For many small business owners juggling overheads and cash flow, data security is the last thing on their mind, if they even know what the term means. And yet in this increasingly digital world, keeping business and customer data secure is becoming necessity rather than an oddity.
To that end, here are five tips on how your business can keep its data secure in a cost effective but also genuinely effective way.
Know Which Data is Sensitive and which is not – All businesses tend to collect data without even trying, and only some of that data will be sensitive and requiring of data security. A pretty safe bet is that anything involving money or personal details such as an address, would be considered sensitive data. Once you have identified the data within your records that would be classified as sensitive, make sure you know where it is stored, how it is stored and who has access to it.
Control Access – Once you have identified your sensitive data and you know where it is being kept currently, you then have to start monitoring who has access to that data. Access should be limited to only those who require access to do their job properly.
Track Access – Make sure a login with a secure password is required for anyone to access sensitive data, and that the system logs every time the data is accessed and who accesses it. It is also important not to share logins, as then you would not know who had accessed the data. In the case of any legal issues you would also not be able to prove you yourself did not access it if you were sharing a login with someone else.
Store Off Site – It may sound counter intuitive to suggest storing your most sensitive data outside your place of business, but with the advent of cloud storage this is no longer the case. Using proper encryption that any reputable data storage facility will offer, your data will be far more safe in the cloud than it would be on a hard drive within your office.
Secure Your Network – This one may sound redundant but you would be surprised at how easily you can find unsecured networks even today. Make sure your wifi network is locked down with a WPA2 encrypted password and make sure that password is not something that can be guessed. Using your street name and number, or suburb and postcode, they are all easily guessable and will not keep your network secure.
If you take these 5 tips to heart and implement them consistently, you’ll be going a long way to toward keeping your data secure and reducing the risk of losing any sensitive data as well.