It’s understandable that companies want to work rapidly to achieve their corporate goals, but that should never be done at the expense of lackadaisical data practices. Attempting to protect company data is an absolute must, regardless of the size of the business or corporation.
Each day should also be seen as a potential learning experience, creating an opportunity for a business to further hone its ability to successfully complete its necessary requirements.
To further dive into the topic, here are five quick tips to help keep your company data secure in an increasingly online world:
1. Enforce Proper Safe Technology Removal.
If hard drives are being disposed of, companies must consider using a hard drive wipe software to help ensure data is actually removed. Simply unplugging it and throwing in the recycle bin isn’t a good business strategy. Hardware able to store any type of data should be handled with added care when being removed from an office or facility.
Digital solutions don’t just delete and format storage drives, but use enhanced features to ensure data is fully unrecoverable. This need for care becomes even more critical for hard drives used by government agencies or financial entities storing sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords, employee or customer personal information, and similar information.
2. Educating Employees to Best Cybersecurity Practices.
Even the best corporate hardware and software practices won’t help if employees are reckless with their own workplace practices. At a high level, a phishing attack is when a cybercriminal attempts to compromise an employee, typically using a spoofed email with a malicious link, to capture the person’s username and login, or some other personal information. It’s extremely effective to target a large number of targets at a rapid pace, just to see who falls victim to the phishing attempt.
To further complicate matters, criminals launch spear phishing attacks aimed at specific people inside an organization. Sometimes, a spear phishing attempt will actually aim at a large majority of a target organization. The expensive and fancy layers of cybersecurity mean less when credentials are just readily turned over. Security companies and third-party groups offer educational courses – and training sessions – centered on best practices to improve employee education.
3. Create a “Bring Your Own Device” Policy.
The roll out of cloud-based services translates to on-demand information access across virtually any device, at any time. Office workers are less inclined to want to use multiple devices, including even carrying two different smartphones around to complete their tasks. That’s okay, though, because BYOD policies have been shown to help cut costs, eliminating the need to purchase new products for employees.
Proper protocols must be created – and enforced – to keep an internal network secure. However, there have been recent software solutions released with a focus on personal devices in the workplace – and rules can be created which employees must follow.
Decision makers must come to the reality that employees often don’t care about BYOD security. Instead, they are more interested in getting their job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Similar to the “Enforce Proper Safe Technology Removal” subcategory, an ability to remotely wipe lost or stolen devices is something that should be seriously considered.
4. Make Sure Data is Backed Up.
Backing up data results in faster recovery and less downtime, meaning precious time and money isn’t wasted needlessly. Put simply, a data backup is just a copy of data or critical files which can be accessed (i.e. recovered) in case of a data hardware or software failure.
Information technology (IT) workers are driven absolutely bonkers when they attempt to recover lost or corrupted data, only to find out there were no recent data backups. In today’s digital world, companies can keep data stored on-premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid mix of both – allowing for data to be saved both in a physical location, and using some type of Internet-based offering.
There is no excuse to not keep somewhat updated backups, and there are successful use cases from other companies that can be studied and learned from.
5. Keep Software Updated.
Software is never a static solution, free from bugs and security patches. It’s recommended to keep software up to date because those patches are typically released to fix security holes, remove outdated functionality, and improve the overall stability of the program. Ultimately, it’s up to companies to verify software is being properly updated, especially when critical patches are released. Thankfully, most updates prompt users with a notice of a recent patch – and critical updates tend to be mandatory.
In addition, business software also has built-in settings to allow the user to verify that they are running the latest software version available.
Companies will likely find that keeping company data safe is going to be a never-ending battle, and shortcuts cannot be taken. Many businesses choose to work with a trusted solutions provider or technology partner to help keep their workplace infrastructure as secure as possible. There are solutions available, and decision makers shouldn’t be afraid to let their IT teams test what best practices and solutions are ideal for their own environment.