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Your Weekly Insights on How to Manage your Enterprise Digital Footprint.

7 Ways to Protect your Data and Manage Security Risks

Posted by Chris Thierry | March 13, 2018 3:00 PM

Protecting your data and managing security risks is the 74th reason to go beyond TEM and manage the enterprise digital footprint.

For businesses of all sizes, data protection and IT security are essential steps to be taken in order to keep confidential information in the right hands. While some organizations might have bigger security needs than others, having certain security measures in place remains a requirement.

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One interesting statistic to keep in mind when selecting security measures is that every 40 seconds, a company is hit with ransomware. Over the course of 2017, multiple ransomware attacks wreaked havoc on enterprises. WannaCry for example demanded $300 in Bitcoin, worth about $3.5 million Canadian, as ransom from each of its victims, and impacted over 300,000 organizations across the globe. These kind of attacks outweighed any other security risks in 2017, with the number of ransomware attacks faced by businesses last year tripling by the end of the year. These kinds of attacks can happen to any vulnerable organization. Preventative measures are necessary in order to keep from becoming victim to these kinds of attacks, or any other kinds of data breaches. Here are several ways to keep your business protected.

Educate

Probably one of the best methods of prevention, is educating employees about cyber security and how to work risk-free. Any business with hopes of keeping data secure will need to provide at least a training session or two for informing employees of things to look out for. Businesses at higher risk might even want to have regular ongoing sessions to keep security at the top of everyone’s mind. This might include phishing scams, suspicious emails, strange links found in blogs or on unreliable websites, all of which the entire staff must be hyper aware of when working in an office daily. Keeping everyone on their toes will help to avoid future mistakes down the line.

Password Security Tactics

Keeping your password secure seems basic, but remains an essential step to avoiding a security breach. Hackers have a variety of methods for figuring out your passwords, and if no effort is made towards creating a complex password, this will only make a hacker’s job that much easier. Passwords should be hard to guess, including a mixture of upper-case and lower-case letters and numbers, and should never be based on your personal information.

You’ll also want to have employees change their passwords on a regular, ongoing basis. This will help keep security information out of the wrong hands and thus help you avoid malicious attacks.

Network Security

With BYOD continuing to rise in popularity, and many employees working remotely, ensure that workers are cautious about potential unauthorised access. According to a Gallup survey, about 31% of employees work remotely four or five days a week. Ensuring that employees are only working with and accessing confidential company data via a virtual private network (VPN) will provide an added layer of security.

Access Restrictions

One way of preventing a data breach is to avoid the spread of the data in the first place. The more individuals with access to private data, the more at risk your business becomes. By implementing a system where users can only access the information and data which pertains to them, and which is required for their job, the chances of data getting into the wrong hands is significantly decreased. Having employees with access to all company data won’t benefit you, in fact it’s more likely to bog your team down with unnecessary data.

Encrypt your Data

Taking the time to encrypt precious company data is essential to having a solid defense mechanism against data breaches. This process can significantly reduce your chances of experiencing a cyber attack, and works in unison with other security measures. Encrypting files makes it difficult for outside parties to gain access to private and sensitive data, while allowing for the exchange of that same data internally. This step will keep sensitive data that is constantly being transferred from place to place around the company from being accessed somewhere in between, allowing everyone to rest at ease.

Data Security Policies

By combining the elements suggested in this article, as well as a few others depending on the nature of your company and the level of security you feel is needed, you can form a solid, efficient data security policy. Having a proper policy in place helps to prevent breaches and protect your data, and works as an ongoing educational tool for keeping employees informed. Set rules surrounding software licensing, employee-owned mobile devices, internet and email usage in conjunction with the above steps to form an effective data security policy.

Despite your best efforts, data breaches can still happen, and it’s best to be as prepared as possible.  Only 40% of small businesses who suffer a cyber attack manage to stay afloat. The majority will go out of business within six months. This should be a sharp reminder to stay prepared no matter what size the organization. Having these preventative measures in place will pay off.

Cimpl is a technology expense management solution helping businesses manage the enterprise digital footprint. Our SaaS platform is well-equipped for maintaining IT security. If you’d like to learn about more, feel free to contact us.

AUTHOR: Victoria Lewin

AOTMP EDF

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Topics: IT Services, Technology Expense Management (TEM), Security

Written by Chris Thierry

Visionary and founder of Cimpl, Christopher Thierry is a dedicated leader in the IT industry. Focused on facilitating businesses in their journeys towards digital transformation, Cimpl’s President aims to deliver a technology expense management platform that evolves with ongoing and ever-changing business needs. In offering and all-in-one, consolidated expense management solutions Christopher is taking businesses beyond TEM to manage the Enterprise Digital Footprint.

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