5 Cost-Effective Tips to Protect Sensitive Information in the Workplace
There’s no way around it, you have to store important customer, business, and employee information on your servers, no matter if you’re running an eCommerce store or if you’re managing a service-based business. And needless to say, your clients, customers, and all other relevant parties are counting on you to ensure top-level security for all sensitive data, at all times. Allow a single cyberattack to breach your defences, or a single piece of important information to leak from your data centre, and your brand’s reputation could be ruined for good.
This is why one of your top priorities should be to improve your cybersecurity measures across the board and find effective ways to protect sensitive information in the workplace. Let’s take a look at the best solutions with a high ROI potential that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Monitor account activity and upgrade passwords
The first and probably the easiest solution you can integrate is to improve password strength for every device and account. While you’re at it, you can also introduce a workflow management tool that will allow you to monitor the activity of every account in the company as the admin, and thus stay in the know at all times and prevent unwanted access of data mishandling. When it comes to password creation, you shouldn’t rely on the innate creativity of your employees, because most of the time the password will be something familiar to them – making it fairly easy to crack in a few tries.
What you should do instead is to integrate a reliable password management program that will generate truly unique passwords out of randomized letters and special characters, making it virtually impossible to gain unlawful access to your system. Combined with diligent account monitoring, these solutions will boost data security in the office. But it won’t be enough.
Invest time in employee training
No matter how complex the passwords might be, and no matter how good your account surveillance is, there’s still plenty that can go awry if you leave your employees to handle information all on their own without proper training and education. Yes, we do live in a digital age, and yes, most people understand the fundamentals of online security, but you can’t expect your employees to know all about proper data storage and handling, let alone how to prevent phishing scams or recognize potential cyber threats.
That’s why one of your main investments should be to educate your employees on all things related to data management and security, as well as the relevant cybersecurity methods and solutions they should use, or just be aware of. Now, even though theoretical knowledge is important, it’s actually vital to put everything in perspective with the group and one-on-one training. Simulate various scenarios in order to test their knowledge, and help them gain the practical experience that will prevent data leaks.
Migrate to the cloud
There are many compelling reasons why a modern business should migrate to the cloud. Not only does cloud computing save companies money in the long run by eliminating the need for an in-house IT department or data centre, but more importantly for today’s topic, advanced solutions such as enterprise cloud computing can provide you with industry-leading security measures that will recognize all nefarious online activity and prevent firewall breaches and cyberattacks of every kind.
With cloud computing, you will have access to a distributed firewall, cloud antivirus systems, and a complete security system that complies with the governing laws and regulations. What’s more, this will eliminate the need to do manual firewall updates and security testing, which will also eliminate extraneous expenditure and IT costs. If you haven’t already, migrate to the cloud.
Combine software and hardware firewalls
Every computer and device in your company should have a software firewall installed, that should go without saying. But typically, and quite realistically, this isn’t enough to prevent cyberattacks or malware from infesting all office equipment that has an operating system. Hackers and scammers are too smart for your free, out-of-the-box antivirus system, so you shouldn’t leave anything to chance.
But beyond the need to upgrade to a comprehensive software firewall with numerous features you can tweak and optimize, it’s also important to explore the idea of integrating a hardware firewall solution. Hardware firewalls allow you to manage and control all traffic coming in and out of your company, and they present a physical barrier between the web and your infrastructure.
Use encryption and multi-factor authentication
And lastly, be sure to encrypt all sensitive information, especially if it’s leaving your system via email or any other communication platform. Give the recipients an encryption key they can use to safely access and view the content, and in order to avoid unwanted access if the data gets intercepted along the way. What’s more, you can implement multi-factor authentication for important files, folders, and accounts on all devices around the office, so that only the right people can access them safely.
No matter if you have a handful of employees, or if you’re running an established business with multiple departments, there’s always a possibility that a piece of information is going to slip through the cracks. To minimize the chances of this happening to you, be sure to consider integrating these data security solutions into your operation in order to safeguard your brand’s reputation and build consumer trust.