Corporate data breaches are on the rise. Now is a crucial time for companies to focus on their cybersecurity efforts. Businesses across all sectors need to prioritize cybersecurity to ensure they can prevent hacks, which can be damaging and costly to recover from.
It’s also worth noting that data breaches can impact any sized business. Small to medium-sized companies are typically vulnerable because they lack the resources to have a comprehensive cybersecurity program.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when protecting your company from experiencing a data breach. It’s vital to reduce the chances of your business becoming a victim.
1) ENSURE YOU HAVE A VIABLE SECURITY SYSTEM
Strong and reliable security systems for your devices and networks are a foundational component of a viable cybersecurity program. Your business needs to take steps to enhance its security measures, as this will likely keep hackers or other malicious actors at bay.
Be sure to use common cybersecurity solutions such as firewalls, breach detection software, antivirus and anti-malware software, cloud-based backup services, and public key infrastructure (PKI) service to protect your organization and its critical data. All these tools will strengthen your cyber resilience, and they can usually scale with you as your business grows.
2) LIMIT ACCESS TO SENSITIVE DATA
It’s extremely common for businesses to share hundreds, if not thousands, of files that contain critical information among colleagues. However, access control procedures should limit which employees can access certain data.
For example, a mailroom employee should not access company financial records. It’s best to follow suggested access control precautions, as they can always be changed later if necessary.
It’s also wise to limit employee access to suspicious or spam sites. This can prevent them from opening any links containing viruses or malware and further protect your systems.
3) ASSESS & ANALYZE COMPANY RISK
You may or may not have many cybersecurity risks depending on the industry your company operates. These are some of the sectors that are more susceptible to experiencing a cybersecurity breach:
- Government agencies
- Financial institutions
- Energy and utility companies
- Small businesses
Cybersecurity resilience is the ultimate goal for many companies, but organizations in the industries listed above should especially prioritize it. Consider hiring an IT expert or cybersecurity service provider to help you assess your risks. Then, you can take actionable steps to protect yourself and your business.
4) USE SIGNAGE TO EMPHASIZE CONFIDENTIALITY
You may think employees have a basic understanding of cybersecurity practices, but that may not be the case. People who work with sensitive information must understand that even something as simple as someone looking at their computer screen can lead to a potential data breach.
Consider using custom, high-quality signage with clear language to emphasize confidentiality and data protection to your employees. You can place them throughout the workplace where everyone can see them daily. Many businesses such as banks and physician’s offices also use signage to show customers where to stand as they wait to check-in, thus ensuring they stand out of sight of desk areas or computer screens that might be housing confidential information.
5) MANAGE YOUR OFFBOARDING PROCESS PROPERLY
Surprisingly, one major cause of cybersecurity breaches is a disgruntled employee who still has access to company information, such as login credentials and passwords.
It’s a good idea to examine your offboarding process. When employees leave your organization, you must delete all their accounts to prevent unauthorized access. Consider using a password manager, such as NordPass or DashLane, so you don’t need to spend extra time changing passwords when people are fired or quit.
6) DEVELOP A DATA BREACH RESPONSE PLAN
No company can entirely protect itself from a potential data breach, so it’s vital to have a viable, well-thought-out response plan. This will take the guesswork out of your response approach. Few companies have breach response plans in place, but they can save you and your employees time in the long run.
Your clients should know about any cyber breaches and be informed about what actions they should take to protect their information. There are plenty of data breach response plan templates available online, so consider using one to form a plan for your business.
These tips should help your organization prevent data breaches, but it’s always a good idea to speak with cybersecurity experts. Consider conducting an audit to identify areas of improvement and what measures are working well to protect your information.
MAKE DATA PREVENTION A TOP PRIORITY
Data breaches can tarnish your company’s reputation, and it could even cost millions of dollars to recover, depending on what was compromised, lost, or stolen. Follow the tips above so your company can prevent damage to your internal operations.