Negosentro.com | A Simple Introduction to Data Security | Whether you’re a large shop like Target or a small CPA, attorney, or medical office, you probably deal with sensitive information from your clients and customers regularly. Furthermore, you may have sensitive information about your own firm that needs to be protected.
Even organizations you might not associate with sensitive data, such as restaurants and retailers, handle financial payment information that must be protected from theft or misuse.
The most significant difficulty is that, while you and your company may not be concerned with internet technology or cybersecurity, hackers and identity thieves are. And they’re getting more complex all the time.
According to Dell, cyber-security is the most unmet need for most businesses these days. The risks are even higher for small businesses than for large corporations because an attack that compromises company accounts or customer relationships can directly affect an entrepreneur’s personal security and finances. Furthermore, that entrepreneur will not have access to the same recovery and defensive resources as a large corporation.
A Short Definition of Data Security
Data security, also known as information security or computer security, refers to the digital privacy precautions implemented to protect your sensitive personal or commercial information. To prevent unauthorized access to computers, databases, servers, and websites, data security includes a number of measures such as file and drive encryption and safeguarding servers and networks.
Who cares about data security? Almost every type of organization and the majority of individuals require some level of data security. Healthcare organizations, for example, are required by law to keep all patient health records secure. CPA firms and attorneys must also protect client information. Companies that handle confidential information or intellectual property that gives them a competitive edge must keep it safe.
Essentially, any company that handles financial or personally-identifying information on behalf of others must do everything possible to protect that information. Of course, individuals must also safeguard their personal information to avoid difficulties such as identity theft.
Encryption, in a nutshell, is the scrambling of data so that it can only be read by those who have the correct encryption key. Encryption can be used in various ways and at any level of your company, such as encrypting individual emails or files on your device at the file or email level or encrypting an entire drive, either portable or installed in your computer.
You can also encrypt a complete server or an entire network at the server or network level.
Encryption operates similarly to the encoder rings that kids used to get from cereal boxes or the cipher machines shown in vintage espionage movies. They take data and “scramble” it with an algorithm or code; to decrypt the message, the same technique must be employed.
When deciding whether or not to utilize encryption, consider the type of data you have and how you use it – whether your data is stored in a single area or is constantly moving across multiple devices or networks. The more mobile your data is, the more security layers you may need to protect it.
Simple Ways to Protect Your Data
There are some things you can do to help protect your data. Start by choosing a strong, non-personal password and switch it out periodically. Using a firewall and antivirus protection on your system will help protect you from a zero day exploit.
Be sure to keep all your devices and software up to date with the current versions and back up your data regularly. You can automate both these processes for easier management. Lastly, monitor your systems closely for anomalies and educate your team on best practices for data security.
Hiring a network security professional to assist with your data security efforts can ensure that your organization has the protection it needs to avoid security breaches and loss of crucial data for many small businesses who lack the IT skills or manpower to ensure that these rules are followed.