We live in the digital era where your business data is definitely one of your most important assets. Since you have transferred most of it to the digital realm, you should do all that is in your power to protect it and minimize the risk of data leakages.
As you may know, even a few kilobytes of your most sensitive data can get you in huge trouble and cause lots of money. With that in mind, here are the steps that a company can do to reduce the possibility of data leakages.
Implement Better Data Management Policy
Not all of your data is sensitive. Therefore, your first step towards better data security should be a better data management policy. What does this imply? You have to start by identifying the most sensitive data and then closely inspect how it is stored and secured.
What you want to do is always keep your important files separated from commonly used ones, such as invoices and email templates, quick notes, and so on. Because everyone has access to these. Keep your sensitive data in a separate location and behind the proper access policy.
Use a VPN to Secure Your IT Infrastructure
All the devices that have access to your IT infrastructure pose a security threat. You should remember this, especially if you are pursuing one of the latest business trends – bringing your own device (BYOD) to a workplace. To secure all of your endpoint devices and your IT infrastructure as a whole, you should consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A high-end VPN is particularly convenient because of encryption and speed it offers. If you have employees who have to work with sensitive data on the go, a VPN can help you prevent data leakages by adding an extra layer of security to your endpoint devices.
Determine User’s Privileges and Permissions
Every company should grant different employees with different access privileges. By doing so, you will make sure that not all the users have access to everything stored on your drives and the cloud. Granting all the users with the same level of access to sensitive business information poses a significant data leakage risk, so identify the employees who actually need the access to this data and make sure they are familiar with the basics of cybersecurity.
If you discover any gaps in their knowledge and skill in the process, educate them accordingly. Make sure to adopt a new policy to prevent the newbies from accessing the sensitive data, unless it is absolutely necessary. Place your corporate secrets only in the hands of your most trustworthy and skilled employees.
Implement a Monitoring Strategy
You would be surprised to find out the actual amount of your employees’ digital activity. This includes checking personal emails, using social media and chat apps, reading the news and so on. To minimize the risk of data leakage, you have to set specific rules. Your corporate WiFi should be used only for work purposes. If an employee wants to handle their personal stuff, they can do it by using mobile data. Another option is to create a dedicated network that employees could use for their personal needs.
You should also monitor system changes, local files, and folders. This will help your IT staff identify the risks and act on time.
Take a Proper Care of Old Sensitive Data
Quite often companies completely neglect their old data. In many instances, unused data is still very sensitive, as it may hold important information about your business or your customers and clients. You should definitely avoid keeping it on a USB stick in your drawer.
You have several options to handle the old files. If the data can be labeled as obsolete, you should destroy it by wiping USB sticks and drives. If you want to keep it, you can place it on a USB drive and lock it in your company’s safe or store it behind the correct access codes. For additional safety, use two-factor authentication.
Protecting your business data isn’t as difficult as it may seem at first, as there are many ways and tools you can use. Consider each one of the above-mentioned tips to keep your data secure and prevent it from falling into the hands of cyber criminals.