Top Data Security Practices for Keeping Your Most Critical Information Safe

With data breaches, ransomware, and other cyberattacks on the rise, how safe is your organization’s critical information? No matter how safe you think your data is, it can always be safer – especially when the bad guys keep getting better at what they do. If you want to ensure that your most critical information is as safe as possible from unauthorized use or attack, consider implementing the following best security data practices – and do it before any malicious actors start coming for you.

Why Data Security is Important

The average company holds a large amount of sensitive data. According to the Varonis 2021 Data Risk Report, the average company possesses 70 TB of data comprised of more than 88 million individual files — 1.5 million of them containing sensitive data. All that sensitive data is increasingly attractive to cybercriminals and other malicious actors; the 2021 Cyberthreat Defense Report reveals that more than 86% of all organizations were affected by at least one successful cyberattack last year.

Fortunately, deploying strong data security practices is an effective deterrent. As revealed in Accenture’s Third Annual Report of Cyber Resilience, companies that lead in cybersecurity saw significant improvement over less-proactive companies. These security-forward companies:

  • Stopped 4X as many attacks
  • Discovered data breaches 4X faster
  • Stopped and remediated data breaches 3X faster
  • Cut the impact of data breaches in half

The more proactive you can be in your company’s security data practices, the greater the impact you will have.

10 Effective Security Data Practices to Follow

What can you do to beef up your organization’s security data practices? Here are ten best practices to follow.

Deploy Anti-Malware Tools

One of the oldest and best protections against malware infestations is to use readily available anti-malware utilities. You should also set up a strong firewall to halt unauthorized traffic from outside your system.

Keep Everything Patched and Updated

Too many data breaches are a result of malicious actors taking advantage of software and OS exploits. In many cases these exploits were already discovered and patches issued, but the affected companies hadn’t yet installed those patches. Make sure your staff is updating everything as soon as updates are available.

Control Data Access

Not all employees need access to all data. Deploy a zero trust approach that limits access to any given file only to those employees who need to use that file. Strict access controls will keep unauthorized users away from your most sensitive data.

Employ Change Management

Change management can help you identify any unauthorized changes made to key files, so you can take the appropriate action. Unexpected changes are also a sign of malware or ransomware infection, so change management is important to guard against that, as well.

Require Strong and Constantly Changing Passwords

The majority of data breaches come through negligent employees. Require all employees to use long and strong passwords – and to change those passwords on a regular basis. Employ multifactor authentication for even stronger security.

Secure Your Remote Workers

Thanks to the COVID-19 situation, an increasing number of employees are working from their homes. These employees are more apt to use their personal phones and computers to access company assets – and to use company-issued devices for personal business. You need to secure these devices as much as possible and enact strong measures to ensure only authorized users are accessing your system remotely.

Educate Your Employees

Your employees are the first line of defense against data breaches and cyberattacks. You need to offer regular training sessions to instill a cybersecurity mindset in workers at all levels. It’s especially important to train them to recognize – and avoid – phishing and other social engineering attacks.

Back Up Your Data Regularly

It should go without saying that you need to regularly back up all your important data. You should keep backups both onsite and off, including in the cloud. This will help you get back up and running if you’re the victim of a ransomware attack that freezes all your data.

Encrypt Your Data

Perhaps the most effective way to keep critical data out of the hands of malicious actors is to encrypt that data. Encrypted data, even if it’s breached, cannot be read without the proper decryption key. Employing data encryption for your servers and in the cloud is a good start, but you can also encrypt data on users’ hard drives and phones.

Secure All Communications in Transit

Encrypting data at rest is important, but it’s also important to encrypt data in transit. That means employing end-to-end encryption for all communications, so anyone hijacking those communications will find them total unusable.

Employ Wickr as Part of Your Security Data Practices

When you want to keep your sensitive information safe, turn to the security experts at Wickr. Our secure communications and collaboration platform protects all your data in transit with end-to-end encryption and other military-grade security. This ensures that all text, voice, and video communications are secure from hijacking or attack. Beef up your security data practices with Wickr – and keep all your communications safe and secure.

Contact us today to learn how to employ Wickr as part of your organization’s security data practices!