If large corporations can’t seem to protect their important data, how can a small business protect theirs? A lot of small business owners don’t even know how to protect themselves against any cyber threats. There is a lot of new information about different threats that are now around but for a small business, all of this new information can be overwhelming. Especially if you have no in-house IT experts to help. Here’s some advice on how to protect your important data.
Knowing your Business
To know your business, you need to ask yourself some key questions…
What sort of data do you have and is it sensitive?
Do you have your employees’ details or even some important details of your client? Any information that you have that could identify people like, birthdays, home address and medical details are meant to be kept safe, you are legally obliged to keep this information safe, if you don’t do this then you could get fined.
Where is the sensitive data stored?
In a lot of small businesses, this information will be stored on a computer’s hard drive, so its stored in a file that is next to all of your other documents. If this is where you currently store your data then you might want to consider storing this data on a separate drive, and to be extra safe you can keep your business and then personal systems completely separate.
What information can your business not do without?
This could be a client list, a process or a formula that you need to protect the most as this is what you need to run your business. This information needs to be separated from the rest of your company’s data and inaccessible from the internet. This data should only be used by you and no one else in the business.
Who has access to your data?
Make sure that your employees only have access to the data that they need, they shouldn’t be able to look at all the information on your databases. Make sure that if an employee ever leaves your business, they aren’t able to access all of your data after. This means making sure all of the log ins you use are changed.
Easy ways to keep safe…
Install anti-virus software and keep it up to date! Remember that anti-virus programmes can only detect known malware, to defeat this make a minor change to the malware code. If you’re struggling with this then contact us!
Patch your system regularly, if you don’t do this then the anti-virus software becomes obsolete unless you patch it. By patching your system, it will be up to date with all known viruses.
Use complex passwords as using the same passwords for all accounts make them unsafe. If you can try and use two-factor authentication, this means that you will enter your username and password then a piece of personal information to get into your accounts, this is just to keep all of your accounts extra safe.
Backing up data regularly will keep all of your data safe, for more information on back ups and how they work we have written some blogs explaining this!