Top Corporate Data Security Tips
Data security isn’t just the responsibility of your IT department; it’s something that every facet of the organization needs to consider. We have compiled a helpful list of ten essential practices that you, and your company, should observe in order to protect sensitive data.
Back up your data frequently – Though this tip seems obvious, we know that it’s easy to forget, especially when life is so hectic. However, if you can establish a regular schedule (weekly, monthly, etc.) or set reminders for yourself, backing up your data will be simple to remember. You can use an external hard drive, your company’s network-attached storage server, or something similar. It only takes a few minutes and can save you a great deal of time and money.
Keep paper documents protected as well – Nowadays, we may think that all of our important data is stored on our computers or in the cloud, but things like payment receipts, passwords, account numbers and more are important as well. Keep them locked up in a secure location.
Keep your system regularly updated – Be sure to always update your software or virus protection every time an update is available. The update may be meant to fix any weaknesses that could be left open to attack. Data breaches are more common on systems that are out of date.
Have a disaster recovery plan in place – What happens if all of your important information is stored on a single computer or server and your building catches fire? Having a backup device in an offsite location is a great way to protect your organization against unforeseen disasters. Similarly, your company could greatly benefit from a disaster recovery environment within your data centers. If a critical security server (a hardware security module (HSM), for example) stops working or if something happens to one of your data centers, do you have the ability to switch incoming data over to another unit to prevent any downtime in performance?
Internal theft is also a risk – Not all security threats come from external hackers. As much as no one wants to believe that coworkers would harm your company, a staggering percentage of data breaches come from insider attack. Here are a few measures you can take to make sure that your data is protected from internal attacks: ensure that your security system is strong enough to protect your data from internal and external attacks, carefully and frequently monitor employee access permissions, and lock the devices at your workstation any time you leave.
Be careful of what you download & trust your instincts – Don’t download programs or files from sources you do not know or trust. Viruses can often be attached to online downloads and can destroy your system, or even provide attackers with the ability to steal sensitive information or intellectual property from inside your corporate network. Also, if something feels wrong, it probably is. For example, if you receive an email from an unknown source that seems unsafe to you, don’t open it. Attackers may send harmful links that will damage your system when clicked. Delete the email immediately.
Encrypt your sensitive data – Don’t take chances and don’t leave your sensitive data vulnerable. Customer information, confidential emails, and electronic payment records are all good examples of information that should be encrypted. Furthermore, don’t take for granted that your device or data is secure simply because you encrypted it. Test your defenses to make sure that they are really as secure as you believe them to be.
Dual control is in place for a reason – Dual control is a security best practice which requires two (or more) people to be present to perform a specific task. Sometimes dual control can seem troublesome, and it may be tempting to cut corners, but it is important to comply. If you notice that someone in your organization is not adhering to this regulation, it is imperative that you report it immediately.
Ensure server rooms are locked with restricted access – Your server rooms protect your data, so it only makes sense to protect the servers themselves. By limiting who has access to the servers and keeping track of who interacts with them, you’ll be able to better protect your sensitive data.
Write down your serial numbers and store them somewhere safe - This applies to any type of electronic device you may use: your cell phone, laptop, etc. You hope it never occurs, but if the worst should happen and any of your devices are stolen, you’ll have proof that it belongs to you in the event that the device is recovered.