Keep Your Business’ Data Safe: Part II

In the first part of this series, we discussed the risks and threats associated with insufficient data security. In this second installment, we’ll explore prevention techniques and the best ways to bolster your business's data security system.

While data security is a smart investment, there are a number of ways you can prevent a data breach without spending any money at all. Follow these tips to ensure you and your customers are protected from hackers.

Install antivirus software

According to Business Insider, installing anti-malware and antivirus software is a critical step. It will help protect your operation's data from criminals looking to compromise personal information. Roland Cloutier is the chief security officer for ADP, a global provider of cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions, and a board member for the National Cyber Security Alliance, an American provider of business outsider solutions. According to Cloutier, this type of software serves as a final defense against hackers.

Remember to update programs

Help cut down on the chances of being hacked by updating programs. Updates will help improve current programs and applications and patch up any issues that were uncovered during the manufacturer's analysis. Think of updates as a way to maintain your system and ensure everything is in top shape.

"Your security applications are only as good as their most recent update," noted Matt Watchinski, senior director of the Vulnerability Research Team for cybersecurity provider Sourcefir. "While applications are not 100 percent fool-proof, it is important to regularly update these tools to help keep your users safe."

Create strong and unique passwords

One of the simplest ways to protect your business from a cyber attack is ensuring your systems and computers have strong passwords. According to PC Mag, creating a strong password requires you to consider a few factors. For example, hackers can easily figure out how to breach a system if you use a common or predictable word or phrase for your password.

Some passwords you should avoid include:

  • Birthdates
  •  Favorite sports teams
  •  "Love"
  •  "Letmein"
  •  "Monkey"
  •  "Password"

Instead, create a password that combines different characters and cannot be easily guessed. In addition, change your password regularly, and never leave it out for others to see.

 Another common mistake is using the same passwords for all devices and systems. In fact, 63 percent of business owners re-use the same password, according to an infographic published by UAB Collat School of Business.

Foster security awareness

Your employees can help improve data security. By conducting training to promote security awareness, you can better ensure your employees understand what is acceptable and what can put your business at greater risk for a data breach.

Emphasizing that you care about data security will help promote a culture of workers who also care about building a successful business customers can trust. In addition, you’ll likely want to create a written security policy to share with your employees.

As the Internet and newly developed technologies have become integral parts of society and business, data security must adapt to these changes. Enlist the help of professionals to help create a top-notch data security system and understand how you can better protect the data of your customers.