ExecutiveChronicles.com | 7 Key Security Practices to Protect Your Business’s Sensitive Information | Every company, no matter the size, has information it needs to protect: customer info, projects in development, and other proprietary knowledge.
In today’s world, protecting that business information is crucial. Unscrupulous hackers or careless employees may end up exposing your company secrets if you aren’t careful.
The best way to protect your business is to upgrade your security. There are several simple but effective security practices you can implement to prevent catastrophe.
Keep reading to learn about seven key security practices that will help your company avoid a data breach.
Improve Password Strength
The easiest way for an intruder to access your information is by correctly guessing the username and password of one of your accounts. That’s as true for business accounts as it is for personal ones.
Maintaining strong passwords is a crucial part of keeping data safe. There are many strategies out there for generating a strong password, such as avoiding real words and using a mix of letters and symbols.
If your business uses multiple accounts, don’t use the same password across all of them–mix things up. That way, if a hacker makes a lucky guess, the damage will be contained to one account instead of multiple.
You should also change your passwords from time to time for added security.
Don’t Leave Things Unattended
Keep a close eye on your important data! This is one of the simplest security practices that often goes ignored. If you’re going to be away from your computer, lock it down so no one else can access it.
If you print an important document, go pick it up right away–don’t leave it sitting there where someone else can take it. Make sure you don’t forget key papers after a meeting.
Stay organized: know where your important files are and ensure that the wrong people aren’t able to access them.
This is especially important if you’re traveling. Be careful not to forget anything in a hotel room or get distracted on a convention floor; someone might use that opportunity to steal valuable information.
Keep up to Date on Software Updates
In most cases, a hacker will have an easier time breaking through older software compared to newer, more up-to-date versions. Newer software often has enhanced security features that are tougher to crack.
Whether it’s your router, your operating system, or a program you use frequently, make sure that your software is always updated as soon as possible.
The best way to do this is to set up an automatic update process. That way, you’ll have access to the updates as soon as they roll out. You won’t need to waste time manually checking for updates each day.
On the topic of software, make sure you have antivirus and malware-blocking software installed and updated at all times.
Maintain Safety Plans
Even with cybersecurity tools and the most stringent security practices in place, it’s inevitable: at some point, a data breach will happen. A hacker will get lucky, an employee will lose a document–something will go wrong.
When that happens, don’t panic! Just follow your safety plan.
It is crucial to have plans in place not just to protect your data, but to react to a data breach. That way, you can deal with an incident efficiently.
Make sure there is a clear procedure for all employees to follow in the event of a data breach. Educate everyone on this procedure and make sure that everyone in the company has access to it if they need a refresher.
A solid response strategy is the best way to minimize damage from a breach.
Keep Physical Documents Secure
The best cybersecurity tools in the world won’t do a thing to protect your physical documents. For those, you’ll need to rely on more old-fashioned safety measures.
Keep important physical documents in a safe place–a locked filing cabinet, for instance. Make sure that only trusted employees are able to access them.
Conversely, there are some documents that all employees need to be able to access, often due to OSHA requirements. Security is important for these, too–you need to ensure that yours are up to date and easy to find.
In these cases, look for digital solutions rather than physical ones. For instance, think of safety data sheets–SDS software is more convenient and safer than physical sheets.
Ease of access for all employees is only one of the many benefits of SDS software.
Perform Background Checks
Every manager would like to think they can trust their employees, and most of the time, you can. It’s undeniable, however, that some data breaches occur because of internal issues.
Minimize the chance that an employee will steal your information by conducting a thorough background check. Make sure the person you’re hiring is trustworthy.
If you feel an employee can’t be trusted with information–either because they’re acting suspicious or because you think they might leak something accidentally–make sure they can’t access that info.
This goes back to some earlier points: keep important data in secure locations with limited access. Lock down your computer if you need to step away. Don’t give bad actors the opportunity to get at your data.
Lock Down Your Wireless Network
When it comes to cybersecurity, making sure you have a secure network is key. Wireless networks are an obvious target for hackers; taking steps to protect yours will save you a lot of trouble in the future.
First of all, use the strongest encryption possible on your router to strengthen it against attacks.
Second, deactivate your router’s broadcasting function. This should make it so that hackers can’t find your network–and if they can’t find it, they can’t attack it.
You can also use a firewall to help keep hackers out.
Be sure to change your router’s default username and password, too, and always keep its software up to date!
Protect Your Business Information
Companies should do everything possible to protect their business information. Taking the precautions listed above will help protect you against a disastrous data breach.
Are you interested in more ways to improve your company? Visit our business blog for more great advice.