Top 6 Tips for Protecting Your Business Data

This entry was posted on December 04, 2019 by Itana Stanojević, SyncIt Group Content Writer.

Business Data Protection

Computer Security

Since the invention of the Internet, the expeditious development of technology was inevitable. An ample window of opportunities has opened, providing users all around the globe with an endless sea of possibilities. But, the sea has brought along some stormy clouds – hacking and viruses. Many programs, like password managers, spyware and malware software have been invented in order to fight these security risks. Since 1988, a technology holiday known as Computer Security Day is celebrated on November 30th. In the sea of technology-related holidays, this might be the most important one as it raises awareness about a crucial issue, which is computer security. 

Protect Your Business Data

There are several ways to ensure the safety of your business and/or personal data. In this article, we are going to focus on the security of business data, but much of this can be applied to personal data as well. These are the security steps that we will be discussing today: 

  1. Raising Security Awareness
  2. Security Training Programs for Employees
  3. Data Encryption
  4. Backups
  5. Password Management 
  6. Security Software Enablement and Update

Let’s go through them, one by one, and you can tick off those you already use and start using some new ones.

Raising Security Awareness

Prior to any training programs, you should organize an informational meeting about computer security in general. Some of your employees may think that by installing anti-virus and activating the firewall on their computer they have solved all possible security issues. On the other hand, there are those who know a lot about this subject and might be willing to share their knowledge with the rest of the group. Be it as it may, there are always experts that can give lectures or training lessons so that every single of your employees receives the same pieces of information and performs the same actions. 

 

Computer Security

1. Computer Security

 

As for your obligations as an employer, you can learn, for example, make a list of acceptable devices that are allowed to connect to the network, and thus preventing anyone unauthorized from accessing it. Also, make sure to provide the best file-sharing program for your business data, and warn your employees not to use any other similar programs, especially those downloaded from an unsafe website. Moreover, set the basic rules for providing and maintaining computer security, and make sure that all of your employees follow the guidelines thoroughly. 

Security Training Programs for Employees

Every company should provide security training programs for their employees in order to provide business data security. There are many types of steps that should not be omitted from the program, and today we are going to describe some of the most important ones:

  • Social Networking Dangers
  • Email Scams
  • Physical Security and Environmental Controls
  • Safe Internet Habits
  • BYOD Policy

When a company creates a social network profile on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it gives a number of permissions that can sometimes drive it into a dangerous and insecure zone. Not long ago, some of the aforementioned social networks sold their users’ data to third-party app developers, and that was without the users’ permission. To prevent similar things from happening to your company, you must warn your employees to limit their social network activities related to the company, to avoid installing third-party applications, and to carefully read the content of a web page prior to providing the credentials.

As far as emails are concerned, they can provoke much more danger than you can imagine. This is why you and your employees should always double-check the source of the email before providing any pieces of information, especially those related to business. Also, the smart thing to do is to avoid opening suspicious emails, let alone clicking on the links or banners that would most likely lead you to unsafe web locations. You should also check with the sender, if possible, whether they have actually sent the attachment or not before you click to download it. Another thing that can help you preserve the security for your data is to filter your Spam folder. 

The physical aspect of security is often neglected, especially the so-called “shoulder surfing”. Believe it or not,  there are people, especially newcomers and visitors, who tend to watch over your shoulder as you type in your credentials. Some may be doing it unconsciously, but others might be curious for malicious reasons, so you can never be too careful. In addition, avoid leaving important information on pieces of paper on your desk where everyone can find them easily. Instead, store them carefully in the form of protected documents or on your Google Drive. Never leave your computer in Sleep mode, rather shut it down and protect it with a password.  

Teach your employees to avoid phishing attacks and to refrain from installing software programs from unreliable sources. Most of the free programs for allegedly securing your computer’s safety are actually malicious and can cause great damage rather than help. Also, it is best to disable pop-up windows, as they can lead to possible online traps. This is a very simple task that can be done in a few minutes. You just need to add an extension to your current browser and there will be no more annoying and possibly dangerous pop-ups coming your way.

