14 Critical Business Data Security Tips to Protect Your Company

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We now rely on software programs more than ever for our daily business life. We use CRM programs to manage our clients, the cloud to store data and even operate our programs, and all forms of communication and cooperation apps to maintain seamless workflow in our processes. 

Everything now operates using the internet, regardless of whether it’s internal business or dealing with outsiders. What’s even more important is that almost all of our data is private and confidential, and that makes the idea of losing this data a terrifying nightmare for a business owner. 

Unfortunately for us, there are an infinite number of ways to get hacked. Hackers have become extremely creative and sophisticated in their malicious attacks, and they’re always waiting for the slightest opening to jump into our business records. 

However, the good news is that you also have myriad ways to protect your data from being stolen or lost. When looking for ways to optimize your business data security, here are a few ways you can keep your fortress impenetrable.

1. Create a strong IT infrastructure

Whether you decide to call in an expert to set your IT infrastructure or opt to do it on your own, keep in mind that this is the foundation of all your data security - or lack thereof. 

Business Data Security Tips to Protect Your Company

Your IT infrastructure is founded by the hardware and software you use on your premises. They have to be compatible enough to be able to work in sync and keep your network running smoothly and securely.

2. Encrypt your data

Before you set out to secure your premises, you need to take the necessary precautions in case your data were to be lost or stolen; nothing works better than encrypting your data and devices.

Simply put, data encryption means scrambling the data so that it becomes technically incomprehensible. The only way you can access the data and make sense of it is by providing the password you’ve privately set. Keep in mind that if you forget this keyword, your data will be irreversibly inaccessible. 

3. Remember to backup everything

This brings us to another important step in securing your data. Not all security threats result from stolen data, you may just lose them when you lose a device or accidentally delete a document. 

That’s why it’s crucial to regularly backup your data to access all the information you need, be it after losing a device or forgetting the password to an encrypted device. 

4. Consider using the cloud

You can simply backup your data using an external drive, but that will require investing in more hardware. Another convenient option will be to use cloud storage to keep your data safe. 

However, it’s understandable how leaving your records in the hand of the cloud can be unnerving. You may feel like you can’t be sure of its security, but carefully inspecting cloud service providers and choosing a reputable company can help ease your mind. In doing so, your backups can be even more secure than storing them on site. 

5. Have a disaster recovery plan

What if the worst happens and you lose your data? A good businessman knows that creating a risk plan is the most important part of devising a plan, and that’s why Neil Barton from DB Visit explains on dbvisit.com/disaster-recovery-in-the-cloud that you need to have a disaster recovery plan in case things go south. A disaster recovery plan is basically a standby database created in parallel. 

You have the primary database in your company. To protect the data in case of hardware failure, loss, or theft, you create a secondary database that is an exact copy of the primary one. The secondary database can be kept on-premises or stored over the cloud, and it takes effect if anything were to happen to the primary database. 

6. Scan for potential security threats

Security threats only pose a problem if you have a vulnerability in your network. You shouldn’t wait for an attack to freak out over the breach; rather, you should make scanning for potential threats a habit in running all of your devices. 

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By running a scanning program, you’ll be able to recognize the loopholes and security gaps before an attack happens, and that will give you the chance to fortify your security

7. Scan new devices first

Although you may be busy scanning your running programs for potential threats, never forget that the biggest threat often comes from new devices connecting to your network. 

Any device that connects to your Wi-Fi network will have access to your hub and other connected devices as well. Before you accept new devices, be sure to scan them and only approve them one at a time.

8. Dispose of your tech smartly

It’s normal to get rid of old cards and devices, but you shouldn’t just throw them away in the trash and call it a day. There’s nothing more valuable than this kind of trash for thieves who rummage through the disposed waste and access your personal and financial data. 

Rather than throwing away your devices, be sure to get rid of all your personal, financial, and confidential information. If you’re giving away a hard drive or any other storage devices, or even in the case of handing over virtual accounts, be sure to delete the files and overwrite them with new files. This makes recovering the erased data much harder for whoever comes after you. 

9. Routinely clean out old data

Speaking of old devices, the same can happen with old data that’s been stored away for too long. But just because you forgot they’re there doesn’t mean losing them is any less of a security threat. 

Instead of leaving your archives to gather dust in your virtual store room, be sure to carry out an annual data audit and safely get rid of all the data that doesn’t serve you anymore. 

10. Enable remote device wiping

There’s a smart trick to managing your data in case you lose your devices. Chances are, your employees may inevitably lose their personal devices one way or another; it’s going to be a huge threat if their devices have access to company information though. 

For such cases, you’ll need to wipe the devices clean from a remote setting, but that can only be done by installing an app before that happens. 

11. Fortify your security wall

You’re definitely familiar with this one. To ensure the utmost security in your network, you need to create an impenetrable wall to block out hackers

Fortify your security wall

Be sure to install a firewall, which will be the first and strongest layer of security. You’ll also want to install an antivirus or antimalware program to protect against unforeseen viruses or malicious attempts. 

12. Always update your software

Let’s say you’ve taken all the necessary measures in fortifying your security using firewalls and antivirus programs. You may feel assured that your systems are now safe, but that isn’t always the case. Chances are, there’s a security gap that has been found by the developers or created by the hackers - and that’s why newer, safer versions of such protection software are made available. 

If you keep using an outdated version, you may be more vulnerable to malicious attacks, which is exactly why you should always update your software to their latest versions. It’s best to switch on automatic updates, just in case you forget to do it manually. 

13. Learn how to use your mobile data safely

Using business smartphones and tablets has now become a normal occurrence in most businesses, if not a must. Unfortunately, mobile devices are a mine for potential security threats waiting to be accessed.

To ensure your mobile data security, be sure to review all privacy settings before using or approving an app.

Always set your phone to automatically lock after a short period of inactivity, use strong passwords, back up your data, and install mobile antimalware programs. Moreover, never use your debit card for online transactions and never save your financial data on websites or apps. 

14. Protect your passwords

Passwords are there for a reason, they should make your devices inaccessible to anyone else. That’s why you should put some effort into your passwords. Use complicated and unique passwords, including capital letters, numbers, and symbols. You can’t use a password that can be easily guessed by someone who knows you. 

Protect your passwords

Enable two-factor authentication using your phone number and email. Never store all your passwords online, it’s better to use a password manager for that purpose. Don’t use the same password for multiple places. And finally, limit access to sensitive data to only administrators and the needed individuals. 

Conclusion: 14 critical business data security tips to protect your company

At the end of the day, the best way to ensure the security of your business data is to implement security protocols and educate your employees about the risks of not following these protocols. 

However, merely telling your employees to follow the protocols isn’t enough, it’s best to set a meeting and break down the security measures needed for every action or procedure. 

Once you clearly explain the protocols, let your employees sign a compliance contract to ensure their commitment.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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