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The internet has transformed the way businesses and their staff work. But while there's a huge range of benefits, and profits, to be had, there are also a lot of pitfalls. It seems like barely a day goes by without some large corporation being taken down by a hacking attack and all their valuable customer and client data stolen.
Hacking doesn't just leave the enterprise red-faced and potentially encountering a loss of confidence, with its reputation in tatters — it potentially exposes it to crippling fines too. Here we present the essential data security tips you need to implement to ward off attacks and keep your company and its data safe.
Migrate to the Cloud
Basing much, if not all, of your digital operations in the cloud has a wealth of benefits, including allowing you to access your programs, apps and data from wherever you happen to be. The cloud also has the added advantage of being highly secure. That's because cloud services are run by teams of IT professionals that are constantly monitoring them for potential threats, as well as developing the security and other updates needed to make data and its use as secure as possible.
Back up Your Data
Every company needs to back up their data — and regularly. But in the fast-paced world of commerce where a million things are vying for your attention in the race to get ahead and get more profits, it's easy to let it slip. Then the unthinkable happens and you're either hit with a cyber-attack or your network crashes and renders all your precious data unusable — again putting you at the risk of reputational harm and huge financial penalties. Back up your data the easy and effortless way, by using a cloud-based service that will do it automatically, and store and protect it from harm.
Encrypt Your Data
More and more companies and organisations are now using data-encryption technology to keep their information out of prying and thieving hands. You can use programs or third-party services to encrypt the data you send internally or outside the company, via email or other methods. You could consider encrypting all the hard drives on the computers in your office. Some operating systems, like OS X, come with this feature (e.g. FileVault), while professional versions of Windows may have BitLocker or you can install your own program to encrypt your drive and make it unreadable to potential hackers.
Use Password Managers
Everyone detests passwords — and wants to run a mile when they're asked to change them, with all the various combinations of capitals, digits and symbols now typically required. Trying to remember them all can be a nightmare. But passwords are a necessary evil of running any enterprise. You can use a secure password manager to ease the burden of frequently changing the passwords for all the various programs you need to log into each day.
Avoid Phishing Scams
Companies are deluged with phishing scams every day — mostly in the form of emails disguised to look official that are anything but. These emails may appear as though they're from banks or services you use and will try to entice your log-in details, passwords, financial information and more from you. It's vital everyone in the office knows that the actual bank or services you use would never ask for such information by email, and to never click on the links in such potentially harmful communications. Phishing can also be done by phone, text and, increasingly, social media. Finally, don't fall into the trap of thinking, “It won't happen to us!” Because it very well might.