Cyberattacks are frequently on the mind of many business owners, with thousands of dollars in lost business and legal fees at stake. However, too many businesses assume that cybersecurity begins and ends with firewalls and anti-malware programs. In doing so, they leave themselves and their clients at risk. Here are some tips on going a step further in protecting your sensitive data.
Security Training for Employees
According to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), as many as 90% of data breach incidents in 2019 were attributed to human error. Regardless of the data security measures at work, a single mishap can put sensitive data in the hands of an unscrupulous third party. These can include falling for phishing scams, accidental deletion of important files or using unsecured devices to access work files. Employees should be trained in simple best practices for maintaining security and confidentiality, as well as on any new tools at work.
Working from home has become more common in the past few years, even before the emergence of COVID-19. “Perimeter” defenses like firewalls can’t account for what employees do outside of the workplace. Any access to the business’s systems should be done only on approved work devices, never personal computers or phones. In turn, these devices should make use of data encryption and corporate virtual private networks (VPNs) for securing data in transit.
Old storage media and deprecated devices present security risks if they still contain company information. Simply deleting files via the Recycle Bin isn’t enough, as the data can linger for some time until overwritten by new data. Use specialized software for thoroughly deleting data such that it cannot be recovered on any deprecated IT assets. Alternatively, turn to businesses offering services for hard drive destruction Boston MA to render storage media unusable.
Security software alone isn’t a comprehensive defense for your company’s vital data. Encouraging employees to use IT tools smartly and responsibly helps further protect sensitive information, thus protecting your business and clients.