5 Ways to Improve Data Security for Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you might not think that you are at the same risk level for digital security breaches as, say, a multi-national corporation. And this is basically true. But that doesn’t mean a malicious hacker or even a disgruntled ex-employee won’t find a way into your system in order to wreak havoc if you fail to protect yourself accordingly. Every business, large or small, should take steps to ensure the security of their data or face the potential consequences of their failure to do so. Here are just a few steps you can take to better protect your system.

  1. Create a security policy, including penalties for failure to comply. When it comes to the security of your company’s data, your employees might not be aware of the many ways in which they’re endangering your system. So it’s important to create a rule book to let them know what you expect when it comes to security, from locking computers when they’re away from their desks, to reporting potential hazards like spyware or virus warnings. And don’t hesitate to enforce your policies with warnings, write-ups, and even firing for offenses that put your data and your business at risk.
  2. Use password protection. The trick with password protection is to use it whenever possible and use it in the right way. This means you need more than just passwords for employee computers and email – you also need them to access secure areas like FTP sites, cloud storage, and even specific program files, for example. And you have to make sure that your employees are selecting secure passwords (of the right length and alphanumeric variety), that they change them regularly, and that they memorize them rather than writing them on Post-It notes for anyone to find.
  3. Block personal browsing. It doesn’t seem like you should have to tell your employees not to engage in personal web browsing during work hours or on dedicated office devices, but so many people practice this bad behavior that you will, in fact, have to tell them not to in most cases, and even take your efforts a step further in some instances where the security of your system could be compromised. Luckily, there are programs that allow you block suspicious or dangerous browsing activity, as well as emails that could be threats (malicious spam, etc.). This will not only help to protect your system, but it also has the potential to keep your employees on task.
  4. Require secure connections. It’s not uncommon for employees outside the office setting to access work email or other company computer systems remotely. For this reason you need to create settings that will only allow access from secure connections (as opposed to the public WiFi at Starbucks, for example).
  5. Encrypt sensitive data. Whether you opt to install your own security programs or you go with a service provider likeĀ Pangea Systems that will set it up for you, the most important goal of most businesses operating online is to protect sensitive customer data. With privacy issues high on the priority list for consumers and identity theft rampant, you can’t afford to suffer a security breach that allows hackers to nab personal data, compromising the safety of your clientele. So you not only need the standard firewall and other security in place, but you may also want to use encryption software that makes it impossible to crack data even if it is stolen.

Related posts:

  1. How to Protect Your Business IP
  2. 5 Computer Password Tips to Keep Your Online Accounts Safe
  3. 5 Ways to Utilize Technology to Improve Business Productivity
  4. How to Protect Your Smartphone From Malware
  5. The Best Small Business Data Backup Solutions
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