Can you imagine a business that doesn’t have any data? Obviously, No, Right? Whether big or small, every company collects information from the market, competitor, supplier, and customers.
Every day you meet new people and build connections with them by exchanging information. Usually, it is regular information (name, email, phone number, etc.). However, sometimes you exchange crucial data that needs to be kept secured. And, the most common method that organizations use for protecting corporate information is by saving the files in cloud storage or USB devices.
But, the question of concern is- Are these measures enough to protect the data? Before we answer this question, let’s look at the data that we have collected:
- A study of Statista revealed that around 25% of the global data was unsecured in 2015.
- In 2019 there were 1,473 cases of data breaches with more than 164.68 million records exposed in the United States.
- In the first half of 2019, the data breach exposed 4.1 billion records.
- In 2019, Organisations lost the business of $1.42 million.
- So far, 540 cases of data breaches have been reported.
- The average breach costs up to $7.91 million to the companies in the US.
If we consider this data, the accurate answer to the above question will be ‘No.’ In fact, it won’t be wrong to say that stealing your corporate information is a cup of tea for a hacker.
So, how can you protect your company? How can you ensure the safety of corporate data? What can you do to avoid losses? To learn the answer of all these questions, let’s dive right into the article.
Keep Personal and Professional Accounts Separate
You must have heard the phrase ‘Keep your personal and professional life separate.’ Not so surprisingly, this phrase applies to your accounts as well. And, by accounts, we mean your email and bank accounts.
It is a very basic step, but it can significantly impact your business data security. Why? The reason behind it is that most people try to hack personal accounts to get access to confidential information. However, if you have different accounts, they will fail to accomplish their mission.
Nonetheless, you should never forget to encrypt the data uploaded on both of your accounts (for extra protection).
Train Employees How to Protect Data
Most of the information passes through the employees. But, if employees are not careful enough, it can lead to an accidental data breach. In fact, a study has shown that approximately 40% of data breaches are committed by employees unintentionally.
It won’t be wrong to say that employees are the weakest link of data security. That is why it is essential to train employees regularly. Teach them about data encryption, the importance of changing passwords regularly, and the method of storing crucial information. You should leave no loophole in training. It means if you have to educate them about spam emails, malware, or viruses, do that as well.
Refer to the Checklist of FINRA
FINRA (The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) is an NGO that has a checklist to safeguard businesses (large or small) against cybercrime. To be specific, it helps small businesses in setting up cybersecurity. It is a good idea to go through their checklist and implement the security measures.
Delete Irrelevant Data
Generally, there are multiple files saved in the computer systems that contain corporate information. Some of them are important and need to be stored properly. In contrast, others have outdated information or data that you no longer need. This usually includes old employee files, information of customers, and documents with general business information.
This data may be irrelevant for you, but can be of great use to other people. Hence, you need to “completely delete computer files” so that business privacy can be protected. A common misconception is that deleting the files from the recycle bin is enough. But, unfortunately, it is not!
Thus, you need to shred such files. By shredding your files, you also delete the copy of documents that you may not know about. It ensures that the information can never be retrieved from any folder and used against you in any way.
Restrict Data Permission
The act of a data breach doesn’t need to be committed by an outsider. Sometimes, it can be due to the grievance of internal people that remained unattended. If that is the scenario, it is better to protect your confidential information by ensuring that no unauthorized person is trying to access the file.
Needless to say that, the access should be only given to those who you can trust. Moreover, build strong passwords and change them regularly to amplify your data security. To further reduce the risk of breaches, set guidelines that restrict employees from sharing information without your permission.
Besides that, it is essential to set up a good relationship with the employee and resolve their disputes. So that even the thought of doing any fraudulent activity doesn’t cross their mind.
Get Help from Cybersecurity Specialists
As technology is evolving, hackers are becoming creative and using different methods to get the required information. It can be through an email or by finding the password of computer systems.
While you are busy handling other business operations, the chances are that you may ignore recent or past incidents. And, for this reason, it is advised to take the help of cybersecurity specialists. They are experts in this field and can tell you the best practices to protect your business from any potential data breach.
Philanthropist Larry Ellison has said, “Once the business data have been centralized and integrated, the value of the database is greater than the sum of the preexisting parts.”
Therefore, to protect your business, you must protect your database. You can do that by educating your employees by seeking the help of cybersecurity specialists. However, what you do to organize your business data is also very important.
Adapting the practice of securing all the confidential information with encryption and permanently deleting irrelevant data will help you protect your organization for the long run.