In today’s world of business, data is the new oil. There are few things as valuable to a company as its data and even fewer things as vulnerable. Unfortunately, in this digital age, cybercrime is an increasingly common risk for any business that digitally stores sensitive or confidential data. A breach of sensitive data can bankrupt a company, cost its customers, and sink its stock price. Fines for data breaches range from $50,000 to $500,00 per record, with caps at $1.5 million. Some high-profile penalties for data breaches include $575 million for the Equifax data breach and $887 million for Amazon. GDPR breaches, the EU’s data protection authority is capped at 4% of the annual turnover or $20 million, whichever is higher.
If you work for a company or operate one yourself, you must know how to keep your company’s personal information secure. The steps below will show you how to protect your company’s confidential information from cybercriminals and malicious hackers.
Use the Correct Disposal Methods For Digital And Physical Data.
When you delete a file, it’s not gone. All you’re doing is removing the file’s name and path. The file itself is still on your computer. If you don’t delete sensitive data correctly, cybercriminals can still recover it. Choose the correct deletion method for your operating system to make sure you remove sensitive data for good.
Companies with paper records need to ensure they are stored and disposed of securely. A Paper Shredding Near Me service can help you shred physical documents securely, and many tools on the market can help obscure sensitive data, so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
Passwords are the first line of defense against any potential cyber criminals. Protect your data using strong and unique passwords for each account you create. These are used to access every aspect of your company and its data, from computers to networks to servers. You should always ensure that you use long, complex passwords that include both numbers and letters. Additionally, you should change your passwords every few months to ensure that malicious hackers don’t discover them. You can use a password manager to keep track of your passwords and generate new secure ones as needed. If you do not secure your passwords, malicious hackers can gain access to your data and wreak havoc on your company.
Encryption Is A Must
If your company stores sensitive data, you must ensure it is encrypted. This process uses a coding system that protects data and keeps it private. Hackers cannot read encrypted data unless they have the decryption key. Most modern operating systems come with built-in encryption tools. You should use these to protect sensitive data stored on your company’s computers and servers. You can also choose to encrypt data when you upload it to the cloud.
Many data breaches happen because employees accidentally leak or share confidential information. You can avoid this by educating employees on the importance of protecting data. You should create a culture where employees know they are accountable for securing data. Hold regular meetings and seminars to discuss the importance of data protection and correct procedures. You can also install software that monitors employee actions and alerts supervisors to suspicious activity. This will help you identify and correct careless data practices before they result in breaches.
Use Secure Networks
If your company uses a wifi network, secure it with a strong password. You should also avoid connecting to public wifi networks to prevent outside access to your data. If you use wired connections, you can encrypt your network to prevent outside access to your data. If you use a virtual private network or VPN, your data will be encrypted as soon as it leaves your computer. VPNs also reroute your data through secure servers so outside entities cannot access it.
Limit Digital and Physical Access To Sensitive Data
If your company stores sensitive data, you must limit digital and physical access to this information. You should lock your computers and servers when you’re not using them. You can also install software that locks individual files and folders so that only those employees with the correct credentials can access them. If you store sensitive data on paper, you must ensure that this information is secured behind lockable cabinets. You should also limit physical access to sensitive data. Make sure that only those employees who need to access this data have access to it.
Data is the lifeblood of any company. Unfortunately, few businesses are fully prepared for cybercriminals and malicious hackers who want to access this data. The steps above will help protect your company’s sensitive data from cybercriminals and hackers.