Data security is a red hot topic and a top-of-mind concern for all businesses. Small businesses worry about lacking the expertise needed to protect data. Just one cyber-attack can put them out of business. Large businesses that deal with millions of personally identifiable information (PII) risk bad publicity, litigation, and significant financial loss due to poor data security. Here are 5 (relatively) easy steps to make your data more secure.
Employees use data, exchange data, and compute with data day in and day out. If they don’t understand basic information security, data security risks increase drastically. Just like in team sports, you’re only as good (or as secure) as your weakest link. Instruct employees to lock computers when they leave their desks, teach them how to handle PII, and educate them on how to recognize suspicious email.
Set strong passwords and use multi-factor authentication
We’ve all heard it, set strong passwords and don’t use the same password across multiple sites. Your “Password123” is only funny until it gets hacked and your data is stolen. If you’re worried your employees are using weak passwords, consider setting up multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA requires multiple steps of validation to access a computer or data. This could be a combination of a password, 1-time pass-code, pin, fingerprint, or bio-metrics to add significant security to your data.
Encrypt your data
It is important to ensure you encrypt your data both at rest and in transit. Data encryption translates your business’ data into another form or code so that only those with a decryption key or password can read it. You probably have experience encrypting an excel workbook or something similar. You need to do this on a larger scale. One easy way to do this is by backing up your data to the cloud. In the cloud, your data is always encrypted in transit and at rest.
Backup your data to the cloud
Having an offsite backup of your data is critical to data protection. That’s why many companies are turning to cloud backups. Cloud backups allow your business to adhere to data best practices and implement important redundancy requirements (learn more about the 3-2-1 data security rule). Creating two copies of data with geographic redundancy ensures that one natural disaster or human error can’t wipe out both copies of your data.
Implement Email Security Filters
It’s a fact. 91% of malware attacks (like ransomware) are deployed via email. Email attacks, like phishing and whaling, are getting more complicated, too. From using non-traditional characters to masking email domains, one click of a corrupted link can lock you out of your computer and shut down your network. Email security filters, on the other hand, are also becoming more complex so that cyber-criminals are flagged and removed immediately.
The Bottom Line:
Data security is crucial for sustained success. From healthcare to financial services and hospitality, data is a key element to revenue. Customer data, patient records, bank records, and more are vulnerable to cyber-attacks if data is not protected. Get in touch with our solutions architects who can help you implement some of these easy data security tips.