7 Key Steps to Improving Your Data Security

By: | Category: IT / Infrastructure

The increased frequency of cyber attacks have greatly reinforced the vulnerability of networks and the near inevitability of a cyber incident. Staying ahead of phishing, ransomware, and the new wave of sophisticated cyberthreats means addressing vulnerabilities has never been more crucial.

The best safeguard is to put in place a multi-layered security approach that is both proactive to prevent potential attacks and responsive when attacks can—and likely will—occur. Here are some key tips on preempting a cyber attack and protecting your data.

  1. Solidify and share your cybersecurity policy. Data security should be everyone’s priority. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. The onus is on leaders to continually educate their staff, contractors and other vendors on their role in protecting the company’s information assets. Use a cybersecurity policy to keep everyone informed and accountable.
  2. Secure your internet connections. The coffee shops and coworking spaces employees often feel most productive aren’t always the most secure. Instead of policing where remote teams can work, encourage them to utilize the company’s virtual private network (VPN) before connecting to public Wi-Fi. Doing so encrypts the data they access and provides a layer of protection from cyberattacks.
  3. Utilize a password manager. Remembering a series of unique, long passwords for every account is challenging for anyone. Password managers do the heavy lifting by generating strong passwords, storing them securely and logging the user in automatically.

  1. Update accounts with two-factor authentication (2FA). You’ve probably seen 2FA when you log into your bank accounts. It’s the two-step process that asks you to answer a “secret question” or sends a new, time-sensitive code to one of your devices after you’ve entered your username and password. This additional protection has been shown to block 99.9% of automated attacks.
  2. Install encryption software on your devices. Lost or stolen devices pose a serious risk to your SMB. Encryption software allows you to restrict access if an unauthorized user attempts to use a device once it’s been reported missing. Encourage your employees to encrypt files and documents they share via email or chat applications, too.
  3. Include firewalls, antivirus software and anti-malware for everyone. These should be regularly updated for any device that accesses company information. Make sure you have a technical support team in place who can help remote employees with this type of device management.
  4. Finalize backup and disaster recovery plans. Hybrid cloud architecture solutions often come standard with data duplication and recovery tools for cloud assets. However you’ll want to create a plan for any on-premise applications or data. Duplicates will ideally be stored in regionally diverse areas and backed up remotely from your source data.

It may not be possible to create a network that is 100% secure 100% of the time. But with some expert guidance, a robust toolset, and continuing employee education, you can create a work environment that will stay out in front of cyberthreats and keep the dangers at bay. Learn more about how to protect your organization by connecting with one of the information and cyber security specialists on Net at Work’s Managed Services team.