2020 witnessed massive digitization across all business sectors. Data security has become essential in this ecosystem which is prone to cyberattacks and malware.

Fremont, CA: Cyberattacks spare no one, be it a small business or even Facebook. Inadequate security measures cost a business a lot in the long run. There are several tools and automation that are available to increase the data security aspect of a company, and below are the top practices that one can employ to ensure data protection and security.

Training Employees about data security

Often the cause behind any breach or cyber attack is the negligence of a company’s employees. Given that they are the component of security that a company can directly influence, it is a great idea to train them properly. Organizations need to ensure that every employee is aware of the security policies and any modification in such policies must be well communicated to them. A great technique is to make a new employee undergo training along with assessment. Regular meetings and assessments need to be conducted for the entire organization. Employees must be trained how to conduct day-to-day operations so that the risk of a breach is minimized, say avoiding insecure websites, and avoiding suspicious emails.

Have a data protection security strategy and update it regularly

It is a great practice for any business to strategize their entire data security ideas. Every day there is a new technology that is making a breakthrough. Cybercriminals are also adapting to such development and improving their techniques. Hence documenting the security strategies and updating them as per the present-scenarios is a great way to ensure that the company remains up to date. Well-organized strategies must be made available to every employee. There is also a need for companies to assess themselves regularly and spot their weak links and improve them.

The organization can also internally create a plan consisting of different hierarchies which will help them allocate different levels of roles and permissions to different employees, depending upon their level. Limiting the admin-level permissions to only executive-level employees will make it easier for the company to manage and track the security problems, and will also reduce the chances of data leaks.

Track your data and its location

With the massive digitization that was witnessed in 2020, small businesses are shifting their data to the cloud. Still, several companies are using dedicated data centers for storage and access. Utilizing a hybrid method, where the data stored both in the cloud as well as on-premise infrastructure is a great way to double-sure your data security and availability. Though clouds provide several benefits, such as elasticity and operational independence, you do not have 100% control over it since it is stored in the cloud. Storing highly confidential data on-premise would give you complete control over it. Hence storing confidential data on-premise and all other information on the cloud is a very pocket-friendly method of data storage.

Encrypt your data

Encrypting sensitive data, utilizing multi-factor authentication, and having backups are crucial measures to take to further strengthen data security. Even after employing all the above practices, if an attacker manages to take your data, it would be no use to anyone if it is encrypted. Enterprise-level encryption usually includes 128 or 256-bit ciphers, but every other business could employ the encryption as per their requirements.

Along with that, involving multi-factor authentication increases the complexity of the security and is harder to breach. Compromised credentials are the top cause of data breaches. Hence having an additional authentication layer could save the data in such cases.

Back-up the data and have a disaster recovery team

Even after taking these advanced steps, one can not ensure data security as one only knows the security measures on the companies part. Businesses are unaware of what methods and technologies are being employed by the attackers and there is no way to find it out. The best way, as mentioned earlier, is to be prepared for all the potential attacks that one knows might be possible.

In case of data breaches, it is essential to get back up and running at the earliest and that is not possible if one doesn't have a back-up. Every business needs to have a backup of the essential information on which the operations depend upon. 

Many big companies have a department dedicated to this issue. The key responsibility of these teams is to ensure that the company would be able to either divert such an attack or get through with minimal damage. Having a disaster recovery team will also improve the reputation of your company and increase trust.

While no measure can guarantee 100% data protection, these steps can help improve the line of defense of a company or at least help them recover from an attack with minimum damage. Also, the company is made up of its employees, hence they must be dedicated to the brand. A great way to do that is to have a non-disclosure agreement signed with the company.