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Data breach is on rise. Are you the next target?

5 Data Security Tips to Protect Your Small Business

Every year, thousands of sensitive records are being breached; nearly all of them containing sensitive information of customers, including credit card details, social security numbers, and other financial information. An equally scary statistic is that 80% of these businesses go bankrupt due to severe data loss. Though the U.S. Government is deploying strict online security laws to prevent data breach, itís smart to invest time and resources to protect information thatís the soul of your business. After all, at stake is nothing but your businessís reputation and customerís trust, so an ounce of protection is always worth the time.

Here are five simple tips you should follow to protect your business data:

Identify stored data

Every company has sensitive records; the first step is to identify them. Whether itís your companyís records or your customerís credentials, they are all important. Make sure you know where they are stored and that adequate protection exists at each level.

Restrict access

If it is sensitive, it has to be restricted. Once you have identified whatís crucial for your organization, restricts its access with no oversight. Record who uses that data, when they use it and how. Though you would like to back up all the sensitive information that you have, itís always wise to limit the number of copies to one or two. The lesser the number, the easier it is to protect them.

Encrypt what you have

Touted as one of the best ways to protect your data onsite, encryption goes a long way in securing your digital assets. Even if the information is stolen, encryption secures it from being easily compromised. These days a number of databases, applications and security suites offer data encryption services. Choose the one that suits your business the most.

Secure the environment

When it comes to securing your business data, speed is the name of the game. Make sure all your system software and applications are up to date with latest security patches, wireless networks are well secured with passwords and WPA2 encryption, and physical access to information is restricted to prevent employee fraud.

Consider the cloud

If you want to secure your business data, move it to the cloud. Cloud storage is one of the most viable options to secure data. By storing information offsite, under a robust agreement, businesses can limit the chance of cyber attacks, along with creating a backup in the event of disaster. These days, a number of cloud service providers offer local encryption and decryption of your files along with storage and backup. 

Apart from following these serious data security requirements, as a business owner you should also practice these simple and easy-to-follow steps to safeguard sensitive business information:

  • Empty your mailbox: Never leave e-mails in pickup boxes to prevent off-hour mail snoops. It will  protect information from getting into the wrong hands.
  • Watch the fax: Whenever sending or receiving sensitive information, stand by the fax machine. Also  try to encrypt your messages for added security.
  • Use the shredder: Before dumping sensitive information in the trash bin, shred it.
  • Keep private information private: When in public, think twice before discussing information thatís  sensitive. You never know whoís overhearing you.
  • Lock your documents: Ensure all important documents are secured under lock and key. If  information is on your computer, it should be password-protected.
  • Note whatís on your screen: Information stored on your cell phone or portables should only be for  your eyes. Use glare screens to prevent easy information access.
  • Limit cell phone conversations: A good ear is all it needs to scan your cell phone conversations. To  prevent leaks, avoid sharing any sensitive information over a cell phone.

Securing your business data is not easy, it requires expertise. However, by following these simple, yet practical solutions, you can ensure that hackers will never be able to sniff around your networks and computers or cause data breach.


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