If you run a small business, you are responsible for everything that happens there. That includes the security of the data on your servers – and protecting your customers and employees from harmful data breaches.
The threats posed by data breaches have never been greater, and the dangers are only growing more serious. If you want to protect yourself and your business, you need to act fast. Here are 10 steps you can take to prevent the next data breach from impacting your small business.
- Lock down removable devices. Not all data breaches come from the outside; a surprising percentage are insider attacks. Locking down USB drives and other removable devices can mitigate these risks.
- Invest in employee training and awareness. Your employees are your first line of defense, so treat them that way. Make your staff an integral part of your cyber defense with solid training and ongoing awareness campaigns.
- Install a strong email filter. You cannot be victimized by malicious emails you never see, so make sure you have a powerful filter on your email.
- Use intrusion detection to locate threats before they strike. Intrusion detection looks for unusual patterns and other signs of trouble, protecting you at the source.
- Store sensitive data offline. If your company collects sensitive customer data like Social Security numbers and credit card information, keep it in an offline silo so it is not exposed to online threats.
- Limit the amount of personal data you collect. Before you ask for sensitive information, ask yourself if you really need it. If you do not have a compelling reason to maintain that data, do not ask for it in the first place.
- Consider a managed IT solution. Handing off the day-to-day operations of your network to a professional can enhance the security of your network and the data on your servers.
- Keep your equipment up to date. Applying security patches as soon as they become available and keeping your other software up to date can protect you from known threats and reduce the chances of a data breach.
- Back up your data. Having, a solid backup plan is essential in the current tech environment, so make sure your files are protected. Test your backups regularly to make sure you can restore lost files in an emergency.
- Invest in a cyber security audit. If you want to know where the risks are and where you stand, a cyber security audit can tell you. Invest in a baseline audit, and schedule routine audits once or twice a year.
The risk of cyber attacks is not going away. If anything, the dangers posed by security breaches and the exposure of personal data is only getting worse. If you want to protect yourself in a dangerous world, you need to take a proactive approach to security – both online and off. The 10 tips listed above can help you get started, so you can protect your data, your employees and your customers.