Preventing data theft should be important to every business or organisation. The consequences of your data getting into the wrong hands can result in; damaged reputations, legal penalties, and financial implications.
So how do you keep your data safe, here are our 5 tips:
Make sure your sensitive information is secure
Just as you might lock a cupboard or a room in the house to keep your belongings safe, so you should restrict access to certain parts of your computer system. Check out our article on Why its Important to Restrict Access to Your Data.
Protect Against Malicious Software
Viruses, spyware, ransomware and other malware (malicious software) can all pose a risk to your business. Make sure you have anti-virus software and that it's up to date. Learn more about Anti-virus software.
Control Physical Access
Be aware who has physical access to your office space and devices. Could someone access or steal your computer? Make sure your computers are away from public access. Consider using a cable lock on your computer or laptop – they work just like a bicycle lock, making it harder for the opportunist thief.
Are portable devices locked away when not in use? Check out keeping your portable devices secure.
Ensure Every Device Requires Some Form of Identification
Biometric authentication such as fingerprint scanners can be extremely useful, as they mean one less password to remember and unlike passwords they can't be guessed or stolen. If your devices don't have this capability then passwords or PINs are the next most likely option (just make sure passwords are strong). It's important to encourage users to have different passwords for different devices and systems. That way if their password in one system is compromised all your systems are not at risk.
Use Only Secure Networks
Your company network should be secure - make sure you use firewalls. Also consider whether staff access your network remotely - do they use a VPN (virtual private network)? Is your workplace's Wi-Fi secure? Do staff use Wi-Fi when away from the office, such as at home, or in cafes and airports? Check out How to use Wi-Fi securely.
Train your employees
They often lack the basic awareness of data security and how hackers work. Employees without this knowledge often make innocent mistakes that result in data breaches. Educate them not only things like not sharing passwords, scanning USB drives, being wary of attachments and clicking links, but also on phishing, ransomware, viruses and other risks. Social engineering is also growing threat for small businesses. Why not share our free Cyber Security Awareness Assessment to your staff to grow their cyber security skills and knowledge.