Preventing data theft in your business


What would happen if someone outside your business – a competitor or a criminal – got hold of your data? Or what if someone from inside your business leaked important information?

Imagine what could happen if your data fell into the wrong hands. Your business might have to pay fines, and you might lose customers.

Here are the top six tips for keeping your data safe:

1. Secure your sensitive information

You might lock a cupboard or a room in the house to keep your belongings safe. You can do the same with information. To keep your data secure, you should restrict access to certain parts of your computer system.

2. Protect against malicious software

Viruses, ransomware and other malware all threaten your business. Make sure you have antivirus software and that it's up-to-date. Read more about antivirus software

3. Control physical access

Be aware of who has physical access to your office space and devices. Could someone access or steal your computer? Consider using a cable lock on your computer to make it harder for opportunists to grab your device. How to secure your portable devices

4. Ensure every device requires some form of identification

Biometric authentication refers something like a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition. These tools mean one less password to remember, but unlike passwords, no one can steal or guess them. If your devices don't have biometric authentication, then set a strong password.

If you're using passwords, make sure that every user has a unique password. They shouldn't use the same password for different devices. That way, if one password is leaked, not all your systems are at risk.

5. Make sure your networks are secure

Is your workplace WiFi secure? Keep staff networks separate from guest networks. If any of your staff can access your network remotely, make sure they use a VPN (virtual private network). Read more about using WiFi securely

6. Train your employees

Without training, employees may make innocent mistakes resulting in data breaches. Security training might include topics like passwords, USB flash drives, phishing and ransomware. Social engineering is also a growing threat for small businesses.