How to Prevent Data Breach at your Small Business
A data breach can pose a devastating threat to your small business. From shutting down your network, ransoming your computer system, and siphoning off important client data, all of these issues have the potential to wreak havoc on your business, causing you to not only lose business days attempting to fix the problem but current and future customers. In order to avoid this from happening you need to understand how to prevent data breach issues from happening in the first place.
How to Prevent Data Breach
Bring In An IT Specialist
In order to know how to prevent data breach problems, you need to know where the weakest links are in your network. This, however, can be a problem for most small business owners. You may think you have your company covered, but do you know for sure? You’re pitting your knowledge of networking and data security against hackers who spend their entire day attempting to find weaknesses. Your expertise is in running a company, not in Internet security, which means chances are the hacker will have a deeper understanding of how to identify areas within your network they can infiltrate.
In order to counteract what a hacker can do, you need to bring in an IT security specialist who is able to audit your entire network and, from there, identify where you need added protection and areas that are currently exposed and open to additional threats.
Most cybercriminals are looking for a quick score. They want to get in and get out with as little fanfare as possible. The best way to do this is to attack small businesses with minimal defensive systems in place. When a cyber criminal finds your business securely protected thanks to an IT security specialist, they are far more likely to just move on to the next business.
Monitor (and Control) Work Computers
As mentioned earlier, your network security is only as strong as the weakest link. However, far too often the weakest link is actually your employees. Spyware, malware, ransomware, and other external threats are more likely to gain access to your network not because it found a loophole in the security system or managed to push past firewalls and other protective measures, but because someone opened the front door and let it in.
The last thing you want is to spend good money on cybersecurity, only to have an employee open an infected email or visit an infected website. The employee is already inside the gates of your network, so by opening the door, it can let all kinds of unwanted malware in.
In order to prevent malware from accessing your network through work computers, you need to regulate the use of your work computers. You can begin by blocking certain websites. This may include everything from social media sites to email accounts not associated with your business (for example, if your small business uses Outlook, you can block access to Yahoo or Gmail). Blocking access to these websites can also boost productivity in the office as employees are not able to waste time on these sites.
Beyond this though, you’ll want to set up protective measures that prevent any unauthorized file transfers and downloads. This way, nothing can download onto the computer without user permission (and in some cases, admin permission).
Data security is a very real issue and something you need to take seriously. This is one of the data breach prevention tips that will help safeguard your network. While your employees might not like being blocked from Twitter or Facebook, it is ultimately for the best.
One of the best ways to prevent unauthorized access to files within the network is to simply educate your employees. They may not realize some of what they do puts your business (and their jobs) at risk. Because human failure is the top cause of all small business data breaches, your employees need to know how to best protect themselves and the company. So, if you’re looking at how to prevent a data breach, you need to keep your employees informed.
No matter what kind of business you run, some of the data you have stored on the network is confidential. From customer payment information to medical records, this is the information you need to protect. Customers trust you not to put their data in harm’s way, and any kind of data theft can not only harm your customer, but it will more than likely result in the customer and a number of future customers from ever using your business again.
One of the best data breach prevention tips is to encrypt all user data. This way, even if a cybercriminal finds a way inside your network they will be unable to access the files because of the strong encryption. Without the right encryption combination, it becomes impossible to read the information.
There are a number of data encryption tools you’ll want to consider, which includes AxCrypt and VeraCrypt. When you contact Charlotte IT Solutions you’ll be presented with a number of encryption options that will work for your business.
Don’t Forget Your Passwords
Even in this day in age, you’d be surprised as to how simplistic some people make their passwords. It doesn’t take a skilled hacker to access your network if someone has a very weak password. Most websites and networking systems now require a number of special symbols, a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, and non-sequential characters (such as 1-2-3-4-5). Despite this, in order to help remember a password, people will make it as easy as possible, such as their name, or a combination of their name and address (or birthday).
These are passwords that any semi-skilled hacker and cybercriminal will be able to figure out. If you’re looking at data breach prevention tips, you need to make sure and make passwords as difficult to crack as possible. An IT consultant can help give you exact pointers for your business.
Learn How To Prevent Data Breach In Your Small Business
These are just a handful of the best data breach prevention tips your small business can perform. Ultimately, the best course of action is to bring in an IT professional, such as Charlotte IT Solutions, to audit your entire system. Doing this will help identify weak points in your network.
Your data security is only as strong as the weakest link, so identifying these issues before hackers and data thieves can is vital. Charlotte IT Solutions can then customize a defensive approach for your company to help you safeguard every corner of your small business’s digital footprint.