71% Customers Say They Would Leave an Organization after a Data Incident.
It Takes 6 Months to Realize that You Have a Data Breach.
17% of Sensitive Files are Accessible to All Employees.
If you think that your business is too small to be targeted by cybercriminals, you need to think again. Over 40% of victims are small businesses. After all, small businesses lack sophisticated measures to deal with cybercrimes.
Whether you are a big IT company, an accounting firm or a small retail store, data is the lifeline of your business. A data incident not only brings your business to halt, but also leads to legal hassles and shattered reputation. And it hampers your business productivity. Cybercrimes are unpredictable and quite inevitable. You never know when you wake up with the news of your network being hacked or your accounts info being compromised. Why wait for such unpleasant scenarios?
Instead, reinforce your cybersecurity with the preventive measures given below…Educate Your Employees:
The human factor is accounted for most cybersecurity incidents, whether its phishing mail, using weak passwords and being negligent towards sensitive information. For example, a cybercriminal can use luring emails to trick your employees into giving bank details. If your employees are aware of such fraudulent practices, they can easily avoid falling for such traps. Therefore, educate your employees, from those IT personals to someone handling the front office, on the importance of cybersecurity.
Here are some ways to make your workforce aware of data protection:
Conduct seminars on cybersecurity.
Encourage them to report the threat they encounter, such as malicious emails from unknown sources.
Test their awareness by sending a “fake mail” to see how many of them click it.
Create an IT security policy that includes roles and responsibilities, device permission and other things.
Avoid Using Weak Passwords:
Passwords like 1234, ABCD and even your date of birth are a low hanging fruit for a hacker. Today’s cybercriminals have sophisticated tools to crack plain and easy codes. It simply means you need to work over your password security. Here’s how…
Your passwords should be a mix of numerical, alphabets and special characters.
Don’t use the same password for all accounts.
Change your passwords frequently.
Update Your Software Regularly:
Do you often skip software updates? Skipping software updates or “patches” mean you are removing the layer of security. Software updates are important as they enable tools to deal with the latest threats. Also, make sure to use the latest version of any software.
However, it is quite challenging to update customized software as it requires a specific development team to take care of it. Besides, the size of your digital environment also comes into play as it might take considerable time to run updates for a large number of devices. For example, you might have hundreds of devices with several apps to be updated. Whether call it a hassle or a necessary evil, you need to take care of these things to avoid the threat. For example, your tools can be updated on holidays.
Make Sure to Encrypt the Data:
All digital systems in your ecosystem have some sort of sensitive data. It can be information about your finances, trade secret or business plans. Therefore, it requires every measure to protect such sensitive information against cyber threats. You can get all your data encrypted by a cybersecurity expert, especially if you develop your digital solutions.
Control Information Transfer:
BYOD or “Bring Your Own Device” has become a norm in today’s workplaces. It lets employees use their personal devices for work. While it makes them comfortable at work, BYOD can pose a big threat for companies, as those devices usually contain business documents, sensitive data, and login information. What if these devices are lost, stolen or misplaced?
If you allow BYOD facility, make sure to control the practice and that the employees are using it responsibly. It is better if you move your services to the cloud, so all the data is stored online and not kept in those laptops or mobile phones. Besides, only authorized personals should be allowed in sensitive zones like a server room or where your backup systems are kept.
You can’t afford to overlook the data security of your business. One slight mistake can cost you expensively, both in terms of productivity and reputation. Luckily, there are some cybersecurity practices you can do to minimize the risk and protect your information. From educating your employees on cybersecurity, using a strong password, and patching up the software to control your information transfer, you can reinforce your defense against cybercrimes.
What do you think? Can you suggest other measures to protect the data? Let me know by commenting below!