Data is the most valuable asset in this modern world, and companies that monopolize data are considered as the most powerful organizations.
But this rapid move to digitization has also given space to various types of cyber crime. Amongst all, crippling data breaches are becoming more common, and no company is safe. Even well-known establishments like Facebook are vulnerable to data breaches. It has become the most powerful and growing threat to companies of all sizes.
Today, running a business without proper data protection is a huge risk, especially if your employees are working remotely. You are risking your company’s sensitive data, profits, and reputation if you have not made data theft protection a priority.
How Data Breaches Occur?
Since, now most of the companies are reliant on cloud computing, digital data, and smart devices, they are more prone to get attacked by cyber criminals.
Data breaches occur when cyber criminals have the ability to access sensitive data without authorization. This can be done by physical access, or by remotely bypassing the security controls.
Generally, the most significant threats are insiders like regular employees, ex-employees, IT users, temporary employees, etc. But not all of them have malicious intent. Sometimes employees don’t deliberately take the office data out the door. They just get targeted by hackers because of not following the security rules and unawareness of the potential threats.
Therefore, it is very important to understand that data theft protection requires a multi-layered approach, and you need to make proactive efforts in order to protect the sensitive data of your organization.
Here are some of the data theft protection tips that will help you to keep your company safe from data thefts.
1. Encrypt the devices
Due to the increase in the prevalence of remote working culture and hybrid working environment, company devices do not always stay in the workplace. Employees take laptops, tablets, and other required devices to remote locations when meeting with the clients or going on business trips.
But, what if the office devices get stolen or lost? To prevent data breaches that might happen from any of these events, it is very crucial to encrypt all the devices, so that nobody can access the data stored in the devices.
Establish a strong encryption policy so that the devices and the data cannot be accessed by the unauthorized person. You can also invest in the remote wipe software to erase all the data from the device without accessing it physically.
3. Educate your employees
Employees are the top source of data breaches in small and medium-sized companies. They often fall into the trap of hackers due to the lack of awareness of data security and how cyber criminal works.
Remember, no matter how many cyber security tools and firewalls you employ, end users are always the ones who can bypass the data. So, it is very important to educate the employees regarding all the cyber crimes that might happen in the company.
Along with that, awareness training is also very crucial for employees so that they can identify potential security risks. They should know what to not click on, where to fill in the information, and what not to download.
To make sure your employees do not fall into the traps, suggest them to,
- Not open or download the attachments from unknown sources
- Avoid opening suspicious links from emails, messages, online ads, and websites.
- Confirm the legitimacy of the source before filling out any confidential information.
These are the basic safety measures that every employee should follow to reduce the potential of data theft.
3. Employee monitoring
No matter how small a company is, you cannot monitor all your employees all the time. And, when your employees work from remote locations, then you cannot be physically present with them to monitor their activities.
In such cases, using employee monitoring software is the best solution. It allows you to monitor your employees’ system all the time so that they don’t compromise prominent information accidentally or intentionally.
Software like EmpMonitor provides various features to track the login/logout time, working hours, app usage, browser history, screenshots, and all the necessary metrics, which are important to detect any unwanted activities that can cause harm to the data.
EmpMonitor also provides robust firewall settings, which lets you create firewall rules and protect your server from unauthorized access.
Basically, remote monitoring is a cost-effective option that lets you keep your company safe from data thefts and also helps you to track employees’ productivity.
3. Beware of personal devices
Despite all the security risks involved, the trend of BYOD ( Bringing Your Own Device) in the workplace is increasing at a rapid speed. Businesses are embracing this trend, and the main reason behind it is customer satisfaction, which leads to an increase in productivity.
It has now become a new standard rather than an exception because most of the companies are allowing their employees to bring their devices in the office space. So if you also follow this approach in your company, then you should have the required technology and policy to address the risks that come with it.
Sometimes personal devices are infected with the malware, and if it connects with the corporate network, then it can steal the data of the devices connected to that network.
So, make sure that the employees’ personal devices and the gadgets brought by the visitors at your offices connect to a different network, which is not used by the office computers. It helps to keep your company’s digital assets safe and also lowers the possibility of data breaches.
4. Vulnerability assessments
Cyber criminals always lookout for ways to find vulnerabilities and loopholes in the network to install malware. Software bugs and pending software updates often give opportunities to the cyber criminals to gain unauthorized access to your system or data.
Understanding where your vulnerabilities exist is very important for finding redress. By doing cyber security vulnerability assessments regularly, you will get to know what all things need to be fixed. For example, which system requires a software update, which all systems are lacking anti-virus, you will get to know everything.
Remember, criminals always attack on easy targets. Therefore, get the software and hardware vulnerabilities patched from time to time and make it harder for exploits to breach your network.
5. Enforce a strict password policy
Protecting a company’s data is the responsibility of every employee and to help them do their bit, create, and enforce a data prevention policy that keeps everyone accountable for securing data.
Since most of the data breaches occur due to weak and stolen passwords. Restrict your employees to share unapproved passwords and ask them to set up strong and hard-to-crack codes to secure their laptop, desktop, etc. Implementing multi-factor authentication and strong passwords are the best way to safeguard your company’s sensitive information.
Data theft protection is very important for a company to grow and operate smoothly. Therefore, by making these tips as a part of your company’s data security plan, you can prevent hackers from getting in and discourage the insiders from performing any malicious activities.