You may never suffer a data breach, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know how to prevent one.
With the number and severity of data breaches rising every year, it is clear that all of us, from the biggest to the smallest company, could brush up on our data security management.
You may never suffer a data breach, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know how to prevent one or be prepared for one.
With laws & regulations constantly changing over data protection and the penalties becoming more costly, it’s time to start making data security a priority.
In this short post, we are going to cover ’10 Data Security Management Tips to Prevent a Data Breach’ so you can keep your business running smoothly and securely.
Let’s get to it!
What is a data breach?
A data breach occurs when sensitive, protected, or confidential data has been viewed, stolen or used by an unauthorized individual.
Data breaches may involve personal information or even trade secrets/intellectual property.
10 Data Security Management Tips to Prevent a Data Breach.
1. Bring your employees in on your strategy.
In our previous post, we revealed that employees are most likely to discover data security breaches, as well as actually cause them.
It is imperative that you bring your employees on board with your strategy to improve security, but also recruit extra eyes to be on the look out for potential breaches.
2. Update your BYOD policy.
It has become ‘cool’ and the norm to bring your own devices to work. In many cases, businesses can benefit from this as they don’t have to supply as much tech for employees.
However, by welcoming these other devices into the workplace you are also opening the door for data security breaches through new end-point devices.
By updating your BYOD (bring your own device) policy you can ensure that all devices brought in are following the same data security procedures as your in-house tech.
Also be aware of any work related information being shared on personal email accounts – we all have learned recently of how this can lead to the leaking of sensitive information…
3. Social engineering training.
Even the most tech-savvy members of your team may fall for social engineering attacks.
As users have gotten smarter and more aware of online scams, hackers have had to up their game:
- New phishing methods often take the form of legitimate-looking requests sent under the name of someone in an organization who the users trust.
- Young workers especially can fall into the trap of unintentionally leaking sensitive data through social media accounts. Sharing details of professional lives should be something that is addressed in the workplace as it is a way data can be mined by hackers.
4. Be constantly expanding your knowledge.
Laws & regulations about data storage are constantly changing as are the ways in which hackers attempt to retrieve it.
By constantly expanding your knowledge you can stay one step ahead of the game to ensure that data is kept legally and safely.
This is also useful so that you won’t be keeping unnecessary data.
5. Nail the basics.
You would be surprised how many data breaches could be prevented by staying on top of the obvious and basic principles of data security management.
Don’t forget to apply the follow rules to your entire organization.
- Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders.
- Don’t use external USB drives.
- Implement firewalls and antivirus software on every endpoint device.
- Keep your software up to date to avoid zero-day vulnerabilities.
- Third-parties are often the weakest link in data security: ave strong data security policies in place.
6. Have a well thought through, quickly executable emergency plan.
You think a data breach will never happen to you or your organization, that you have the tightest data security on the planet but the reality is if you do not have an emergency plan you leave yourself vulnerable.
One of the ways you can do this is to have a data breach attorney on stand by who you know you can contact if things go wrong.
7. Know your network inside out.
Where is the data stored? How is it protected? What are your encryption processes?
Networks can get complicated fast, but if you don’t understand the ins and the outs of yours then chances are you won’t know how to properly protect it.
Sitting down and mapping out your current infrastructure will help you get a grasp of what needs to be done to ensure maximum security of data being stored.
8. Use an adblocker.
One of our quick and simple data security management tips is installing an Ad Blocker on every device in your network.
Ad blockers are extremely powerful tools with a wide range of benefits:
- Prevent unwanted websites/pop-ups from opening on a browser.
- Eliminates distraction for employees.
- Can actually increase load time and decrease data usage.
Asides from a more productive workforce, you can also prevent employees from opening fraudulent pop-ups that could lead to a breach in data security.
9. Network with other data security managers.
When having a business lunch or attending a networking event, very rarely does data security management come up (unless a scandal or tragedy is involved.)
By discussing with other teams and managers about data security you may actually learn a lot of practices and tips that you can implement in your own business.
Every network has different needs and faces unique challenges, by learning about other infrastructures you may just come up with new ideas to strengthen your own.
10. Hire a professional.
For many small-medium businesses, a Data Security Manager is not the first new job position they think to recruit once the money is available.
However, the penalties and high costs of a data breach could be significantly higher than the salary of bringing a professional on board your team.
It is better to implement preventative efforts rather than regretting not doing so later.
It can’t be emphasized enough, that business need to follow best practices and be aware of data breach notification laws. Data breaches can be costly both in terms of lost business from loss of consumer confidence, required notifications and straight-forward costs in terms of litigation costs and the costs of responding to government investigators.
Data security can be a daunting process and it’s not uncommon to feel like you are not doing enough.
Our mission at Revision Legal is to secure businesses online. We ensure they understand the connection between law, technology, and business.
We provide a wide range of services from corporate, copyright/trademark and even data breach solutions. Should you be interested in finding out more information, contact us with the form on this page or call 855-473-8474.
Editor’s Note: this post was originally published in March, 2017. It has been updated for clarity and comprehensiveness.