Whether you’re in charge of a side-hustle, small business or huge corporation, chances are you are collecting various pieces of data about your customers, and quite possibly your own company and employees too. If that is the case, it is very important that you take every step you can to safeguard that data as a leak could prove disastrous for you, your business and your customers!

With that in mind, here are some practical steps you can take to keep your data safe:

Work Out Your Risk

First of all, you should work out how at risk your company is. Are you likely to be targeted by hackers? Are you more likely to be sunk by malicious software embedded in emails? Id your intellectual property at risk? Of course, you should protect against every risk, but if you know that you’re more likely to fall foul of one thing in particular, then you can take extra precautions there.

Work Out Which Data Needs to Be Kept Safe

Most companies have some data that really isn’t of very much consequence as all, and most have some data – financial records, business practices, customer payment details – that absolutely do need to be protected to the max. Work out which is which and focus on ensuring that your most sensitive data is highly guarded from any threat.

Protect Your Network

Probably the most common way that data gets into the wrong hands is via an unsecured network, which is why it is so important that you install malware on every device that ever connects to your network, and that it is updated regularly.

Use Secure Services

In this day and age, it’s pretty common to have data stored on servers, and if that’s the case, you need to ensure that your servers are secure. You also need to use managed file transfer services when sharing that data. This will ensure that no one who should not be seeing that data gets to see it.

Change Passwords Regularly

Another common cause of data leaks is simply slack password security. Everyone in your company should be changing their passwords on a monthly basis, and they should be pretty complex passwords too. So, make sure that you have a policy in place that prompts your employees to do just that and to do so without fail.

Restrict Access

No one in your company should have access to all the data you store, and no one should have access to more data than they absolutely need to get the job done. Let the wrong person see the wrong thing, and you could have a disaster on your hands.

Encrypt

If in doubt, encrypt it! It’s that simple.

Hire a Security Specialist

Of course, if you want to really ensure that your data is as secure as it can possibly be, it’s absolutely worth considering the possibility of consulting a security specialist who knows the challenges you face and can come up with a solution to each and every one.

Securing your data can be a challenge, but by taking the above steps, you can do it successfully.

 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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