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Avoid Data Security Breaches With These 13 Tips - Carol Evenson - Blog

Avoid Data Security Breaches With These 13 Tips

With the majority of businesses relying heavily on virtual data, it’s essential that companies take steps to prevent security breaches. Failure to do so can compromise identities and sensitive information. To keep your data safe, follow these 13 steps.

  1. Take Care When Using Portable Media

Portable media includes USB flash drives, CDs, smart phones and other physical items that can contain electronic data. These are vulnerable to both digital hacking and physical theft, so it’s best to avoid using them to hold sensitive information at all. However, if you must use them, have protocols in place to prevent loss or theft.

  1. Use Encrypted Data Transmission

If you’re sending documents online, make sure you have TSL. What is TLS? It’s a cryptographic protocol to keep your web communications private. This involves the process known as encryption, which securely packages online communications into data that can’t be easily hacked.

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  1. Update Security Software Regularly

Companies such as Apple and Microsoft frequently release security updates to fix issues that make devices vulnerable. It’s essential that you run these updates as soon as they’re offered to prevent cyber criminals from taking advantage of known security gaps.

  1. Keep Computers Secure

Computers and other devices that can be physically accessed should be kept secure when not in use. This includes locking screens to prevent passersby from randomly using a nearby device. Also ensure that users aren’t writing down passwords that can be easily accessed by others.

  1. Restrict Device Usage

Not every employee needs access to every file. Employee system access should be restricted based on department, clearance and applicability to workers’ responsibilities. This ensures that fewer people are accessing sensitive data, which in turn decreases the likelihood of human error.

  1. Create Security Protocols

Your company should have concrete protocols for creating passwords, accessing systems, storing data and other aspects of security. Without a written record for guidance, employees are less likely to follow best practices. If you don’t have a team dedicated to cyber security, you should hire an expert to help you create these protocols.

  1. Train Employees

Once you have written guidance, ensure that all employees are trained on it. A single person’s mistake can expose the system, so make sure you emphasize that cyber security is everyone’s responsibility.

  1. Dispose of Electronics Properly

The oldest trick in the book for identity thieves is to go through the garbage. When you’re getting rid of electronics that contain sensitive data, make sure all information is wiped from the hard drive. You should work with an expert to ensure there’s no lingering data that can compromise your systems.

  1. Safeguard Data

In addition to protecting electronic data, you also need to secure any physical records. These should be locked in a location that only those with proper clearance can access. This protects your employees’ privacy while also safeguarding information that may be used to access devices requiring authorization.

  1. Cull Unnecessary Data

If you no longer need sensitive data for business purposes, you should delete it. The longer information is held on a device or even Cloud storage, the longer it’s vulnerable to inappropriate access.

  1. Make Strong Passwords

It’s old advice, but still true: A strong password is essential to cyber security. Make sure that employees are creating strong passwords for their devices and systems, and require them to change passwords on a regular basis.

  1. Ensure Protocol Compliance Among Third-Party Vendors

Direct employees aren’t the only people who need to adhere to your security protocols. Many vendors may have a degree of access to sensitive information to perform their services; these vendors need to be made aware of the protocols and understand continued partnership is contingent on their compliance.

  1. Audit for Gaps

Cyber criminals are always developing new strategies to access data, so it’s vital that you keep up-to-date on the latest security concerns. Additionally, you should have regular audits of your systems to identify software gaps and human errors that violate protocol.

Publish Date: May 11, 2020 11:12 PM


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