3 practical ways you can secure your business data

March 23, 2020

Data security is a well-known concern, but there are plenty of strategies and systems that can help you keep a handle on your important business information.

If you're using a cloud-based solution, then you can rest easy, because you've already invested in the number one solution to an age-old problem.

Cloud-based software solutions are able to store data and implement security measures with ease. They are an invaluable tool for securing your information and can save you significant time and money when it comes to data security.

But, if you're looking for additional ways to secure your information, we've pulled together three strategies you can implement in your business.

1. Safeguard Passwords

People today are overwhelmed with password management. According to an Entrepreneur article:

  • 75% of people only change a letter to a character to create a 'unique' password.
  • 37% say they have to request a password reset on at least one website per month.
  • 65% of people use the same password everywhere.

Usernames and passwords are a powerful first layer of security, but there can be some low-level risks. So what can you do to combat them?

You develop a strategy that requires regular updating of staff passwords! Monthly, quarterly, annually, or whatever you think will work best for protecting your information.

The more complex a password is, the more protection you have. So consider also outlining some rules for staff to follow when creating a new password, like:

  • Make them at least eight characters long
  • Embed numbers and other non-standard characters
  • Avoid words, use combinations of random letters, numbers and special characters

If this strategy doesn't suit you, consider nominating a password manager in your business. This person will oversee the passwords your team uses on their field devices or desktop computers and regularly update them.

2. Create a plan for personal devices

There's nothing worse than seeing someone leave your business - willingly or not. A close second though might be having to follow them up about a leak of customer, job or site information or attachments.

That's why it's important to make sure you're staying aware of the risks associated with employees bringing in and using their own devices in the workplace.

Create a plan around the use of personal devices in the workplace in order to provide some protection against legal repercussions. A clear, comprehensive policy covering data deletion, location tracking and internet monitoring can be very valuable.

Also, consider making the proper provisions for staff that use their own devices as part of their roles. While using personal devices may increase productivity and reduce overheads, they can introduce security threats if not properly managed.

3. Dispose of data properly

In line with ensuring that past employees are removing important business data from their devices, you also need to ensure that you are wiping retired business devices.

Removing information and attachments from old storage devices will mean that your business information can't be accessed further down the line or fall into the wrong hands.

Consider these practices to help you dispose of your data properly:

  • Ensure all relevant apps are deleted from devices
  • Remove saved passwords from internet programs
  • Delete all job, site or asset images from devices
  • Delete all saved files with business information

The key takeaway when it comes to securing your data is...

You need to create strict onboarding and offboarding policies.

All of these strategies that we've mentioned can be incorporated into rules and requirements for staff to follow when joining your business or leaving it.

If you don't already have these types of policies in place, consider this blog as a starting point for creating a checklist that new or exiting staff can complete.

And if you already feel like you have created solid policies for onboarding and offboarding, ask yourself if you've included requirements based on the three strategies we've mentioned above.

Remember, if you want to provide a certain degree of protection, cloud software is a good place to start.