8 Helpful Small Business Data Security Tips

Posted on 2021-11-04T21:57:01.000Z by BurstCloud Team. Last updated 2021-11-04T21:58:32.000Z

The data you have is one of your most valuable assets. It can be a powerful tool to help you grow your company, but it is also vulnerable to attacks.

As a small business owner, it's vital to protect your company's data from data breaches.

Here are seven helpful data security tips that will help keep your data safe:

1. Have a Cybersecurity Plan

To keep your data safe, you need a strategy in place. A comprehensive small business security plan can help protect sensitive company information.

Your business should have policies and procedures that:

  • Identify risks
  • List current controls
  • Provide guidelines on how employees should handle critical data

Your team also needs to know what action to take if an incident occurs. Having regular training sessions will ensure everyone understands this process.

Your plan should also include regular reviews of your current controls. Assessing how effective they are at keeping data safe is an ongoing process.

2. Conduct Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is a way of evaluating security controls by imitating real-world attacks. It can help determine whether your cybersecurity plan and policies can stop hackers. It will also show you how soon you could detect such incidents if they ever happen.

The process includes using tools that mimic common attack techniques. Afterward, experts will review their findings and determine the improvements needed. This type of test should be scheduled regularly since threats are constantly changing.

3. Protect Sensitive Data

Sensitive data is a prime target for hackers. They can use it to perpetrate identity theft and financial crimes.

To protect this data, ensure that all employees know the risks of mishandling it.

You should remove unnecessary access points by implementing strong password policies and 2FA on company devices. In addition, you should have regular data backups to avoid losing any valuable data.

It's also essential to routinely check networks for vulnerabilities. Besides, update applications when security updates become available. Outdated versions leave companies vulnerable to new types of cyberattacks.

4. Take Advantage of Data Encryption

Encryption is a powerful tool that can transform data into indecipherable code. This makes it harder for hackers to decipher sensitive information if they break through your system.

There are free encryption tools available online. However, you should work with an IT professional before implementing this technology.

It's essential not only to encrypt stored data but also to encrypt all data in transit. This will prevent attackers from accessing this sensitive information while being transmitted over the Internet or other types of networks.

5. Educate Employees on Phishing and Malware Attacks

Hackers often gain entry into a company's network through employees who fall for phishing scams. Malicious actors can send out spam emails that appear to come from trusted sources, such as the CEO or CFO of an organization. If workers click links in these messages and enter their login credentials, this gives attackers access to confidential information.

Infecting systems with malware is another way hackers infiltrate organizations. They use infected files attached to seemingly innocuous emails sent by co-workers. These programs allow intruders remote control over a device until it has been cleaned up and repaired.

It's therefore crucial that all employees are informed about how cybercriminals operate to know what red flags look like.

6. Use File Sharing Carefully

File sharing is beneficial for small businesses that need to share documents, photos, and other types of files. However, this also means that your company's data could be at risk if you don't have a reliable online storage system in place.

Instead of using file-sharing programs, you should use cloud-based services. That way, all data stays on the server-side. These web apps can give employees access to their work from anywhere without storing any information locally on devices.

Cloud storage is also more secure since cloud services encrypt data and require strong passwords. On the other hand, file-sharing apps often have security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to access sensitive files or install malware.

7. Practice Good Password Hygiene

Passwords are the cornerstone of cybersecurity efforts for small businesses. That's why it is critical to create strong and unique login credentials across all devices and accounts. And that includes:

  • Email addresses
  • Cloud storage services
  • Online banking portals
  • Business applications such as accounting software or project management tools

You should also implement a password-reset strategy that ensures employees can quickly recover their account access if they forget or lose their passwords. This includes implementing two-factor authentication and locking accounts after a certain number of failed login attempts.

8. Consider a Managed Security Service Provider

A managed security service provider (MSSP) is an IT firm that manages all aspects of cybersecurity for your company. This includes:

  • Setting up firewalls
  • Protecting against malware attacks and hacking attempts
  • Encrypting data transmitted over the Internet using VPNs

An MSSP can also handle routine maintenance tasks such as OS updates and patch management. In addition, they can train employees about best practices in cyber safety.

These professionals will be able to respond fast if there's a breach. So you don't have to worry about damage control when something goes wrong.

Data Security Solutions in One Location

This data security guide has given you some ideas on how to protect your company's data. However, it can be challenging for small businesses with limited budgets and resources to implement all of these measures on their own.

That is why BurstCloud offers a comprehensive cloud storage platform that gives users access to all the cybersecurity tools they need in one location at an affordable price point.

Check out this page to see all the features you get with the BurstCloud platform.

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