For organizations of every size and type, data security is an essential aspect of IT. Hackers are constantly finding ways into our data, which requires constant vigilance by business owners. Being proactive is the key to protecting yourself and your business from data theft.
Start by creating a data security plan. This may entail working with outside service providers and designating one or more employees to coordinate the program. The program should be flexible since circumstances and risks to customer information is extremely fluid. A stable plan starts with performing background and screening checks on potential employees during the hiring process.
Thieves will send emails pretending to be from existing customers, a potential client, financial institutions, etc. Create an educational program for all employees so they understand the dangers of phishing emails, opening links or attachments from suspicious email addresses, or answering phone calls from unrecognized numbers. Be sure to purchase top-notch security software that includes a firewall and anti-malware/anti-virus security software. Use this type of software on all devices including laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, routers, etc.
Adopt strong password protection. Passwords should be a minimum of 10 characters and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Passwords should also omit personal information and should not be reused. Always use unique usernames and passwords for all accounts and devices. For extra security, consider implementing a multifactor authentication process.
Encrypt all sensitive files and emails. Encrypted files should require a password to open. Make it a priority to back up pertinent information and store any external drives in a secure location. In addition, limit access to pertinent business or customer data to only employees who need to know.
Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when dealing with cybercrime.