Data breaches are hardly uncommon right now. In the last couple of years alone, we’ve had high profile hacks of Ashley Madison, Talk Talk and even the NHS in the UK – and that’s just the tips of the iceberg. That means that if, during the course of your work, you collect and use data. Even if it’s just the email addresses of people who’ve signed up to your newsletter, you need to be careful about keeping your data out of the wrong hands because it can be a marketing disaster if you don’t. I mean, it could literally sink your business should confidential data be leaked!
If you aren’t exactly tech-savvy, it might seem like trying to climb Everest without any equipment, but a good local IT Support company should be able to help you if you’re stuck. Whether you do it yourself or have help, here are the main things you need to do to keep your data in your company’s possession and your company’s possession alone:
Encryption is one of those things that seems more complicated than it really is, but it is actually pretty simple to encrypt your data – you can do it at the touch of a button if you have the right software installed – and doing so will help to keep it safe. Even if someone does breech your network or get a hold of your hard drive, they’ll find it almost impossible to see any of your data, and that will keep you and your customers safe.
Passwords Shouldn’t Be Passed On
It should go without saying that every device you use should be password protected for the security of everyone, but it should also be the case that neither you or any of your employees share your passwords with anyone else. Not only that, but you should have a policy in place that forces your employees to generate more complex passwords and change them on a regular basis. A good password manager program will help with this, and your IT team should keep an eye on what’s going on, especially if you use a single sign-on model of access.
Malware Should Be Hunted Down
There isn’t a business in the land that should be operating without malware detection software that they update regularly and use in real time, but you’d be surprised how many are actually operating without this most basic of protections. If you’re one of them, you’re going to want to change that right now.
Don’t Allow Access Willy-Nilly
Of course, keeping data safe isn’t just about the correct employment of technology. Depending on your business, you will probably have various members of staff, often in HR who have access to sensitive data. That means you need to think very carefully about which employees you let see data and whether or not they are able to remove it from the premises. Most of the time, you should restrict the use of data to inside the building because it can so easily get lost or shown to the wrong people, but if you must allow data to be accessed outside of your place of work, at the very least it should be encrypted and left to only the most trustworthy of employees, and only when absolutely necessary.
I hope this helps you keep your data safe!