Did you know that data breaches have long-term consequences that small businesses can feel long after they have occurred? Unfortunately, many business owners still take their data security for granted. But it’s not just big businesses that need to be worried about cyber security, because hackers are targeting small businesses because in most cases, their systems are easier to hack into. That being said, below are very simple strategies to ensure the safety of your data.
Make It a Habit to Routinely Change Passwords
Password management is extremely vital to prevent data breaches. According to security experts, you must change passwords every 90 days at least and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts or services.
Use Only The Best Antivirus Software and Firewalls
Because automatic firewalls aren’t as efficient as they were a few years back, human intervention is vital. This means that all antivirus software, firewalls, and antimalware tools you use should be reviewed, updated, or upgraded regularly, advises an IT security expert from a renowned IT consulting firm in Kansas City.
Do Your Due Diligence
Always do your due diligence and research IT providers that you want to work with. While you might be tempted to go with the most affordable provider—don’t. Focus instead on their experience, customer reviews, reputation, and specific services offered to ensure that you get the most out of your money.
Have Regular Security Audits
This is especially true if your business stores sensitive personal, financial, and medical records. Otherwise, aside from endangering your business’ reputation, you’re also endangering your customers’ sensitive data in the event of a data breach.
Look to Your Employees
It’s not only hackers that you should be concerned about as any disgruntled employee might decide to wreak havoc on your data revenge as retaliation. Even careless employees might leave your data prone to a malicious attack. With this in mind, make sure that you have a clear and easy to follow data and IT security policies in place, along with corresponding penalties for non-compliance or violations to help ensure that your employees adhere to these policies. Likewise, get in the habit of monitoring all their devices and accounts that connects to your office network. In addition, while it seems callous and unkind, make it a point that all exiting employees are thoroughly debriefed, and that they hand over all their access and files, including those in personal devices that used to connect to your network, before they leave the workplace and collect their final pay.
Consider Cloud Storage, If You Haven’t Already
Should a hacker obtain access to your data, steal it, hold it for ransom, or worse, destroy it, you can rest easy knowing that at least you have a backup of it in the cloud.
Preventing data breaches and ensuring the safety of your data should be up there on your list of top priorities. As a small business owner, you owe it not only to yourself but to your customers and employees as well to make 100% certain that data entrusted to you are always secure.