cyber security

How Small Businesses Can Prioritize Data Security

by Josh Biggs in Business on 17th May 2019

87% of small business owners are of the idea that their businesses are safe from cybersecurity threats, but they couldn’t be any further from the truth. The modern-day threat landscape has made it quite easy for hackers to target small businesses. Other than having limited investment in cybersecurity, such businesses tend to also be under-staffed, making it much easier for hackers to access the data.

For you to protect your business interests, as a result, you need to take charge of your data security goals. This means not only investing in state of the art security systems but also being prepared for business continuity in situations of disaster.

Here is how to improve the security of your data:

Backup Your Data

Paying for cloud backup solutions for small business is a great way to rid your business of human-created errors. Anything in the line of people deleting the data accidentally to hackers attacking your prized data can happen within a short time notice. The faster you can recover the data theft, the easier it will be to get back to business as usual, while keeping customers satisfied.

However, you shouldn’t confine your data backup to the cloud and should instead use the 3-2-1 rule of data backup. Make three copies of every piece of data. Store one in the production environment, the second on the cloud and the third offsite.

Employee Training Is Paramount

Employees are the main drivers of your company’s data security. Why not ensure that all hands are on deck? Train employees on every type of security procedure they need to follow to keep your business afloat. This will range from password management to the need to use secure WiFi networks.

Take some time to craft a policy that outlines all the expectations. For instance, the policy should warn against insider data theft and shadow IT. Lastly, ensure that you provide the employees with enough tools to implement what they learn during training. This includes VPNs, database monitoring tools and antiviruses.

Keep Things Up To Date

Outdated software and computer programs are a recipe for data theft and the detriment of your business. This is because most updates tend to come with security patches and tweaks that are meant to mask vulnerabilities. Think of the updates as a wall that is erected to make it tougher for hackers to gain access to your data.

The trick is to make updating your system a borderline religious task. You can schedule updates once a week to make it a habit. Ideally, you should have a single employee in charge of making these updates.

Limit Data Access

Data access should be privileged. It makes little sense to have employees from the finance department accessing HR data. If they find anything that doesn’t augur well with what they believe, they can easily turn into a threat to your business. As such, limit access to data to the point of need to know basis.

The higher a person is in the rank of your small business, the higher the level of access they can have. This means that you need to create accounts for employees with strong access control protocols behind the accounts.

Embrace Data Masking

cyberPersonally identifiable data shouldn’t be made public in non-production environments. The trick should be to reduce the level to which people can tie data back to a customer. Why not embrace data masking techniques such as encryption on both the cloud and their backup media? As long as you hold the decryption key, you can make the data worthless to any hacker who gains access to it.

Conclusion

Data security shouldn’t ever be taken for granted, especially in the case of small businesses. A great strategy will help limit the chances of data breach situations crippling your business. Consider the tips above to protect your business’s interests.

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