Data Protection Best Practices 2020: 5 Solutions You Need
In the modern tech-driven world, it doesn’t really matter if you are running a small business or a global venture – there is always a chance that cyber-criminals will attempt to extract sensitive business information from your data stores or your employees. Just because you’re a small business owner doesn’t mean that scammers and hackers will pass you by, especially if you are operating in a competitive industry where others stand to gain plenty by selling your business information to other companies and individuals. Remember, there is always something to steal from your company, even if it’s information about a single customer.
After all, it only takes a small data leak to jeopardize your brand’s reputation and trust in your industry, which is a scenario that you might not be able to recover from. With that in mind, let’s go over the best data security solutions for 2020 that will safeguard your business.
Start with employee training and education
There is not much you can hope to achieve in terms of data security and cybersecurity using technology alone, simply because your employees can be your biggest liability if you don’t put in the time to educate them on proper online behavior and cybersecurity measures. You can employ the smartest of tools to monitor your employees, but it only takes one act of social engineering to succeed for a team member to give up a piece of information, by which point your reputation could be irreversibly damaged in the eyes of the public and your audience.
To prevent this scenario, be sure to devise comprehensive cybersecurity workshops for your employees. You can also bring in outside advisors and IT industry professionals to help with this task. It’s important that you take an individualized approach to employee education, in order to make sure that every employee is on board with the latest policies and cybersecurity practices in your company. Mind the age difference between employees as well, as your long-standing team members might have a more difficult time retaining all of that information.
Introduce multi-factor authentication
There are many potential access points that scammers and hackers can exploit to enter your system, ranging from smartphones and smart devices in general, to old employee accounts in the cloud, email accounts, and many more. Your job is to seal all of these potential data leaks and prevent all data breaches by introducing multi-factor authentication for every device and piece of software in your company. Take the following example as an illustration of how this solution can benefit your company.
Many employees will store some form of business information on their smartphones, even if it’s just emails. Should they lose their phones, or should their phones get stolen, you want to ensure that no one is able to access any relevant business data. This is achieved with multi-factor authentication that requires the user to log in through username and password, but also confirm their identity with an answer to a unique question, or by verifying their phone number.
Monitor all network activity in the workplace
No matter how much you educate your employees, and no matter how many obstacles you put in the way of scammers and hackers, you still can’t leave your employees to handle online communication all on their own. You shouldn’t even allow them to browse the web unsupervised in this day and age, because there is always a chance that they will inadvertently make a mistake that will lead to a data leak.
This is why business leaders are nowadays implementing innovative web filter solutions that give them a comprehensive overview of all network activity in the workplace, allow them to monitor their employees, restrict access to certain websites, and thus elevate the level of data security. This type of software minimizes risk and allows for deep traffic inspection, which ultimately improves employee productivity and safeguards all of your data on the web.
Generate truly powerful passwords
Another tried-and-tested solution that elevates data security is to simply use stronger passwords on all devices and software in the company. That said, this is not as simple as telling your employees that their passwords should contain uppercase letters and special characters, because modern tech-savvy hackers have no problem cracking these codes. Instead, you should use a password management tool that will create a truly randomized assortment of letter and characters to generate passwords that cannot be cracked by humans or machines.
Integrate software and hardware firewalls
And finally, keep in mind that it’s no longer enough to have software firewalls. Sure, every device needs to have a software firewall installed, but you also have to optimize it for your needs and adapt it to the device in question. Once you’ve done that, be sure to introduce a hardware firewall into the workplace in order to put a physical device between your network and the outside world that will help with traffic inspection, filtering, and data security. This device can safeguard your entire network, and protect all devices even when the operating system crashes.
The online world is becoming a more dangerous place for businesses with each passing year, which is why cybersecurity and data protection should be your top priority for this year. With these solutions in place, though, you should have no problem safeguarding your brand’s reputation, your employees, and your customers’ information.