All businesses have important data and other information that need to be protected. In order to protect that data, businesses need to implement several safeguards and take pro-active steps to increase their data security.
Data Security refers to protective digital privacy measures that are applied to prevent unauthorized access to computers, databases and websites. Data security also protects data from corruption and is the main priority for organizations of every size and genre.
Whether you are a company that has been in business for several years or a start up company, data security needs to be a top priority. Older companies need to review and refresh their data security plans annually while start ups need to begin formulating a plan.
Steps Towards Better Data Security:
PDCA: Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). This is a protocol for many businesses in any industry. Plan your security processes ahead of time. Do the hard work of integrating this plan and security processes. Check that they are being followed and Act quickly in cases of non-compliance. Using PDCA as a guide will help you focus on what you need to do and how you can help accomplish better data security within your organization.
Auditing: Proper planning and policy making is great, however, if you don't follow your own policies then they aren't doing you any good. That is why it is important to do a regular audit by a third party to ensure that your policies are being followed properly by all team members.
Identify Assets: Make a list of all hardware, software, media, data and applications that contain sensitive data.
Hiring: Did you know that over half of all data security breaches are caused by insiders rather than malware or web-based attacks? For the most part it is negligence, but sometimes it can be done by deliberate sabotage. To sum up, your employees are the greatest risk to your data. Policies need to be in place to minimize the risk of data loss. Proper screening during the hiring process needs to be taken seriously. documents need to be protected, and access should have proper permissions.
Controlling Access: Permissions need to be set up on your data and documents for certain employees. Should the janitor have access to the personnel files in HR? Ensure that appropriate access to each data type is in place.
Training: As stated previously, 50 percent of all data security breaches are caused by insiders. Most of the time it is because of negligence. Keep your staff trained on proper use of each software, hardware and other IT equipment. We know training is the magic word that automatically gives you and your staff a headache. However, we believe that investing the time to train your staff will be far less severe than the headache that occurs when your data has been compromised because one of your untrained staff clicked an email or link that they should not have.
Back-Up: Requirements for backing up data will vary according to your industry. We recommend at a minimum a daily back up of all files that have changed in the past 24 hours and a complete backup on a weekly basis. Data should also be regularly archived for long-term storage.
Physical Security: Keeping proper access to physical files is important. Physical files and other sensitive resources should be properly secured by key locks, key code locks or other security measures. On top of that it is critical to keep servers, workstations and cables protected from damage by floods, fires, and other natural disasters.
24/7 Monitoring: Threats towards your data security are always evolving. Malware and viruses are always changing and adapting. The best way to maintain best data security is to implement a real time monitoring of all of your IT systems. For more information about detecting malware, check out our recent article here.
Stay updated: Keeping your IT resources updated will reduce the likelihood of breaches and will help your team to better respond to threats.
Proper Disposal: Extremely sensitive data can still be recovered even when it has been deleted or removed from a workstation. Make sure you use proper wiping utilities and ensure that old equipment is properly destroyed/demagnetized to prevent sensitive data from being recovered.
We want your business goals to not only be met, but to be exceeded abundantly! A big part of your company's ability to accomplish it's goals is to ensure proper data security. Contact Seras today to help ensure that your company is safe from data security threats.