Data protection has certainly become one of the top priorities for business leaders around the world, especially those who are running global ventures and enterprises. This is not to say that small, local business owners shouldn’t take data and business security seriously, because the growing risks of cyber-attacks and offline data breaches are always present no matter the size of the company. Regardless of your industry and business type, chances are that your competitors will try to snag some of your sensitive business data to build their own competitive advantage, or that scammers and hackers will try to breach your security systems to sell customer information to the highest bidder.
To prevent this, you need to create a strong security system by integrating the right tools and educating your employees on data management and proper cyber-security procedures. With that in mind, let’s go over the top tips that will help protect your data and increase business security.
Start with employee education
Given the fact that your employees represent the first line of defense against online scams and social engineering, you need to prioritize employee education on relevant cyber-security topics. Your employees need to understand the risks involved with online communication and sharing information and business data across the web, and they need to know how to protect that data. What’s more, they have to know how to properly store sensitive data and even identify potential scams and cyber-attacks when they communicate via email or other messaging services.
To achieve all of this, you have to conduct thorough cyber-security workshops with your employees, making sure to:
- Create a workshop strategy and plan that will cover all relevant topics.
- Bring in professional IT experts who can pass down knowledge efficiently and effectively.
- Focus on the individual and take a personalized approach to teaching.
- Complement theoretical knowledge with practical, real-world exercises that will prepare your employees for every scenario.
- Monitor employee progress and fill any knowledge gaps that might come up in the short, mid, and long term.
Adopt network monitoring and security
Even though your employees might be equipped with the knowledge necessary to keep your data safe, this still doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t monitor all traffic and activity in your company’s network. In fact, you need to complement their knowledge of cyber-security with your own monitoring tool that will allow you to safeguard every device and your network as a whole while retaining complete control.
There are many benefits to integrating a secure web gateway such as this into your system, one of which is traffic monitoring and identification. What’s more, this tool will allow you to maximize bandwidth availability and minimize access to dodgy websites and non-work-related platforms. In turn, this tool will help your employees stay safe online.
Integrate a hardware firewall into your system
Every computer and device in your company needs to have its dedicated software firewall that will prevent malware and viruses from infecting the system, however, having a software firewall in this day and age is no longer enough to keep your company safe. The reality is that software firewalls for individual devices need to be optimized and updated regularly, which can create numerous weak points and backdoors for hackers to exploit.
This is why integrating a firewall hardware device into your network is a great way to ensure complete network security for all devices at the same time. A hardware firewall is easy to set up and optimize, and it acts as a physical barrier between your network and the outside world. It allows for effective traffic filtering, granular control, and provides numerous other features that you can use to keep your company safe across the board.
Don’t forget about physical security
Even though online security should be at the top of your list, that doesn’t mean that you should forget about physical security. After all, you have to eliminate the risk of unwanted visitors coming to your office to steal sensitive business and customer information, or to steal entire devices like work laptops and PCs. This is why you should have a comprehensive surveillance system in place to ward off any threats and identify the suspects should the need arise.
Aside from a surveillance system, you also need a good gatekeeper, so be sure to upgrade your front desk and welcoming area with a smart virtual solution. Virtual front desks are becoming increasingly popular in companies that want to maximize physical security while minimizing costs.
This device will welcome all visitors and ask them to sign in and choose an action, after which it will notify one of your employees that a guest is waiting at the front desk. The assistant can also keep the office doors locked to anyone without an official corporate ID card, which will further improve physical security.
Have a data recovery plan in place
Last but not least, every forward-looking manager should implement an effective data recovery plan that will allow the company to get back up and running quickly in case of a system failure. This is something that you need to let the professionals handle from the start, so either have your in-house IT experts create a data recovery strategy, or employ the services of an agency that specializes in data protection and recovery for SMBs as well as global enterprises. With a data recovery plan in place, you will be able to resume your operation quickly without wasting time, money, or other resources.
Protecting sensitive data is definitely one of the most important tasks in the modern business world, which means that you need to implement online and offline security features to safeguard your company on all fronts. With these tips, you will have no problem elevating business security while improving efficiency and productivity in the workplace.