Nearly all businesses run on valuable data, whether that’s your client list, your customers’ financial details, or your proprietary recipes and trade secrets. Keeping this information safe is essential to retain your customers’ trust and distinguish your products and services from competitors. Is your data secure? Perform these five essential checks to look for common weak points in the system.
Examine Your Data Access Policies
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Who has access to your customers’ most valuable data? Are financial details readily available to everyone in your sales department? Are trade secrets posted in a shared folder for everyone in the company to see? Rethink who has access to sensitive information and keep it to the absolute minimum that’s needed for effective and efficient business operations.
Consider Your Security Vendors
Most businesses rely on at least one or two outside security companies for information security services. If you haven’t researched your options recently, do so now. Are your vendors scoring high in security industry reports and evaluations? Do they offer a well-rounded suite of services that still meets the needs of your growing business? Your security solutions are only as good as the companies you partner with, so make sure you’re working with the right ones.
Evaluate Your Passwords
Implementing secure passwords is one of the easiest ways to protect your information, yet many Americans neglect to take the proper precautions. In a recent Pew Research Survey, a quarter of respondents admitted their passwords are less secure than they’d like because simpler passwords are easier to remember. Nearly 40 percent of respondents indicate using the same or similar passwords across multiple accounts.
Educate your employees on the proper strategies for implementing secure passwords. Require regular updates to important internal passwords and revisit this topic often to make sure no one is slacking.
Check for Updates
Updating company software is often seen as a hassle because of the time it takes to download the latest version and the inconvenience of acclimating to new features or layouts on the fly. Despite the potential disruption, you should always install updates as quickly as possible. These often include critical security features that will keep your business safe from cybercriminals’ latest strategies.
Review Your BYOD Policy
If you allow employees to bring their own devices to the workplace, make sure you have a clear policy in place that dictates the proper usage of personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This should detail how employees can access information, what business information and applications they can use on these devices, and what security measures they’re required to keep in place. A bring your own device (BYOD) policy carries many inherent security risks you need to watch for. Employees could potentially lose the device or take it and your data with them when they quit.
Perform these important checks regularly to make sure your business information is as secure as possible. Every individual with access to your data is a potential weak point. Educate your employees on all key aspects of data security to make sure everyone in the company is as strong as possible in this area.