From the smallest start-up Small to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) to the largest global multinational, data breaches are some of the biggest threats facing modern companies of all sizes, in all sectors. As the world in general moves increasingly online and the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds continue to blur, we are entrusting more and more of our sensitive data to online systems – in turn, escalating the risk of that data becoming compromised.
If you’re worried that your company might be exposing itself to potential data loss or malicious attacks, here are a few steps you could take to minimise the risks.
Draw up a plan
These days, it’s almost impossible to think of any firm that doesn’t rely on its IT for everything from simple email communications to online e-commerce or client databases. Before taking any of the steps below, think about how your firm uses data and try to identify potential backdoors or problem areas.
Outsource your IT to a cloud provider
In recent years, cloud service provision has become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the entire IT and tech industry. Through a combination of faster connection speeds, better tech and vastly improved software, it’s now possible for firms to run their digital services remotely. Working with a cloud computing provider, you’ll gain access to the latest and fastest tech at a fraction of the cost of trying to run an internal network – all backed up with industry-leading support and around-the-clock security.
When you think about it, very few (if any) of your staff need access to all areas within your company premises. Take a second to think about where your most sensitive data is held within your building and consider limiting access. Using an access control system, you’ll be able to monitor who goes where in your premises, giving an extra level of protection to your most important files.
Be wary of foreign devices
No matter how strong your antivirus or internal IT protection might be, as soon as you allow employees to access your network using untrusted or unverified devices, you open yourself to a potential minefield of issues. It’s worth remembering, while you likely take due diligence with your software, Operating Systems (OSs) and firewalls, etc, your staff may take a laxer approach. As a general rule, it’s better to ban employee access to your network with their own gadgets and instead issue checked and secured devices. The problems posed by so-called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are wide and far-ranging – it’s best just to simply nail them on the head by blocking employee access on their own handhelds, laptops, etc.
Put your software into auto-update mode
One of the easiest and commonest ways intruders gain access to networks is through outdated software. App developers are in a constant battle with hackers that look to identify and exploit backdoors in software, so it’s best to keep your apps and OSs updated to the latest version. Check the file or root menu in your software and look for the option to auto-update to ensure you’re always running the latest version.