Protecting company data has become supremely important in recent times, especially with the number of cyber attacks increasing steadily. But while large companies quickly come under the spotlight due to breaches, small and medium enterprises suffer the most due to hacks.
For this reason, practicing the principle of least privilege, hiring dedicated personnel, and making a routine check of all security protocols has become a necessity.
Here are some exceptionally effective tips to help your organization ensure data security and the prevention of cyberattacks.
Have a Sound Strategy
It is common knowledge that data protection can be challenging for companies regardless of their size and complex functioning. Nonetheless, it must be done to the best of your ability if you want to prevent hackers from stealing sensitive information.
One of the first steps to ensure data security is to create a reliable and fool-proof security strategy with the help of experienced professionals. It is a safer alternative to a vague understanding of policies and ideologies that do not offer any real benefits.
Therefore, have a formal IT security plan in place that details how you will be protecting your data and valuable sources, in addition to protocols that will tell you what you should do when things go wrong. This incident-response strategy will enable you to stay ahead of the challenge and bring things under control again.
Remember to regularly update the data security plan and strategies for maximum protection.
Know where all your Data is being Stored
You cannot expect to protect your data if you do not know where it is stored. So, ensure to identify crucial information accurately, check how regularly it flows through the organization, and see where it is stored.
Then, find the attack points and other vulnerabilities that data thieves can use to access this confidential information. Finally, take the necessary steps to prevent attacks on your storage system.
A bonus tip is to have encryption across the board to protect against attacks on USBs, hard drives, data, laptops, desktops, and smartphones.
Used the Least Privilege Principle
The principle of least privilege is an instrumental concept that can help you shield valuable data against cyber attacks and threats from within and outside the organization. It works on the primary basis that any user or application must have limited access to various aspects of the company.
In simple terms, it means that if a person requires access to specific databases for a task, they must be provided with monitored and controlled access to only the essential parts instead of the entire database.
For example, suppose an employee has been tasked with processing results for the organization’s recent marketing campaign. Under the PoLP, this person is not provided access to the employee salary database as there is no need for it.
They will be given access to the data related to the campaign and its response to create a results chart effectively. This kind of controlled access is an excellent way to protect data and prevent threats to firewalls and other attack points.
Protect Against Malware
A common way hackers enter restricted spaces is via malware and corrupted security systems. Often, malware can creep into unprotected networks without ever coming under scrutiny. That’s why it is essential to protect your computers and other systems against such threats, as they can cause irreparable and massive damage.
So, ensure to apply firewalls as the first line of defense against cybercrime. Also, use sophisticated security software on all your PCs that will not compromise the quality of functionality. You may also want to install anti-spam protection to ensure you do not receive unwanted emails containing malware and viruses.
Secure all Passwords
As difficult as it may be to believe, you can optimize even simple passwords for greater security. And although it might be challenging to remember them most times, remember that the more complex a password, the more difficult it is to hack it.
Accordingly, change the most straightforward passwords to considerably complicated ones that include at least eight characters. Ensure to embed symbols, non-standard characters, and numbers in the passcodes so they cannot be guessed easily.
Moreover, changing them frequently is also a good idea, besides using random, seemingly unconnected credentials and special characters.
Keep Employees Educated on Security Protocols
All your data protection efforts will be in vain if you fail to make your employees understand how critical it is to protect information. People can often become the weak link in the essential chain of information security in an organization.
So, conduct informative sessions or group discussions to make sure your employees know about the security policy and the protocols in place.
You can do this either during the on-boarding process or via bi-annual sessions that provide employees with appropriate training on security guidelines.