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As more and more small and medium-sized businesses transition their daily operations over to digital models, many are unwittingly exposing themselves to a higher risk of cyberattacks.
Cyberattacks can be incredibly damaging for your business. Data breaches can result in important and sensitive data being compromised - not to mention the reputational and trust-related impacts.
Luckily for you, we’re here to help. In this article, we’re sharing practical tips on how to create and roll out an effective business data security strategy.
Why is data security important?
In an ever-increasingly digital world, data is freely flowing through organisations every day. Whether it’s company-related data or customer personal information, safe data collection and storage is critical.
Small and medium-sized businesses face the same data risks as large enterprises, but with fewer resources. This doesn’t mean organisations can’t still take the right measures to protect their data, though.
A crucial part of effective data protection is knowledge. Without having a firm handle on where data is going, where it’s being stored and - most importantly - who’s accessing it, your business could have data blind spots.
These blind spots can leave businesses vulnerable to data breaches, as they offer easy ways for cyberattackers to access your confidential data.
Key considerations for better business data security
Getting a handle on your organisation’s data security strategy can be a little overwhelming, but it’s all about starting small and building on that foundation to create and roll out a robust strategy that works for you. After all, every business will have unique data protection requirements.
To help you get on the right track with improving cybersecurity within your business, we’ve outlined some of the key considerations to bear in mind and the path to data security success.
Before you put any data security measures in place, you need to gain a full understanding of your organisation’s data.
This can be carried out yourself or by a third party with data mining tools if you’re not sure where to start. The primary purposes of data discovery are to:
The next step is to perform a comprehensive audit of your current data security strategy.
This will allow you to gauge how well your existing processes are performing, highlighting any strengths to be replicated and weaknesses to be rectified.
This process can also give you more in-depth insight into what software and tools you need and help you to build a realistic timeline for implementing the necessary steps to keep your company data locked up tight.
For the most part, we’ve all become acutely aware of the importance of data security in our daily lives, from online banking to contactless payments. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean your employees will exercise the same diligence in the workplace.
This is why it’s essential to introduce a business data security policy that unifies data security processing to ensure everyone is adhering to the correct protocol.
Having a clearly defined data protection policy can also help you to enforce accountability for any issues or flaws, while also driving your business goals by investing in the right software for your business’s unique needs and objectives.
One such tool is to introduce company-wide 2-factor verification. From accessing emails to your internal accounting systems, a 2-step verification process will instantly level up your business’s data security standards.
By requiring users to input 2 different sets of unique information in order to access emails and other internal operating systems, you’ll enjoy greater control over how and by whom all of your business’s data is accessed.
Introducing new data security processes can seem like a daunting task, particularly when you need buy-in from employees.
However, the right training - along with a firm emphasis on why data security is so critical to your business operations - will help to make this important transition smoother and easier to adopt at all levels of your company.
As part of this process, make sure your measures aren’t overly complicated. User-friendly processes such as quick 2-factor authentication can be seamlessly integrated into everyday tasks without creating time-consuming and laborious new internal systems.
Tackling the issue of data security within your business is key to protecting your organisation from potential attacks, but it also goes towards operating in a more efficient way to the benefit of your business’s bottom line and indeed its reputation.
For more ideas on how you can maximise the growth potential of your business, get in touch with Harlands today.