With more and more information being held digitally, it’s essential for businesses to safeguard the security and integrity of their online assets. In this article, we share some tips on how to minimise the risk of cybercrime and keep your online data and secure.

Most businesses face two main types of security risk. The first is malicious threats in the shape of deliberate theft of passwords, bank details or intellectual property; the second is unintentional breaches of security such as when an employee loses a work laptop or smartphone. It’s a good idea to protect your business against both types of threat. Carry on reading to find out how.

1.       Understand Your Data

Before you can take steps to secure company data, it’s essential to have a clear handle on all the different types of data you have, where it’s stored, who has access to it and the likelihood of suffering data loss to hackers or viruses. Be sure to consider all data sources: financial records, customer information, supplier details as well as employee data.

2.       Secure Your Network

The next step is to make sure your network is protected from malicious software known as malware which can cause extensive damage to your system.  Have a firewall set up and buy security software to safeguard against hacking, identity theft and suspicious websites.

Employees will often use their own smartphones or devices at work and so you will need to control how employees access, download or share company data. It’s also a good idea to assess what apps employees are using on their mobile devices to ensure your network has no weak points that will enable unauthorised access.

3.       Store Data Safely And Control Access

The best place to secure your data is in the cloud. That way employees will be able to access information whenever and wherever they need to. Be sure to back up your data on a regular basis and preferably in a different secure location.

Set up policies and procedures so that each employee is only accessing the data that they need to get the job done. This will minimise the risk of someone accidentally changing or deleting data or a rogue employee causing serious damage.

4.       Encrypt Data

Encryption is the process of converting data to an unrecognizable or “encrypted” form. It’s used to protect sensitive information so that only authorised parties can view it. Secure socket layer (SSL) and internet protocol security (IPSec) are the standard encryption security technologies used by millions of companies around the world.

5.       Train Staff Members

An estimated two-thirds of security breaches are, in fact, caused by human error and so a programme of staff training is an absolute must. Educate them on suspicious emails which should not be opened. Encourage staff to change their passwords regularly and to create strong ones that use a mix of characters and letters. And finally, advise employees on what they can and cannot use their company computers for as well as any apps that should not be downloaded on to the company network.

The safe and secure management of company data is important if you want to retain the trust and loyalty of your customers. In addition, it will make sure that you stay within the law.