Information is at the heart of every business, from your marketing lists to your financial data, and without it, your company could be irreparably crippled. Cyber criminals are constantly discovering new and increasingly sophisticated ways to steal data, whether it is personal information, intellectual property, credit card details or something else. If you are running a business in this modern age, it is critical that you are taking adequate steps to keep this type of information secure and out of reach of fraudsters.
Here are some top tips for businesses on how they can better protect their information.
1. Undertake an audit of your security
If you’ve never really considered what information needs to be protected, then you’ll find it impossible to secure it. Working with a professional information security company such as the NCC Group will identify key areas in your network where you may need to improve or manage the security level. For more info click here.
2. Raise the awareness level of your employees
Your first line of defence when it comes to protecting your information is your workforce, your employees. This means that they should all be aware that every action they undertake when online can potentially result in your security being compromised. You need to take steps to avoid this happening.
3. Update everything regularly
You should centralise the management of your systems and software so that everything can be updated at once, and you can then be sure no computer or programme is missed. Operating systems and server software should be updated as soon as a new version is available. You should also schedule in regular checks for third party programmes which may not update automatically.
4. Use passwords, and change them regularly
Too many businesses use simple, predictable passwords that are a doddle for hackers to figure out. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters to protect your systems. You should also vary the passwords used on the server, the Wi-Fi and the individual machines.
5. Use encryption where possible
Encryption is easy to use and valuable to protect your data against theft. By encrypting anything with sensitive information in, it won’t be such a disaster if someone’s laptop is stolen, if a hacker breaches your system or if someone leaves their memory stick at a conference. Although they will be able to see the files, they won’t be able to read them as long as they are encrypted.
6. Protect workers in the field
If you have people who often work away from the office, the connections and the technology they are using to connect to your network could raise serious security issues. Make sure any workers using smartphones, tablets or laptops on public connections or connecting in on their personal devices are aware of their responsibilities to your data and your network, and are taking appropriate measures to protect your information.
Keeping the information in a business secure at all times is not an easy task, but it is one that must be undertaken no matter how large or small your enterprise. No system is completely foolproof, but if you undertake some of these simple, straightforward measures, you can ensure that when a hacker does look into your systems, they will hopefully be discouraged and give up on the idea.
Written by Ben Williams