply enhancing the security of stored data. Besides encrypting data on all computers in the company, you should encrypt devices used to store data, such as hard drives and USB drivers. Consequently, hackers cannot access your company’s data by plugging the devices into other computers. You can achieve this by sourcing for the appropriate encryption software depending on the needs of your company.
Be aware of phishing schemes
Hackers and criminals are using phishing emails to target your identity and credit with the aim of gaining control of your network and computer or worst still, access your information or steal your passwords. Unfortunately, these fake emails appear as if they have a trusted origin, such as your vendors or credit card provider, and they often include attachments or links that require you to download. You need to delete any suspicious emails instead of opening them. Therefore, you can protect your company’s data by confirming whether the emails are from people you know or not, does not have unusual characters or spellings, or if it was an email, you were expecting.
Protect against social engineering
Social engineers get the data they want from your company by gathering information from various sources, such as your social profiles. To protect your data from social engineers, you should verify people before providing them with the company’s information. Also, you can call the work phone number of anyone seeking information to confirm that the person is genuine.