In an era when cybercrime and data breaches are more prevalent than ever, businesses can’t afford to ignore data security. From phishing and ransomware attacks to careless password practices, there are countless ways for thieves to penetrate your company’s digital walls and access sensitive information.
That’s why all businesses should implement any strategies they can to improve the security of their company data. Below, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members offered some quick and easy solutions that will help you shore up your defenses. Follow their tips to make your business more secure.
1. Enable Two-Factor Authentication
One cost-free and painless way to quickly improve security is to use two-factor authentication—not just for your accounts, but for every account of every team member. It may seem tedious to have to pass another layer of authentication, more than just a username and password, but it is incredibly effective. If the account offers two-factor authentication, be sure to enable it. Tools like Gmail, Evernote and Dropbox are just a few that offer a two-factor authentication option to strengthen the security around your business’ sensitive information and data. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
2. Create Company-Wide Remote Work Policies
Since most of our work is done remotely, we should make rules for using tools, going to websites and installing new apps on the company’s computers or gadgets. Have a power-on password, biometrics and local data encryption. As much as possible, do not allow certain nonwork-related apps and sites to be accessed to avoid data issues in the long run. It should be a company policy to be responsible when it comes to data privacy and protection – Daisy Jing, Banish
3. Restrict Personal Email And Device Use
Securing company data is a growing concern with work-from-home and hybrid models. While a thorough company-wide cybersecurity plan is necessary, one quick and easy way to improve data security is only to permit data sharing between company-issued devices and restrict personal email use. This eliminates concerns about who or how cybersecurity systems will be purchased and who will own those should employer/employee part ways. Restricting the use of personal email enables the company to encrypt emails, prevent or allow attachments or enable other security settings to safeguard company data. – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.
4. Invest In A High-Bandwidth Network Infrastructure
To quickly improve your company’s data security, invest in a high-bandwidth network infrastructure. This will provide enhanced options to secure your data and allow your team members to share information safely no matter where they’re at. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
5. Make Backups Of Everything
One way to instantly improve your company’s data security is to create backups of everything. You never want to fall victim to a cyberattack and lose everything you and your team worked so hard to achieve. There’s a practice that many IT specialists follow called the “3-2-1 rule.” Simply put, this rule states that you should have three different copies of your data on two types of media, as well as one copy off site, such as on the cloud. If you follow this advice, you can rest easy in the event of an attack because everything you need to get your site up and running again is at your fingertips. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
6. Encrypt All Data And Devices
Encrypt all of your employees’ devices. In my book, this is a relatively simple but highly effective way to ensure (or at least strengthen) data security within your organization. All mobile devices used by your employees to access company data should be fully encrypted and all sensitive data should be kept in an encrypted format. This way, you can make sure that every device is trustworthy. – Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets
7. Conduct A Security Audit
It can be challenging to know where your security weak points are, especially if you have highly remote staff. You never know if certain employees are uploading their passwords to something like a Google Doc and if this account is secure. There are so many moving parts in this type of organization that total security may be impossible. The best way to test your data security is to hire a professional organization to conduct a security audit. These audits will give you an idea of where your biggest weaknesses are. Use this testing to formulate best practices and strategies to avoid these weaknesses going forward. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC
8. Set Ground Rules For Communication
I think it’s a good idea to meet with everyone on your team and explain the ground rules for how you’ll contact them if you have a question. Someone tried to run a phishing scam by emailing my employees as me and asking for private information. If one person would have fallen for it, we would have lost a ton of sensitive data. Reminding your employees about the basics, like phishing schemes, can reduce headaches down the road. You’ll also notice that your team is more acutely aware of suspicious behavior, which is always good for improved security. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC