14 Ways to Improve Data Security of Your Organization

There are many ways to improve data security strategy of your organization, like determine potential risks, update your computers regularly. Here, we clarify the essentials you should become familiar with to develop an efficient data security strategy. 

Keyword(s): data security, cybersecurity

Day after day, security breaches in high-profile businesses all over the world are hitting the news. These attacks highlight the vulnerability of data and the lack of robust security strategies in organisations of all sizes. Your data security is vital to the overall well-being of your business. How can we improve data security of our organization? Read on to learn more.

Take inventory

If data is the new oil, then like any good refinery, you should have inventory. Your organization can't protect something if you don't know you own it. To better handle inventory, ensure that you have the tools to provide continuous insight into your security posture – particularly on this new era.

Pay Attention To Insider Threats

It's simple to visualize threats originating from outside your company, as these are sometimes represented in television and news as the most important and most costly ones. But we all know that the truth is that it is your insiders that may potentially hurt your company the most. Due to their nature, insider attacks could be difficult to detect and stop. It could be as simple as an employee clicking on an e-mail attachment they believe to have come from a trusted source and releasing a ransomware worm. These kinds of threats are the most prevalent across the world and the most expensive. That is why it is also essential to train your employees in advance.

Train Your Employees

Having an efficient data protection policy is one thing, but making certain that every single member of your company is actually following it is one other. Training all members about why security matters and how they may help won't only reduce the risks but improve the response times when a breach occurs. You might provide regular training sessions and up-to-date policy documents that may encourage staff to put these guidelines into practice.

Certifications like SAFe for Teams can ensure that your organization collaborates effectively with other teams. This certification will let you build the skills needed to become a high-performing team member of an Agile Release Train (ART). Attending the course prepares you to take the SAFe® 5 Practitioner exam and become a certified SAFe® 5 Practitioner (SP).

Limit Employee Access To Data

Even with intensive employee training, you possibly can't be totally protected against human error. In fact, human error is the cause of most breaches and compliance failures. Whether your employees are unaware of proper procedures or just careless, it's implausible to completely avoid compliance risks whenever there's a human factor involved. You can make the effort to teach your staff and make sure that your employees are trustworthy, but you need to take it even further if you want to minimize the risk of mistakes. Limiting employee access to data is an effective way to take your security and compliance efforts a step further. Ask yourself which of your staff really needs access to sensitive data and who monitors that access. Your workers ought to only have access to data that is absolutely essential for doing their jobs. The fewer employees have access to sensitive data, the lower the risk of mishandling.

Encrypt All Devices

Data privacy legal guidelines put the burden of protecting sensitive customer data from unauthorized access almost fully on corporations. This implies that you not only have to ensure compliance when collecting data but additionally make sure that the data is being safely stored. No company is immune to breaches, so you need to make sure that the sensitive data you're storing is properly protected. From robust passwords to anti-malware software, you need every tool in your arsenal in order to prevent cybersecurity attacks.

Testing Your Security

If you assume installing an antivirus on every computer or device will protect your company from attacks, think again. As current data breaches have shown, hiring a professional organization to conduct a security audit will always reveal weaknesses you weren't expecting. I encourage you to take a walk around your office and look at your employees' desks. I guarantee, if you look hard enough, you'll spot a password written down on a sticky note.

Delete Redundant Data

Many companies cope with sensitive information as an essential part of their daily work; especially companies in finance, healthcare, education and the public sector. Ensuring information disposal mechanisms are in place helps prevent stale data from being forgotten about and stolen at a later date. Having a system for erasing, shredding or otherwise modifying redundant data to be indecipherable will go a long way to ensuring your employees don't stash it away.

Establish Strong Passwords

Many organizations are still using relaxed password policies, resulting in simple, generic and easy-to-hack passwords for critical accounts, which have access to the valuable and sensitive data. Implementing robust passwords is the first step you can take to strengthen your security in this area. Use reasonably complex passwords and change them at least every 60-90 days. Never use passwords like “Admin1” or “12345”. Don't ever write down your passwords somewhere and leave them on your workstation for other folks to find.

Update Your Computers and Programs Regularly

It's important to allow regular software updates to keep all of your computers up to date with the latest security updates. This can usually be done by enabling auto-updates on your operating system or software packages. Within organizations, a centralized security update policy ensures that no computers are left exposed.

Back-up Your Data Regularly

Always be prepared for the worst scenario. Even the most secure cyber security systems can be infiltrated so always have a plan in place to deal with a breach and test it. Implement early alerting – set up firewalls and security software to alert you when something unusual is happening.

Determine Potential Risks

When creating a data security strategy, you need to decide the level of potential risk your group has to deal with. You should ask yourself questions like:

-What is the level of sensitivity of data collected?

-Are the types of data your organization collects covered under any regulatory compliance laws?

-Does your company deal with a high volume of sensitive data?

-How long does your company retain that amount of sensitive data?

Know Your Vulnerabilities

Compare what systems and applications you are using for protection, against what is available on the market. Cost is often a factor when deciding on new solutions, but the most expensive option isn't always the one that will be best for you.

Don't Forget Physical Security

However, cyber threats are not the only threats you should worry about. You additionally need to protect your hardware. Physical theft, hardware damage, and device failure can all compromise sensitive data, so you need to take all the necessary steps to prevent them. You may think that physical safety doesn't apply to cyber security, but when somebody can get physical access to a laptop computer or desktop then they can provide access to others on-line or set up trojan software. Install restricted door access such as assigned key fobs to observe who enters the office. This includes external suppliers of services such as cleaning and maintenance.

Stay Vigilant!

As the threat of data security is always changing and evolving any time spent waiting or delaying implementing or enhancing your data security plan leaves you further behind and at greater risk. Even if you only start with a few of these tips start today and you never know when a cyber-attack might happen.

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