Starting from business planning and setup, you do a lot of work; it takes countless days and nights to put your creative thought and ideas to work.
I do understand what a person has to go through the initial business setup, it requires research, pre-planning, investment, and technology to execute your ideas, shaping your idea into a fruitful business is your main goal.
But how would you react if your established business vanishes in few days due to a data and security breach or weak Internet security?
Nearly every business is online these days or going online, starting from a small flower and bouquet shop to an E-Commerce store technology is involved everywhere.
And it requires different types of tech and data storage, you absolutely don’t want to share your important business data with anyone else, these data include web files, database, backend files, customer data, etc.
While you invest in building your business and customer database you might miss focusing on data security measures to secure your business from cyber attacks.
Taking data security measures to protect business data can help prevent future problems with your business. Since 2014, Yahoo lost about 500 million users due to data loss.
There were established companies like Code Spaces, FlexiSpy, MedStar health and Telefonica which suffered huge loss or went out of business after the security breach.
According to VIPER:
- 23% of SMBs (Small to Medium scale businesses) are facing cyber-attacks every day.
- 66% of SMBs would go either out of business or be forced to shut down following a cyber attack.
The thing is, if you ignore security when starting your own business, it can affect your transactions in the future. In fact, cyber attacks target small businesses and attack rates have been increasing since 2011.
Reasons Your Business Might Be Vulnerable to Hackers
Cybercriminals target small businesses because of the weaker security features used. The following are pointers to consider if you’re vulnerable to cyber attacks and data leaks:
- Easy to exploit perimeter defenses and antivirus software.
- Lack of regular monitoring for user accounts and website.
- Limited personnel or lack of training in monitoring abnormalities.
- No experience in offline and online data security measures.
- The absence of standard protocol in observing and upgrading security measures based on trends.
If you’d like to educate yourself more with your business data security you can visit Inspired Learning for more info and take the initiative in bridging the gaps in data security that your business needs.
Data Security Measures to Protect Your Business Data
To help you manage your new business efficiently, here are some of the most important data security measures you need to take:
1. Conduct background checks and sufficient screening
Cyber breach usually starts from an internal source. In 2015, more than 14% of data breaches were recorded globally. And that came from the network firewall of businesses. So what you can do is to extensively screen each prospective employee. Also, check if they understand cybersecurity measures and browsing patterns.
A rogue employee may cause big harm to your business. So keeping the right employees is the first step when it comes to data security.
2. Leverage Disaster recovery services
An intentional disaster like hacking can quickly destruct your database. In worst cases, it can cause total business shut down. That would cost you huge money while losing your business. With a reliable disaster recovery service, you can make sure your data is safe from hackers and is easily accessible.
There are several companies that offer protection and recovery of your business data in case of data disaster.
3. Make stronger passwords
Small businesses still use weak and predictable passwords for login information and other sensitive information. The best way to protect your data is to include letters, numbers, and even symbols when creating your password.
Avoid saving your passwords in the browser. At least don’t save your backend login passwords in the browser or third party software.
4. Adopt a multi-step verification process
Strong passwords help mitigate hacking threats. However, if you consider a tighter verification process with multi-steps, you can ensure accounts’ security. The authentication process with two steps usually includes logging into several online accounts using any device and getting extra confirmation through biometrics and security code.
5. Keep Security Software Updated
Having the latest updates from your security software keeps your operating system, browsers, and files safe from the different types of malware. Security software stands as the first line of defense during a cyber attack. The latest antivirus engine keeps a record of new malware and scans your devices against the latest security updates.
6. Encrypt Important & Sensitive Data
Encryption helps you to convert the data into an unreadable form where a person can not access the data without having the special key/files to decrypt the data. Encrypting your sensitive files restrict cybercriminals to access your important business data.
Encryption can be both hardware or software-based. Hardware-based encryption is considered the safest way to secure data when compared to software-based encryption.
7. Schedule Backup
It is really important to create a backup of your business data at a regular interval, a weekly backup is recommended. You can take backup into cloud storage or an external hard disk.
Although cloud storage is considered as safe they may get hacked too like Dropbox got hacked in 2016 revealing passwords on 60 million users on the internet for sale.
Keeping your data in the external disk is the safest way to protect the data, create multiple copies, and don’t connect these Hard disks to the Internet.
8. Don’t fall into Cyber Traps
While checking emails, downloading apps always be smart, even clicking on the link in your email can infect your computers and other devices connected to the network.
Be careful while surfing the web and whatever resource you find online.
These are only some of the data security measures you can take to protect your business data. Keeping your software or website up to date is also helpful.
Data Security is a Responsibility
The advancements being made in technology on a daily basis have helped proliferate a new wave of cyber vulnerabilities. Without an effective and efficient system in place, businesses are open to adverse effects brought about by a lack of these systems.
It is also worth considering that these are multi-faceted problems that involve solutions that go beyond practicality. When you’re handling data and sensitive information, the security measures in place must in themselves be a cost-effective and easily adaptable network that transcends into your business’ organizational structure.
Times are changing and the problems that face us come along with it, which is why it is imperative that businesses also step up their game when it comes to data security.
Gaining new perspectives and introducing new ways to solve, correct and enhance transactions must be at the forefront of an ever-changing business environment.
Keeping all these measures in mind can help you and your business counter possible data intrusions and making sure these remain a relevant practice ensures the continuity of your business and with it, the possibility of expansion.
Take data security as a responsibility and do not ignore the above-mentioned data security measures, prevention is always better than cure.
Cybercrime is the most profitable thing for hackers on the internet; money makes it more luring to get into the dirty game. Looking at the profit involved in cybercrime you must take initiatives to protect your business.