Preventative medicine is the best kind of medicine, and the old saying holds true for preventing data breaches, too. A data breach can happen when the security of confidential or sensitive information is broken. The sensitive information could be viewed, copied, or even stolen. Your company is not immune to this kind of data leak, which is why it is crucial to take steps to keep this from happening.
Here are 10 ways to prevent data breaches at your company:
- Make sure employees are in the know: Your employees don’t have to be IT experts to help your company prevent data breaches. You can share some simple information to ensure they know how to stay safe. Human error is often to blame for information being left unsecured and it is usually done by accident. So make sure your employees know where sensitive information is supposed to be stored and where it’s not. Also, make sure they know how to spot and report suspicious activity, such as phishing scams.
- Don’t hang onto more than you need: If you have confidential information that you no longer need, get rid of it. There’s no sense in creating a potential hazard by holding onto sensitive stuff too long. If you have to hold onto sensitive information for any length of time, make sure you have a specific, protected place to store that information. Ensure that nobody is storing outside of those safe, protected zones.
- Destroy information before deleting: Deleting information doesn’t mean it is really gone for good. There is plenty of good software created for wiping data off devices permanently. Make sure you use it on any device you plan to get rid of before doing so.
- Maintain updated security software: There are lots of software options that will be offered to you, and making sure you have things like a firewall or anti-spy software is key. But just having it is not enough. Be sure to set it up properly so that it automatically runs and updates.
- Encrypt your data: This is going to make things a lot more difficult for cybercriminals to get ahold of your sensitive data. However, even encryption can be broken. So don’t rely on this as the only method of protecting data.
- Evaluate who has permission to access secure data: You shouldn’t be giving people access to private data unless they really need it. Classify your information into different levels and be sure that only those who absolutely need it have access to the most sensitive information. This is also a good way to cut down on the chances that your data will be breached from the inside.
- Review third-party vendors: To keep an eye on the security of third-party vendors, you’ll need the right tool to do the job. The best case scenario is to have a tool that monitors in real-time. It’s important that you make sure third parties aren’t putting your company at risk, which is why keeping tabs on their security is crucial.
- Keep an eye on network access: This is the best way to spot any suspicious activity.
- Protect all devices: It’s easy for human error to creep in, which means a tablet, phone, or laptop might get misplaced. If found by someone else (or stolen), it is critical that all devices are protected with strong passwords and anti-theft apps or software so unauthorized users cannot access the information stored on those devices.
- Use a managed IT consulting service: Looking outside of your company for expertise and a data protection strategy is a great option for preventing data breaches. Outsourced IT services make sense for companies big and small. Outside help can bring in more manpower than you have on hand on your own. They can also offer remote monitoring so that someone is always keeping an eye on things, even when your employees have gone home for the day.
If you need help with your data protection strategy, contact us at Sissine’s Office Systems. We help companies protect themselves from cyberattacks and data breaches. We can also help with everything from security and protection to data backup and recovery.