If you want to implement a BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) policy into your workplace, you should carefully plan your every step. Namely, you should make a list of acceptable and banned devices prior to allowing your employees to use their own electronic devices at work. It goes without saying that each of the allowed devices should be password-protected in case of stealing. Moreover, the applications installed on accepted devices need to be specified in order to provide maximum security. You can also make a list of allowed applications that are safe to download and use in a work environment so that your employees can safely keep business data away from hacker attacks.

Data Encryption

Encrypted data, or ciphertext, is one of the currently most popular safety methods that companies all over the world actively use. If you do not own the encryption key or password, you cannot access either asymmetric or symmetric type of this protected file. 

 

Data Encryption

2. Data Encryption

 

The fundamental function of data encryption is to ensure the safety of digital data, and that is extremely important for business owners. In order to turn your plaintext into ciphertext, you will need an encryption algorithm and an encryption key. The person with whom you would like to share the file should have the encryption key to decrypt and view the file in its original form. The encryption key depends on a type of encryption. In the case of symmetric encryption, the same secret key is used for both file encryption and file decryption. Contrary to this, asymmetric cryptography uses one public and one secret encryption key. 

In addition, there are many data loss prevention programs that are able to automatically encrypt important data while you are writing an email. This is a simple solution that can add a crucial layer of security to any company. 

Backups

It is strongly advisable to have backup hardware in your server room in order to make sure that your data is constantly being stored in a safe physical location. Moreover, the data can be accessed from all of your trusted work devices, which makes this even more convenient. Even though this might not be a very cheap solution, it is certainly a wise one.

Another way to ensure safety is to add features for automatic synchronization of data and backups, as well as to choose a software solution for data storage. If you happen to be an eCommerce store owner, the best solution for you is certainly Magento Business Intelligence, a single platform where you can store, analyze, and share all of your business data. If your business belongs to another industry, you can choose an appropriate solution accordingly. But, bear in mind that it is highly recommended to avoid downloading free backup software in order to avoid unwanted security breaches.

If you are considering one of the cloud-based solutions for storing your business data, here is a helpful link to further explore them:

https://www.capterra.com/cloud-storage-software/

Password Management

When it comes to the password, most people make the same mistake - they use the same combination for all of their accounts, and it is usually very simple, meaning it is extremely easy to crack. Moreover, in most of the cases, it is just a simple mix of letters and numbers, without any capital letters or special characters. If you are one of those people who use their own name and date of birth as a password, you must kick off that nasty habit as soon as possible or else your business or personal account and is in big trouble.

2FA is one more step towards data protection. It means that in addition to your password or passcode you have to add one more layer of security. That can be either your fingerprint, facial or iris scan, and even vascular pattern recognition. This extra layer of security is highly efficient since it is not possible to mimic it in any way and thus forge your way into someone else's account. Your credentials are bound to be safe from hacker attacks and phishing. 

Security Software Enablement and Update

One of the most used forms of security is anti-virus software. There are so many choices nowadays but beware of malicious versions. It is very important to do good research prior to purchasing this kind of software. Do not let the price affect your choice, rather the software quality since the safety of your business is in question. If you do not know where to start, we recommend the following link: 

https://www.antivirusguide.com/best-antivirus-software/

When it comes to protecting a private network, especially when it is connected to the Internet,  the software that keeps you safe is a firewall. Firewalls use different types of methods to protect your data: Packet Filtering, Application Gateway, Circuit-Level Gateway, Proxy Servers, Stateful Inspection or Dynamic Packet Filtering. For security reasons, your business data can be encrypted by the firewall. 

Another very important step towards data security is often neglected - updating. People tend to avoid or postpone updates that are crucial for the proper work of their computers. If you do not update your system and software on a regular basis, your data security might be at risk since installed programs might not work properly without an update. 

Conclusion

If you want to protect your business data from being misused, every day should be Computer Security Day. Start raising computer security awareness today and implement the steps discussed in this article as soon as possible. This way, you can rest assured that you have done everything in your power to protect your business data. 

This entry was posted in Computer Security and tagged Web Development, SyncIt Group, Web, Computer Security, Data Security, Business Data, Business Data Security, Top Security Tips, Computer Security Tips, Security Awareness, Data Protection on December 04, 2019 by Itana Stanojević, SyncIt Group Content Writer .