Cyber attacks are an ongoing threat to modern businesses. Hackers are more sophisticated than ever and capable of crippling a company’s infrastructure. Fortunately, there are several ways to improve your data security and reduce the odds of an attack.
1. Educate Employees
Ask many people about the cause of most cybersecurity incidents, and they’ll envision some nefarious hacker. But that’s not usually the case. TechBeacon reports, 54 percent of IT decision makers view careless or untrained employees as the biggest threat to security. It’s often negligence or a lack of proper employee training where they carelessly expose critical data even though they have no malicious intent. A great starting point to improve your data security is to educate employees on the fundamentals.
Here are some ideas:
- Participate in free online cybersecurity courses
- Stay updated on recent trends
- Teach employees how to recognize phishing attacks
2. Create Mobile Policies
Mobile use is at an all-time high. It’s just as common for employees to use a smartphone or tablet than it is a desktop computer to perform a task. Creating mobile policies helps secure these devices and reduces your risk.
Here are some examples:
- Employees can only use secured networks (no public Wi-Fi)
- They must use a PIN to access devices
- They must keep software up-to-date at all times
- They must install a data wipe app to destroy data if their device is ever lost or stolen
3. Enforce Password Best Practices
Poor passwords are another common reason for data breaches. Cybercriminals have become increasingly advanced and have a variety of tools and techniques to crack passwords. It’s vital to require employees to follow password best practices like the following:
- Use a minimum of eight characters
- Use upper and lowercase characters as well as numbers and symbols
- Don’t use personal information like a birthday or the name of a family member
- Don’t use the same password for multiple logins
4. Create Access Limitations
Always be mindful of who has access to sensitive information. A recent report by the Ponemon Institute found 23 percent of cyber attacks were the result of malicious insiders who were privy to this information. Setting limitations on what employees can access (especially administrators) should mitigate your risk.
5. Maintain an Activity Log
While this won’t necessarily prevent an attack in and of itself, it creates a level of transparency that tends to keep people honest. An activity log simply makes a record any time a change is made to a file, document, software, and so on. You’ll instantly know who made the change and at what time. This makes it easy to trace all activities. Many companies have found it highly effective for improving data security.
With Breach Level Index reporting over six million data records lost or stolen every day, data security is something to take seriously. Using the right strategies should help reduce threats and give you more peace of mind.