1. Figure out what data you have and where it’s located.
This is obvious, but it makes the list because a surprising number of businesses don’t realize where all their data is located. Often, without the owner’s knowledge, employees store your data on insecure apps like Dropbox. The first step to securing your data is to determine where it is.
2. Have backups . . . and test them.
Losing data cripples businesses. Schedule regular, automated backups so that your system is less reliant on forgetful humans. Do a test restore of some data at least semi-annually to verify that your backups are working.
3. Encrypt your data.
From your perspective, encryption just means a longer and more complicated password. But from the criminal’s perspective, encryption means “I can no longer use this data.” Encryption is a low-hassle, low-cost way to add security protections to your data.
4. Use MFA.
Multi-Factor Authentication is inconvenient. People don’t like it. But the security it adds is worth it. When you log into your email from a new location and your email program says, “We’ve texted you a verification code, enter it here”—that’s MFA. You need to turn on this feature in all the software you use which houses critical data.
5. Use Protective Software.
Malicious software lurks in emails and all over the web, trying to find a way to attack your network. You MUST have commercial-grade firewalls, antivirus, AND anti-ransomware. All of this needs to be patched and monitored. Would you build a beautiful new home with a cardboard door secured with a scotch-tape lock? Then don’t secure your business network with free or cheap protective software. You get what you pay for.
Your team can be your best defense—or your biggest liability. They MUST avoid clicking on malicious links and other behavior that puts your data at risk.
Call us! We’d be delighted to help you secure your data!