In 2018, 62% of businesses experienced security breaches and in the first 6 months of 2019, more than 4 billion records were exposed in data breaches. These are shocking statistics considering on average, only 5% of companies secure the folders that contain sensitive data.
As a business owner, putting your data breach prevention plan on the back burner is something that can cause permanent damage to your company. Not only can you lose sensitive information in a data breach, but you can also lose the trust of your customers.
Fortunately, securing your data is as simple as following a few best practices. With a little time and effort, you can keep your company information safe from a breach. If you are a business owner who wants to protect your company, here are several data security tips to get you started.
- Hire a Remote Team
One way to avoid a data breach is to hire a remote team for round-the-clock data monitoring. A managed IT services provider offers affordable and remote IT support, which also includes security. You will benefit from a preventative approach while also taking advantage of the many benefits of having these services.
Managed IT services are a great compliment to your in-house IT team.
- Educate and Train Your Employees
One of the best tips for how to prevent a data breach is to educate and train your employees. On average, 20% of data breaches are caused by employee negligence. Employees do things like write down passwords, not locking their computers, and open suspicious emails, which results in reduced security.
Educating your employees on the best practices of data security is a good way to reduce your risk of being hacked.
- Create Security Procedures
One of the best practices to prevent a data breach is to create security procedures for your staff to follow. Your security procedures will set clear expectations for how data is handled in your company. You can also set different levels of permissions and roles to ensure the data procedures are followed by all of your staff.
- Use Data Encryption
When your data is encrypted, you can securely store, transfer, and access it across many different channels. Data encryption also helps you stay in compliance with all of the data security rules and regulations. You can read this article for more information on keeping your encryption strong.
- Use Smart Password Management
One of the best tips for how can data breaches be prevented is to properly manage your company’s passwords. Passwords should be changed regularly and formatted to be as secure as possible. Consider using multi-factor authentication and a password manager for added layers of security.
- Keep Your Systems Updated
Updating your systems regularly is not only an ideal way to keep them running smoothly, but it’s also a great way to protect your data. When you update your system, you are installing the latest programs that account for the vulnerabilities of the previous versions. While updating can be time-consuming and expensive, it is well worth the effort and cost.
- Backup Your Data
While the purpose of a data breach prevention plan is to prevent a security breach, it’s still a good idea to backup your data regularly. If something does happen, you have a copy of your data and have not lost everything. Backing up your data is also ideal in case an employee accidentally deletes important and sensitive data.
- Dispose of Your Data and Electronics Safely
When you are dealing with sensitive information, there is a specific way to dispose of your data. You should wipe the data from your electronics and shred any documents containing important information. Lastly, hire a removal service to safely destroy your documents and electronics.
- Be Careful With Links and Downloads
Ensure your staff is browsing the internet and using their email accounts responsibly. Only download from trusted sites and be wary of clicking links while browsing the internet. Implement strong spam controls with company emails to ensure you are not a target of phishing scams.
- Perform Data Security Audits and Attack Simulations
Data security audits and assessments can help you find potential vulnerabilities in your company’s systems. You can perform this audit in-house, by outsourcing, or by contacting your managed IT services provider.
Another way to find weak spots in your security is by hiring a white hat hacker to simulate an attack on your system. This method will help you protect your system against more than just the common methods of breaching.
Finding these vulnerabilities allows you to fix a minor problem before it becomes an expensive and embarrassing data leak.
- Avoid Portable Data
Using portable data, or mobile data terminals, increases your risk of data exposure and security breaches. Devices like flash drives and external hardware may be convenient but they are also risky. They can easily be lost or you can unknowingly connect to a computer that has a weak security system.
When you have sensitive and confidential information, be sure to keep it off of mobile data terminals.
- Use a Network Firewall
A network firewall stands in between your data connection and your server. It reads all incoming data and filters out bots, spammers, and other types of harmful traffic. Firewalls also act as a deterrent to hacks and will protect your company from data breaches.
Installing a firewall is as simple as purchasing the best software and installing it.
Use These Data Breach Prevention Tips to Protect Your Company
Data breach prevention doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
Start by creating a prevention plan to keep your data safe. Educate and train your staff so they are not inadvertently exposing your company to threats. Keep your systems up-to-date and consider hiring a remote team for 24/7 data monitoring.
Follow these tips and your data will be safe and secure in no time. Don’t forget to browse our site for all of the latest technology news.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!