As more and more businesses have become increasingly reliant on technology, data security has become a priority. Businesses cannot function without their data, and they cannot risk compromising it. The good news is that alongside this growing reliance, the techniques and software used to protect data has improved too. Keep reading for some cyber security tips.
Take a Course
If you are not particularly knowledgeable about cyber security or protecting your digital assets or data, you need to educate yourself. This is the first step. Learning more can help you come up with a better understanding of the strategies you need to implement and an idea of how to implement the rest of the tips on this list. While it may be costly, a course can prove invaluable to your business. Next, consider the course provider; for example, Harvard University’s Office of the Vice Provost offers a cyber security course that holds more weight than that of an unknown, unverifiable provider. This certification can give your customers more peace of mind when shopping with you too, knowing that their data will be protected.
Backup Your Data
Your data is not simply vulnerable to hackers or third parties; it is also vulnerable to human error or events which are outside of your control. Backing up your data regularly ensures that it is always readily available should something happen to your device. You can use either internal or external backup solutions like cloud storage or hard drives. Both have their pros and cons; cloud storage can be less secure, but it is often quicker, whereas hard drives can take more time to set up, but they can be vulnerable to damage too. Consider the needs of your business to work out which one will work best for you.
Consider Virtual Servers
In recent years, virtualization has become more accessible and affordable to business owners, no matter the size. The technology itself allows users to, in effect, run two computers at the same time. This means that there is no downtime. If you experience a hardware failure or technological fault on one of the systems, you benefit from having an almost exact server replica. In a way, it is another backup option, but it is a little more complex to set up and often more expensive too.
Build & Maintain Firewalls
To safeguard the data itself, you need to make your systems as impenetrable as possible. Firewalls help to block intruders from accessing your data and the sensitive information that you house. You can procure hardware or software to protect your data. Hardware firewalls are designed to sit between your data and the internet, catching intruders before they can enter your network. On the other hand, firewall software allows intruders to enter the system using the internet before the software kicks in and attempts to block the intrusion and force it back out.
Use Anti-Virus Software
Using anti-virus software on all work devices simply makes good business sense. It has content filtering properties which means that neither you nor your employees can visit sites or open links that are potentially dangerous to your network. It blocks websites that have viruses that could hurt your system. This not only goes for your website access but for your emails too. Phishing emails are far too common, and some of them do look legit; a spam filter is the best way to weed these emails out before they can compromise your data. In addition to this, it can also promote a more productive workplace by limiting your employee’s access to non-work-related sites that could distract them and impede their progress with their daily tasks.
Check Your Power Supply
An inopportune shutdown of your device can corrupt your data, as can spikes and drops in the power supply. In addition, electricity today fluctuates in strength, and these electrical variations can be incredibly damaging to your computer and, therefore, your data. As a result, some businesses have decided to employ the use of a UPS or uninterruptible power supply to protect their computer. In essence, a UPS is a bigger version of a surge protector; it has a battery that takes the power, cleaning it and regulating it before feeding it into the device. As a result, it ensures that your computer receives a steady power supply allowing you to power it on or off without corrupting the data stored on it.
Data protection is vital for any business that operates within the digital space, whether they use it for administration purposes or to conduct their business. Data protection is also a priority for consumers. They don’t want to give their business and their sensitive information to a company that cannot look after it. This alone should be enough to encourage you to take your data protection processes seriously. However, as well as giving more confidence to your consumers, it is also within your best interest as a business.