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How to Keep Your Company Data Safe

In your private life, protecting your sensitive data should be among your top priorities. The same is even more important when dealing with your company data.

Protecting your company data means protecting your clients and employees from identity theft and fraud. It is an essential aspect of your firm’s reputation.

Add the fact that most companies deal with a paper trail together with a digital one, and the task of keeping all that information safe becomes even more complex. Sure, you should shred company documents, but that is just the beginning.

Here is what you can do to keep your company data safe.

How to Keep Your Company Data Safe?

Educate your employees

Despite the stuff that we have all seen in movies and TV shows, and even in the news, the biggest threat to your security most likely won’t be a foreign group of hackers hiding behind their computer screens.

A study by PwC has discovered that internal mistakes and even intentional errors currently pose a more significant threat to your company’s data safety than any external threat.

Your business is only as secure as are the devices of your employees. Train them about the threats of doing business and storing information online.

A few lessons on cybersecurity can save you from a lot of potential issues down the line.

Increase workspace safety

Every time someone steps away from their desk while in the middle of a project that includes sensitive business information, this represents a potential data safety risk.

You should take the necessary precautions to protect company data from visitors or others who should not see that information.

Make sure that all the computers lock up if left alone. After a meeting, make sure no sensitive materials are left behind.

After printing, copying, or faxing, make it a rule that everyone should pick up their documents right away. When shredding sensitive papers, do not rely on your internal paper shredder if you have one. Instead, use the services of a professional company.

Finally, store sensitive documents in a secure location.

Encryption is your friend

Using encryption means adding a layer of safety between you and potential hacker attacks regarding digital data.

Encrypted data can be accessed only by those who have the password to do so, which means that, even if that info somehow gets stolen or compromised, it would be useless to the thieves without that crucial element.

Remember, only the person who has the password can see the data that is protected by the encryption – even if that data is stored in the cloud, without the password that decrypts it, it is entirely safe.

It’s important not to limit encryption to your company’s desktop computers. Laptops, tablets, and even USB drives can be protected by encryption.

Pay attention to password security

We have already mentioned passwords above and how powerful of a tool they can be. It makes sense that such important assets should be well protected.

Hackers and online criminals know how important passwords are, too. Sometimes, they use software to crack passwords. Other times, they buy a list of most commonly used passwords and email addresses and try to brute force their way into your company.

That is why you should teach your employees how to create strong and unique passwords. Your other option would be to purchase password management software that can create strong passwords and keep them safe.

Use proper procedures when disposing of old devices

Let’s consider personal data safety once more. You wouldn’t simply toss your credit card statements or bank reports into the trash without shredding them first or setting them on fire. The same holds for all essential paper documents regarding your company and your clients. Thieves can quickly go through your garbage and find sensitive information.

The same idea applies to digital devices. Do not simply throw a hard drive away.

Just deleting old files is not enough to guarantee safety. Make sure that the hard drives are overwritten – preferably several times – before you dispose of them.

The same goes for all the other devices, from USB drives to company-issued cell phones.

Be prepared for data breaches

Sometimes, all the precautions are simply not enough. In case of such an event, you should have a company-wide plan to deal with computer safety breaches.

If a single device is compromised, disconnect it from the network before the threat gets a chance to spread any further.

Check what happened and remove the vulnerability to prevent it from happening again.

Once you have done that, inform the appropriate authorities of the security threat you have dealt with.

One way to prevent these things from happening is by staying on top of security news. That way, you will know if the software that your company uses is compromised and will have a chance to react before any harm is done.