Defending a business against cyber-attacks and data breaches is incredibly challenging. It is, however, an important undertaking, not only for the sake of your business’ data but for that of customers and clients too. Slowly, governments are starting to realise the value of data and its necessary safeguard, and are now enacting legislation accordingly. The current penalties for negligent data management within a business are becoming more substantial, as can be seen under GDPR guidelines.
Unfortunately, as technology develops, there are an increasing number of ways in which businesses can suddenly find themselves vulnerable to attack and there is no quick resolution or permanent protection. This means that, as a business, data security should be made a continuous priority within your operation.
Restrict and Identify Installations
Installing applications or programs onto devices, such as phones and computers, welcomes the service into your business. Without knowing and understanding the detailed code within the program itself, any seemingly inconspicuous application could potentially be a tunnel for syphoning data from your business.
For this reason, it is important to approve or restrict installations made upon your company’s software. Any single download can have much wider ramifications upon your businesses data and you should be able to trust each piece of software you and your employees use.
Minimise Human Error
Many breaches happen, not because of brilliant hackers making their way through firewalls, but because of simple and internal human mistakes. As such, managing the oversight of staff should be a priority, with checks set into place to avoid such errors occurring, especially within extremely sensitive departments.
If you are unable to ensure absolute confidence in the operations of a crucial department, such as a payroll department, without significant investment in staff and equipment, it may be beneficial to outsource the responsibility to an external group. Outsourcing operations, in this example seeking payroll services, eliminates the margin of error and your payroll’s potential vulnerability.
Monitor Cloud Operations
Cloud technology has been a huge benefit to business operations, especially as more workers are finding themselves in remote roles. Cloud-based programs and storage allow for the reduction in physical documents, as well as collaborative work to be performed digitally and far more efficiently than asynchronously.
Such documents, however, are susceptible to oversharing or having their permissions mishandled. It only takes a few mistaken clicks for a sensitive document to be compromised. As such, it is important to ensure such documents have restricted permissions and their user history is regularly scrutinised.
While a longer password may seem innately harder to guess, it should be remembered that you are not defending business accounts from humans. You are often trying to keep out programs, such as battering rams, that will try multiple combinations at incredibly high speeds. This is why it is suggested to use symbols, numbers, and a variety of cases within your passwords, as it can prevent a program from solving your password by requiring it to run for years instead of hours.
Where possible, it is recommended to use two-factor authentication (2FA), which will require a second device to authorise access to accounts.