Each year, data breaches are responsible for costing companies millions of dollars and still they continue to happen. It’s not always the external hackers sitting half a world away from you in some shady part of the globe that cause those attacks, as these breaches can often be brought about by someone from the inside.
Alarming as the situation may sound, there are ways by which you can protect your business data from breaches; both internal and external. Let’s now take a look at how to do that exactly.
1. Install a Security System
Before we get to the more technical side of things, let’s deal with something that is basic but just as important as any of the others on this list. Install a reliable security system in your office. There is a myriad of options, but this choice could boil down to a simple, elegant solution such as SimpliSafe (DIY security system) that will help you safeguard your premises against intruders and internal staff who might be trying to break inside areas that are off-limits to them.
This is the very first step and no one should ever ignore it. A security system in your office virtually makes it impossible for someone to breach sensitive office data internally.
2. Identify Your Assets
The next step is to identify the crucial data which is most likely to be stolen. More often than not, this mostly pertains to intellectual property and information regarding your customers, competition, sales stats, etc.
3. Review Your Authorizations and Levels of Access
Make sure that the only people who have access to sensitive company data are the ones that need it. It would be highly ideal if your content management system allowed the administrators to assign specific roles to each user so that access is always limited and on a strictly need-to-know/use basis. This is also a great way to keep track of all the people who have access to important company data so that you can easily track them down if any of them ever tries to cause a breach internally.
4. Be Careful with Your Passwords
We are not only talking about choosing strong passwords here, although that is also imperative. Do not use the same password across multiple services because hackers know about this human tendency and they make full use of that knowledge.
You might be using similar passwords to help you remember them, but consider a scenario where one of the services which you are using gets hacked. Now, not only do the cyber criminals have your password for that particular service but now they can basically access any other service where you have used that same password. Teach the same to your employees.
5. Stay Updated
There’s always something or the other being cooked up by cyber criminals and if Shellshock and Heartbleed were any indications, there’s still a lot more to come.
While you cannot exactly stop them, if you are updated about what is going on, you will probably be able to take action and prevent it from affecting your business. Keep a close eye on all the services and software which your business uses and see if any major vulnerability has been revealed in their software or database. In case any of your service providers are compromised, a portion of your business becomes vulnerable by default.
Go Old School, Sometimes
Cloud storage is the future and traditional servers are on their way out according to many. Nevertheless, it might be advantageous to store at least some of your most sensitive data on a physical server.
Many offices still do maintain them because a tangible server is much easier to protect than the data on the cloud, which is totally dependent on the security measures of your provider. Unfortunately, you cannot really do that all the time, so, therefore, hire companies which have a legal obligation to let you know of any security breaches which they might have found in their system.
At the end of the day, it’s all about being alert, updated and applying common sense. To be perfectly honest, you can never really secure 100% of your data all the time, but you can definitely bring down the chances of a breach by keeping the above points in mind.