Security breaches are becoming increasingly common, to everyone’s dismay. There’s a scramble to make businesses more secure and a drive to keep the sensitive information of employees and clients alike under greater protection.
While there is no guarantee that your company or organization will never experience a data breach, there are quite a few steps you can take to ensure that you are less likely to have your private data leaked, and that the result is not as devastating as it could be if something does happen.
1. Start Backing Up Your Important Data
You’ve always heard it: back up your data so that you don’t lose it in the event of a computer crash. That nugget of wisdom applies to your important files too, especially in the event of a data breach. The more you have backed up, the more recovery time you will save in the event that something transpires.
Data breaches take time to recover from. In the healthcare industry, it takes around 103 days on average to fully recover from the staggering effects of a data breach. During those months, data that was lost may never be recovered without a backup. Having backups readily available – both in a guarded, secured physical form such as a USB flash drive and a digital form stored safely on the cloud – will save you time, and saving time saves money, allowing you to get back out there and continue doing what you love most.
2. Check Out Remote Monitoring Capabilities
Cyber attacks don’t just stop after you leave the office for the day. The threat looms constantly, and it is nearly impossible to predict when a hacker could strike. For that reason, it’s worth looking into the ability to remotely monitor your security features. If you can monitor them from anywhere, you’ll be more likely to detect if something is amiss from your home or other location after hours.
3. Be Transparent About Your Shortcomings
Data breaches happen. They affect numerous companies, organizations, and even individuals. Be transparent about when a data breach affects you and how hard it hits – including whether any client information was leaked in the process.
The people who put their trust in you would want to know if their personal data has been lost, as well as the plans you have to rectify the situation. Being honest with your clients about a breach before they find out about it through other means builds trust and holds you accountable for recovery. After a setback, you could come back even stronger.
4. Keep Your Software and Devices Up to Date
Severely outdated software runs the risk of failing to protect your files and documents from a significant threat. Updates to computers shouldn’t be put off – they matter greatly in the long run. New updates could contain vital patches for software, or other sorts of protection that cover the massive hole that could be in your version. Always update to the latest versions of your devices and software. Every little bit of coverage helps, even if it’s only a minor update.
5. Practice Safe Searching and Safer Clicking
Too many people are lax in their searching and surfing behaviors. Encourage your employees to practice safe searching and even safer clicking – don’t follow a web page just because it looks interesting. Do your research first. If there are a lot of typos or misspellings in a link or web page, it’s likely to be a scam of some sort. Even if it isn’t malicious, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
6. Implement Routine Mandatory Password Changes
Having and utilizing safe and unique passwords whenever you can is crucial to the protection of your private data. If you have a business with a large number of employees, it might be worth it to start implementing routine mandatory password changes. Routine password changes ensure that an employee isn’t constantly using the same password that can be easily hacked.
Your staff aren’t the only ones, though: 3 out of 4 consumers use duplicate passwords. Mandatory password changes ensure that your employees and clients alike are thinking of how they protect their sensitive data and themselves online, doing both themselves and your company a favor.
7. Learn What Protects You Under the Law
Data breaches are too common now, and state legislatures have picked up their pens and moved toward cybersecurity and cyber threat management. 43 states and Puerto Rico have some sort of law or bill that enforces and supports cybersecurity. It’s up to you to find out what your state says about cybersecurity and criminal law. Inform yourself so that you can better protect your company.
8. Enforce Restrictive Data Policies
You can create role-based access for opening your private information within your company or organization. Practice what is called “least privilege”: only allow employees who absolutely need access to have access. Too many files are carelessly left open to anyone who wants to view them, and it only takes one hacker to go in through any account and get access to any of your files that they want.
9. Don’t Thoughtlessly Send Out Personal Data
Sending out personal, private data without encrypting it is asking for trouble. Around 27% of all data breaches are due to human error – sensitive data being accidentally leaked by an employee. An overwhelming number of data breaches can be attributed to something as trivial as an accident, albeit one that can cost your company millions of dollars. That’s one pricey accident.
Double-check the data you’re sending out over the Internet to ensure it isn’t something that can be used against you – or, better yet, keep it to yourself unless you really need to share it.
10. Rely on Wickr to Keep Your Company Data Safe from Breaches
Wickr is a collaborative team platform accessible through all devices. You can customize your team space to your every whim, including the ability to have information vanish after your intended recipient has received and viewed it, and to see who screenshots what in your private, secure chats.
Whether you aim to send only text-based quips or pepper your messages with photos, videos, and files, Wickr has you covered. It’s the only security-first, enterprise-grade service out there – and you don’t have to do a thing when it comes to securing those files. Wickr encrypts your information automatically as soon as you send it to your team members.
Download Wickr and see what your team has been missing.