Every business has sensitive information that needs to be protected. From your employees’ personal information to your client data, this information should never fall into the wrong hands. These four strategies can help you to protect your sensitive business information from hackers, ransoms and phishers.
Limit Access to Data
Limiting access to your data is key in safeguarding critical information. If a person does not need access to a database or file, then he or she should not have it. Be sure to regularly check and update permissions, including disabling access to people who are no longer employed by your business.
Back Up Your Business Data
If a hacker does somehow get into your business’ network, it is important to have an up-to-date copy that is not stored on a networked device. You can turn to that backup data and enjoy continuity of operations if your main network is breached. For example, in February, 2017, the city of Newark, Ohio, experienced a ransomware attack on their emergency services and 9-1-1 software. The city used their backup data while their IT staff repaired the damage. They did not pay the hackers the ransom fee.
Implement Anti-phishing Training
All it takes is one click on an innocent-looking email, and a hacker could intrude into your network. Therefore, anti-phishing training for employees is important to safeguarding your business information. Regular training of your employees keeps them up-to-date about the latest in internet trickery. Be sure to train long-time staff as well as your new hires about how to avoid phishing schemes.
Require Frequent Security Updates
Hackers are constantly working on their spyware, malware, viruses and other schemes. Frequent security updates are essential to safeguarding your sensitive data. Your information technology staff should have your network setup to integrate daily updates to security software. When a new operating system version is released, be sure to upgrade to it. Older versions of Windows are easier to hack and are not supported by current anti-virus programs. Require your employees to change their passwords and to use strong pass phrases consisting of combinations of special characters, numbers and upper and lowercase letters.
Safeguarding your business data is key to your bottom line. When your data is safe, you can uphold your business’ reputation for providing optimal customer care and protection of critical information. Protecting sensitive information takes time and resources, but your investment is worthwhile when you consider continuity of operations and prevention of unauthorized access to confidential information.