Protect Company Data with These Security Strategies
Data security is an extremely significant issue for small and medium businesses. If your sensitive data is attacked and stolen, it can have disastrous consequences for your business. Which is why you need to understand how to protect business data. And it is why we are sharing these data security best practices with you.
9 Ways to protect company data
If you are a business owner or an IT manager, you know that data is the lifeblood of your company. Protecting it is your top priority. Here are nine ways to keep your company data safe and secure from cyberattacks.
Identify and classify sensitive data
Sensitive data is any data that is protected by law or regulation, such as health records, credit card numbers, and social security numbers, or that, if accessed maliciously could damage your business, your customers, and your suppliers and other stakeholders.
You should identify what sensitive data you hold on your systems and databases, and then categorize it to your business uses. This can be a challenging process ─ especially if you hold substantial amounts of data and your system is fragmented ─ and is best undertaken using data discovery technology.
The first step in identifying sensitive data is to identify the types of sensitive information that may exist in each dataset. There are six common types: personal identifiers, financial identifiers, medical records, intellectual property, security-related information, and government-related information.
The second step is to classify sensitive data into one of three categories: public domain (e.g., social security number), private domain (e.g., bank account number), or restricted domain (e.g., military intelligence).
Create a data usage policy
Once categorized, create a policy that specifies who can have access to each category of data, how the data is to be used, and consequences for policy violations.
Implement access controls
Access controls ensure only authorized personnel have access to data. Such controls can be administrative (usually determined by policies and structure), technical (such as permissions, access control lists, data loss prevention, firewalls, etc.), or physical (including locked doors, full-disk encryption on laptops, network segregation, and locked offices).
Data encryption and data masking
Data encryption and data masking are two different approaches to protecting data in the event of a breach.
Data encryption is the process of converting data into a form that cannot be read by unauthorized people, even if they have access to the physical storage device. Data masking is a security technique that involves modifying sensitive data so that it appears meaningless or random to anyone who looks at it.
It doesn’t matter what type of data you’re storing, you need to back up your data periodically. By doing so, if you suffer a server failure you can retrieve your data.
Consider insider threats
Insider attacks pose a threat to your data network, and come from two sources:
An authorized insider ─ someone who accidentally or deliberately misuses their rights and privileges
An unauthorized insider ─ someone who has plugged into the company’s network from inside perimeter defenses
You should also safeguard against insiders accessing your network maliciously when working remotely.
Use endpoint security systems
Endpoint security systems detect and block potential threats before they reach your network and cause damage. Such systems include antivirus software, antispyware, pop-up blockers, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems.
Conduct vulnerability assessments and penetration testing
Vulnerability assessments and penetration testing are among the most effective ways to identify security vulnerabilities in an organization.
Vulnerability assessments identify and prioritize vulnerabilities by identifying their likelihood and potential impact on the organization.
Penetration testing is used to evaluate an organization’s security by attempting to penetrate their defenses to find exploitable vulnerabilities.
There are several types of tests, including targeted testing, external testing, internal testing, blind testing, and black box and white box testing.
Implement employee security training
Perhaps the most crucial factor ─ and the one that is most often overlooked ─ is the need to deliver ongoing security training to employees. Training can teach employees how to identify potential threats, how to protect sensitive information, and how to respond to suspicious activity.
Don’t go it alone
The security of your company data is crucial, and the threats to it are real and increasing. Most small and medium-size companies are underprepared to defend themselves from cybersecurity threats, and don’t have the expertise to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy.
Our recommendation is, don’t leave anything to chance by going it alone. Contact Millennium Tech USA for a confidential discussion about your security requirements, and to discover how we deliver bespoke cybersecurity strategies specific to you.