There are plenty of obvious benefits to the digital age. We’re able to communicate more quickly and efficiently than ever before, our work is more productive, and we can take our businesses in directions that just wouldn’t have been possible in the past. But there’s another aspect to everything being digital, too: there are those out there interested in illegally getting our data, and they don’t want it for benevolent reasons. With a string of high profile data breaches and security concerns affecting some of the world’s biggest companies, we’ve all come to understand that no company’s data is automatically safe. We need to ensure we’re doing all that we can to keep it protected.
Priorities Your Data, and Perform Regular Checks
You’ll have a lot of data at your company, but not all of it will be sensitive. Some, if not the majority, of it, will be entirely useless to everyone but you. But you’ll also have some data that really is important, and needs always to be kept safe. Before you get into the process of keeping your data safe, priorities your data into different levels of importance. While it would be beneficial to keep everything secure, it’ll be easier – and you’ll be likely – to check everything if you don’t have to check every document you have.
Boost Your Security
Everyone and every business is “secure”, but often it’s only to the minimal standards, and that essentially means that…they’re not secure. If you haven’t done so already, check that all of your digital devices have enough protection. You’ll already know about passwords and not to leave your laptop unattended, but there are other things to think about too. VPN and backup are very important for the digital security of your networks, for example. Review what you’ve already got in place, and then take steps to improve the levels of protection.
You might be surprised that the majority – somewhere in the region of two-thirds – of data breaches don’t occur because a criminal has spent hours trying to access your network. They occur through human error. This could be using a weak password or leaving a laptop in a public area, or anything else. As such, one of the best defensive moves you can make is to ensure that your employees are well trained in data security. Most workers don’t give any thought to this aspect of their job, but it’s crucial that they understand the risks and the role they have in keeping them at bay.
Ask for Feedback
If you’re a business owner, then you’ll be pretty busy doing all the things that, well, a business owner has to do. The amount of time you actually spend using your systems might not be all that, and it’ll certainly be less than your employees that are using it day in, day out. As such, don’t just train your workers – ask for feedback. They might have important things to say about what could be a vulnerability in your system. If you don’t give them an opportunity to tell you, then you’ll never find out!
Stay Up To Date
As part of your operations, you’re likely using a series of software, both paid and free. While the software in itself will not pose you any threat (providing it’s from a reputable company, that is), it’s crucial that you keep all the software you’re using up to date. If you don’t, then you might find that you’re not as secure as you thought you were. Most software updates include a boost in security; if you’re still using an older version, then you’re unlikely to be secure.
Consider an Audit
If you’re concerned about your data or don’t trust yourself to spot all the weak spots, then consider getting an expert to conduct a security audit. They’ll run through your systems and highlight any weak spots that you might have, as well as offer advice on how to tighten them up.
Stay Alert to New Threats
When it comes to keeping your data safe, you’re never able to sit back and think that your job has been done. Security is forever getting better, but so are the techniques of the people who are trying to steal your data. Make your protection something that you review as a matter of a routine every few months.
It’s a scary world out there in digital land, but if you treat your data seriously and take proactive measures, then you should have nothing to worry about.