Nowadays, companies of all sizes operate in the online world. The digital age presented numerous opportunities and benefits to businesses, such as faster speed to market, effective communication with customers or clients, more reliable marketing strategies and so on and so forth. However, as beneficial as operating online can be, it also presents unique challenges, as well as dangerous risks.
Cyber attacks are one of those risks. The fact of the matter is that cybercrime has become more frequent than ever and cyber attacks are more sophisticated as well. Every business is a target and any sensitive information is a valuable prize. Many businesses lack proper cybersecurity measures which hackers are more than willing to exploit.
In today’s day and age, protecting data has become of the utmost importance regardless of whether you’re protecting sensitive information about your customers or protecting vital business information. That’s why it’s important to improve your cybersecurity and prevent data breaches from ever happening. That being said, here are a few ways to enhance data security.
Educate your employees
For many companies, employees might be the biggest security weakness they have. If employees are unaware of potential risks and threats, they may easily fall for a scam or compromise the entire security of a company. For instance, a simple phishing email scam is enough to fool employees who are unaware and make room for a potential data breach. That’s why it’s important to provide proper education to employees and show them how to combat common cybersecurity threats.
That way, your employees are more likely to identify threats in the first place and even if they don’t, they’ll be able to recognize if some threat has managed to penetrate your cybersecurity. If your company happens to be a small business, don’t think for a second that your company isn’t an interesting target for cybercriminals. As a matter of fact, 43% of all cyber attacks are focused on small businesses.
Check your network for weaknesses
One of the best ways to enhance data security is to determine your weaknesses. That way, you’ll be able to determine how and where hackers are most likely to attempt to breach your security. What’s more, identifying weaknesses allows you to remedy any issues and improve security where needed.
For example, you can implement the next generation firewall appliance, in order to ward off any potential cyber attacks. Identifying weaknesses isn’t that difficult, to begin with. You can perform penetration testing that will simulate a cyber attack on your network. That way you can easily detect weak spots and ensure they’re fixed before an actual attack ever happens.
Strengthen your passwords
Passwords are oftentimes the weakest link in a company’s cybersecurity. People mostly use weak and short passwords that are simple and easy to remember. What’s more, they have the tendency to use the same password for multiple accounts or log-in credentials. That is the same as inviting a hacker to breach your security and exploit your data.
Weak passwords can easily be cracked and even an average hacker won’t have to break a sweat, in order to compromise them. To enhance your data security, you’ll simply have to use stronger and complex passwords. For example, a password that next to impossible to crack must contain at least 12 to 18 characters. In addition, it must be a combination of upper and lower case letters, symbols and numbers. The higher the complexity of a password the more difficult it becomes to crack it. Moreover, never use the same password twice and never write it down in digital format.
Back up and encrypt data
One of the surest ways to protect data and enhance its security is to have backups of it ready and encrypted. Data backup serves not just as a safety precaution in case of a data breach or data loss but also as a recovery method in case of a disaster. A business that loses all of its data due to a cyber attack is more likely to fail permanently.
In fact, 60% of small businesses never recover from a data breach. That’s why it’s very important to back up your data properly. There are several ways you can achieve that. For instance, you can back up data on an offline server in-house. Also, you can back up information to external hard drive and keep them on a remote location. Lastly, you can leverage modern cloud-based solutions that provide safe storage, encryption, backup and recovery of your data.
Limit data access
Another security risk and a potential weakness in data access within a company or an organization. Sensitive information shouldn’t be available to anyone within a company. If anyone has access to sensitive information they may willingly or unwillingly leave the door open for a potential cyber attack. As a matter of fact, 60% of cyber attacks are made possible due to some sort of internal security leak from within a company. In other words, you should restrict access to data at all times.
That includes ensuring who can access, modify, alter or copy information. The simplest way to ensure data access is limited is to implement proper security policies. That way, only those who need to have access to sensitive information will do so and not every employee in the company. In most cases, in-house issues left unattended are more likely to case data breach than not having the latest security software.
Data security is very important these days. Business must look out for themselves, as well as their customers or clients. That’s why it’s crucial to assess your current security methods and enhance data security whenever possible.