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Every year, as our world gets more connected and more businesses go online, the number of data breaches goes up. From small startups to multi-million-dollar businesses, hackers are indiscriminate of who they target. As such, you cannot afford to ignore putting in place proper data security measures for your business. The cost of such ignorance can be a crippling breach that cripples your business and kills your dreams.
The good news for entrepreneurs is that in as much as these threats are massive and ever evolving, cyber security has also continued to advance significantly. There is an arsenal of tools and a myriad of strategies that you can employ to make sure that your proprietary information remains secure. Some of them include the following –
- Cloud Storage with Strict Permission Levels
In recent years, cloud storage has exploded in popularity as the ideal data storehouse. It is by far the best and easiest solution when it comes to storing sensitive information. At a minimum, the cloud secures your data behind strong authentication protocols. The degree of security obviously varies with the platform you choose.
Effective as it may be, cloud storage is still fallible. There is the risk of your data being accessed by people you wouldn’t want having that access. It is therefore strongly recommended that you put strong permission levels in place so that only a few select individuals can have access to your stored data.
- Ensure that all Sensitive Data is Encrypted
- Devices – In the event your mobile devices were to fall into the wrong hands, your sensitive data would be compromised. Passwords can be cracked and lock bypassed. You need to encrypt your devices to make sure that your confidential information remains secure even if someone were to gain physical access to your devices.
- Online Transactions–Any information being transmitted over the Internet is vulnerable to eavesdropping or interception. Sensitive information like usernames, passwords or credit card information falling into the wrong hands can be devastating for you and your clients. By using a cheap Comodo SSL Certificate on your site, you can assure the highest possible encryption levels for your online transactions.
- Internet Traffic–If you do not have proper security measures in place, your IP can be hacked easily and at any time. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is the best way to stop unknown entry into your company’s network and devices. It not only allows you to switch servers and IPs at will but also offers your network extra layers of security.
- Data Masking – The ideal data disguise
Data masking is an easy way to disguise sensitive data to keep others from seeing it clearly. This technology involves replacing real data with functional, fictitious data so that it can be used safely in situations where the actual data is not needed, but the placeholder data is. From payment card information to intellectual property to protected health information, data masking can be used to protect many forms of sensitive data.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication
This system requires two separate means of verifying identity to gain access. For example, requiring a user I.D and a uniquely generated code created for a specific login request. To keep unauthorized personnel from your system, you need a two factor-authentication process.
- Involve Experts in your data security strategy
You can secure your site with a cheap RapidSSL certificate, reliable antivirus, VPN and good data security practices. However, as the stakes get higher, you need to invest in professional help. This means hiring a data security expert to be responsible for monitoring and thwarting any data security threats or regularly hiring the services of a good security consultant.
Hacking, spamming and phishing methods, social engineering tactics, and other cyber security threats are always evolving. As committed as you may be, you cannot stay up to date with all the technical ways of thwarting these threats.
- Effect Good Data Security Practices
Security tools and technical security measures are amazing and can really boost your security but you are far more likely to succumb to a data breach as a result of human error. You ought to –
- Make hard copies and delete digital copies of unnecessarily risky files.
- Use strong passwords, do not keep any electronic records of them and change them regularly.
- Enable regular software updates and avoid clicking any risky download risks.
- Keep sensitive data stored separate from regular data.
- Stay updated on the latest trends in cyber security and offer regular training to your employees on everything from backing up data to dealing with unsolicited email.
- Practice good mobile device management and invest in mobile security like SSL cryptography, end-to-end encryption, anti-malware software, etc.
- Test Constantly
Testing is the only way to make sure that your data security measures are full proof. Conduct regular vulnerability scans and evaluations to find weaknesses in your security system. You can hire a third party data security company or a seasoned, trustworthy hacker test your own security structure. If you can get illegitimate access to your secured data, so can criminals.
- Resilience – Plan for a Security Breach
Sure, you would like to protect your business from a cyber-attack, but everything is fallible, even the best security system. Being resilient means being prepared for the worst so that in the event it happens, you can recover quickly. You should create awareness and allocate a budget such that all employees are aware of the potential risks and can handle them when they arise. You should also have backups in place to restore your data in case you lose it or in case your systems need rebooting. Real-time back is the most effective.
From encrypting information in transit with a COMODO SSL certificate to storing and backing up your data on the cloud, many data security strategies can secure your business. It is prudent to be secure and vigilant before an attack makes you sorry you were not. However, in the event a data breach happens, you should have a plan in place to help you bounce back.