Preventing Data Theft
What would happen if someone outside your business – a competitor or a criminal – got hold of your data? Or what if someone from inside your business accidentally or deliberately released important business information?
Preventing data theft should be important to every business or organisation. The consequences of your data getting into the wrong hands can result in; broken confidentiality agreement, industrial espionage, damaged reputations, legal penalties, and financial implications.
Follow our 5 tips below, to help keep your organisation's data safe.
Make Sure Sensitive Information is Secure
Protect Against Malicious Software
Viruses, spyware, ransomware and other malware (malicious software) can all pose a risk to your business. Make sure you have anti-virus software and that it's up to date.
Control Physical Access
Be aware who has physical access to your office space and devices. Could someone access or steal your computer? Make sure your computers are away from public access. Consider using a cable lock on your computer or laptop – they work just like a bicycle lock, making it harder for the opportunist thief.
If you or your staff work from home, consider having a separate computer for business. Cyber criminals often focus on broadband connections that are “always on”, as well as chat sites, games or file-sharing applications. Having a separate work computer can help to quarantine your precious business data from these risks.
Ensure Every Device Requires Some Form of Identification
Biometric authentication such as fingerprint scanners can be extremely useful, as they mean one less password to remember and unlike passwords, they can't be guessed or stolen. If your devices don't have this capability then passwords or PINs are the next most likely option (Make sure passwords are strong and secure). It's important to encourage users to have different passwords for different devices and systems. That way if their password in one system is compromised all your systems are not at risk.
Use Only Secure Networks
Your company network should be secure - make sure you use firewalls. Also consider whether staff access your network remotely - do they use a VPN (virtual private network)?
Train Your Employees
They often lack the basic awareness of data security and how hackers work. Employees without this knowledge often make innocent mistakes that result in data breaches. Educate them not only things like not sharing passwords, scanning USB drives, being wary of attachments and clicking links, but also on phishing, ransomware, viruses and other risks. Social engineering is also growing threat for small businesses.