What Companies are Doing to Keep Their Data SafeDecember 20, 2018
Article Written by Avery Phillips
A strong lock on the door used to be adequate to keep a company’s records safe. Not anymore! Now, with so much information being kept on computers, mobile devices and stored in the cloud, the job of keeping data safe in a corporate environment is more complicated than ever.
Cyberattacks are on the news frequently, and hackers are a real threat to every company with online access. You have a responsibility to your customers to keep their data safe, but you also store sensitive information about your employees. That too is in danger of being stolen and used for identity theft or worse.
As a corporate executive, it is your job to put into place all the security measures necessary to keep the company data safe. Some of the policies may not be popular with employees, but it will help to keep you and them safe from thieves and cybercriminals.
How to Tighten Up the Security of Your Network and Operations
Sometimes, keeping your network safe can feel like chasing a moving target with new threats popping up all over the place. However, implementing some basic safety precautions can make that job a little easier. Let your staff help guard the store by preventing them from taking actions that may put everything at risk.
First, limit computer usage in the office. Your IT department can block access to certain websites and keep employees away from dangerous viruses and malware. Have a policy in place for the staff’s usage of company equipment, including mobile devices, and make sure they understand it and why it is critical. Have them sign the policy agreement and store it with HR files. This way if they violate it, you will have some recourse.
If you take credit cards, you might want to consider upgrading to chip readers instead of magnetic strip processors. Install a heavy-duty alarm system that you can monitor remotely, especially if you store valuable inventory. Additionally, make sure all your computers and data are backed up regularly, and backups are stored in a remote location, in case of fire.
Cyber Security Controls are a Good Idea
When your organization reaches a certain level, you will most likely have an entire security team dedicated to monitoring, maintaining and securing your networks, hardware, and software. There is a significant danger in having this security team intermingled with regular staff. Often, the team’s tasks are inherently private and for "their eyes only." You don’t want to open up any doors for further risk; this is where a cybersecurity control room comes in handy.
Having a control room that segregates your cybersecurity team in one location that only they can access solves a big problem. Not only does it keep prying eyes away, but it also helps to consolidate all resources, digital assets, and systems in one place – making it easier for your team to keep things stable and do their job. A dedicated control room also helps prevent breaches from inside the company.
To provide this team with the utmost efficiency and comfort to sit for hours monitoring screens, outfit your control room with ergonomic furniture, easy access to hardware and devices, as well as comfortable lighting, heating, and air conditioning. You will want to vet your team thoroughly to ensure your cybersecurity team is experienced and trustworthy.
Technology Designed to Keep Your Data Safe
Although firewalls are still critical to secure your network and keep hackers out, these days with more sophisticated hardware, software, and programming schemes, the human factor is more critical than ever. Ideally, you will have a cybersecurity analyst come in and perform a security audit. Then, your dedicated team of cybersecurity specialists will oversee and carry out all items on the to-do list.
A lot of companies are also using an off-site backup service so their entire network and all computer data is stored at another location and can quickly be restored if necessary. Some other high-level security advancements being used are things like biometric locks that use fingerprinting and retina scanning instead of passcodes for access to secure areas.
Questions to Ask About Your Cloud Technology
Most businesses now take advantage of at least some type of cloud services for their business. Whether it is merely routing their email through Google or storing vast amounts of data on Amazon S3, part of their company data is in someone else’s hands. The question is, how safe is it?
When deciding to use third-party vendors for data storage or online activities, you have to ask a few questions. How is the data protected and what are the security protocols in place? In the event of a breach, what is the process for disaster recovery? Another important question to ask is how is performance handled during busy times; will there be decreases in speed? Finally, IT professionals must ask how the cloud services comply with regulatory requirements.
Cloud computing can enhance the value and efficiency to a company’s connectivity and seamless communication between vendors, customers and departments. However, with the use of any service stored online comes the risk of hacking or corruption. Consult your legal department with answers to the questions above before signing up with any third-party cloud vendors.
Final Thoughts on Keeping Your Data Safe
It may seem obvious, but as a corporate executive, you should know instantly what data is most critical, and where and how it is stored. If you cannot answer that question, you should perform a complete data inventory along with your security audit. This process will help you identify vulnerabilities and streamline your data processes.
When setting up secure protocols, use a two-person buddy system. That way one person cannot access data without their buddy. This one rule can solidify the security of data assets incrementally. Diversify your data across different servers, cloud-based services, and networks, so all your eggs are not in one basket. You want to make it as difficult as possible for hackers to gain access to useful information. Storing it across different resources makes their job harder.
Don’t forget internal security. A lot of companies secure against breaches, but once a hacker is inside, they can jump all over the network without any additional safeguards in place. Internal security measures are just as necessary as securing the front door. Consider keeping your most critical data on encrypted USB drives that you remove and take home with you. A cybercriminal cannot steal what they can’t access.
About the Author
Avery Phillips is a unicorn of a human being who loves all things relating to people and their entrepreneurial spirits. Comment down below or tweet her @a_taylorian.
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