Businesses face all types of issues. However, advances in technology have made a handful of concerns more pertinent than others. In a poll conducted by Nerds Support, we discovered the top concerns businesses had related to data loss, compliance and security. As a result, we’ve addressed just a few ways your business can resolve these problems from most important to least.
1) Data Loss Prevention
Data is the most important currency any successful business has today. Furthermore, if you’re in a heavily regulated industry like financial services, data security is everything. That means data, and how companies manage it, often comes to define them. Losing Data can completely disrupt, and in many cases, destroy a company. Here are few ways you can prevent data loss in your business.
Back Up Data
Backing up your data is simple, not easy. Businesses often neglect to back up information when they’re busy or prioritize other tasks instead. Creating an effective backup strategy is the best way to commit to scheduled backups. You probably have data with varying levels of importance. Data that is critical to your business and data that is less so. Therefore, you should designate what data to back up daily, weekly, monthly, etc., in your plan.
Encrypt Your Data
Many organizations collect personal data from their clients. This data can come in the form of names, social security, financial information and more. If this data is stolen or leaked, the organization responsible for keeping the data safe would be in jeopardy. Potential lawsuits, investigations and the backlash from a data breach could destroy a business’s chances of recovery as a result.
Invest in a service that encrypts backups automatically to secure your data against anyone looking to steal, abuse, or access it. Cloud back-up services does just that.
The More (Backups) The Merrier
If you have important data back it up as often as possible. Backup all data imperative to your business in multiple formats to ensure its safety. Three backups are the standard for particularly important data. Moreover, backups on a cloud server and a hard-drive prevents data loss if your physical office is damaged or if there’s an outage.
Be Smart About Where You Work
Bring-your-own-device culture is more popular than ever. With cloud computing, employees can use their own laptops and mobile devices to work outside the office when they’re sick or on the road. Although this is good for productivity, they can also leave your data vulnerable if misused or misplaced.
Make sure to avoid public Wi-Fi networks as they can be exploited by a hacker to gain access to your device. If you’re going to use a mobile device or personal computer, purchase a VPN to encrypt your information. Using personal hotspot are also a good option since they’re private and cannot be accessed as easily.
Work With Professionals You Can Trust
If you do lose your data for whatever reason, trying to recover it yourself might worsen the damage. That is why it’s important to confide in experts that can keep your data safe and facilitate recovery when it occurs.
2) Maintaining Compliance
Regulatory changes, managing costs and meeting deadlines make maintaining compliance a struggle for businesses. The cloud, however, could resolve those issues and simplify compliance work dramatically.
Compliance Work Made Easy
Companies are often reluctant to leave paper filing and in-house storage behind. Trusting a third-party cloud provider to store important data seems daunting and unreliable, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, the cloud allows for quick and accurate data analysis that can cut down costs associated with compliance.
The cloud makes auditing easier. With its automated data backups and file sharing capabilities, auditors and employees can keep track of and review electronic files effectively. That also means the business becomes more transparent on the cloud.
Tracking Proper Documents
Compiling all the necessary documentation is half the battle. Internal Auditor Magazine recommends using applications that multiple users can review and edit. You also need a reliable IT department to monitor where the records are stored. As alluded to above, downtime and outages can be a real nightmare if your data isn’t properly backed up or stored in multiple formats.
If your IT department is overloaded with work or is too small properly manage record storage, then a co-managed IT department might be your best option. A co-managed contract with a managed service provider allows you to bulk up your IT department and delegate tasks to that your own department can’t do on its own. Co-managed solutions are great for growing financial firms, for example.
For smaller companies, outsourcing tech responsibilities means securing all necessary data without having to hire more individual techs.
3) Social Engineering & Ransomware
Social engineering is an issue impacting every industry. That’s because social engineers attack individual users with deceptive emails. Individual users are usually employees. If a cybercriminal can get one employee from your company to click on a link, they can access their machine. If they can access their machine, they can access the company’s systems.
Once in, a cyber-attacker encrypts data with malware and holds it ransom until the company pays a large fee.
When employees recognize a potential phishing email in their inbox, it’s harder to trick them. Whenever you receive a dubious email containing a link or an attachment, send it over to your IT department to analyze. Even if it seems harmless, send it over.
Social engineers tailor scams to specific individuals and they’ll use personal information to get a click. It could be a message from your bank asking you for payment card information. It might be a store the user shops in offering online deals.
Investing in anti-phishing software helps protect employees from email scams.
Monitor Your Systems at All Times
MSP’s are a good option for companies looking to increase security as well. They monitor activity 24/7 and are available to answer questions and concerns a user might have about potential threats. Nerds Support, for example, trains and informs users on social engineering red flags, working with the user to review emails and files they’re unsure about.
A culture of healthy skepticism will improve an employee’s chances of avoiding a ransomware attack. However, employee awareness is not enough. Having updated cyber security software and dedicated cyber experts to assist in dealing with threats should be part of any business’s cyber security plan.
I’ve briefly touched upon the biggest concerns businesses have, but if you want more in depth articles on these topics visit our blog.