File protection has become a top priority for small businesses (SMBs). While most newsworthy stories centre on data breaches at big companies, smaller organizations are definitely not immune to the activities of cyber criminals. In fact, hackers often target small and medium-sized businesses. They represent easy targets that often have low levels of cybersecurity and lax safety mechanisms in place. Confidential client data-sets stored by SMBs can be valuable assets that command high prices on the black market. This article will show you how to protect your files as a small business owner.
By overlooking your file protection practices, you are needlessly putting sensitive information about your company and your clients at risk. In this article, we will look at three ways to protect your files from hackers.
Create an Employee Training Program
Having a robust tech stack is pointless if your employees don’t know how to use it correctly. A number of large data breaches have resulted from the actions of absent-minded employees. Also, numerous studies show that members of staff pose the biggest cybersecurity risk to both large and small companies.
Regular training programs will ensure that staff are familiar with all internal safety-related processes. In addition, they will know how to use software, particularly your company’s cloud storage, in a way that minimizes risk. You can also consider appointing a security officer or outsource the task to a specialist training company. Many software providers also offer their own training packages for new users.
Use a Secure Cloud Storage Provider
Secure cloud storage provides a basis for corporate data safety. A dedicated solution adds additional layers of protection to your documents and data compared to more mainstream alternatives.
When selecting a provider, pay close attention to the price. There can be significant disparities between costs, and it’s easy to tie yourself into a plan that is much more expensive than similar or better alternatives. Many providers charge hefty monthly fees so it’s worth looking around.
Many small businesses worry about the practical task of managing files using a system that is more difficult to access and requires time-intensive management. But this approach is usually unnecessary. It’s best to adopt a two-pronged system that leverages both “normal” and secure storage solutions. In this way, you can keep sensitive files protected while allowing for fast and efficient access to files that don’t contain sensitive data.
Opting for a good solution will also often mean that you are able to meet most, if not all, data-storage legal requirements in one fell swoop.
Protect Data With Backups, Antivirus Software, and a Secure Password Manager
While most small companies use some form of antivirus software, most aren’t taking full advantage of all the features on offer. For instance, it is essential to run scans consistently, perform system “cleans”, and ensure company-wide use of browser protection tools. You should also ensure that antivirus software is updated regularly to protection against new threats.
Regularly backing up your data will also guarantee that important client information can’t be permanently lost due to malware, natural accidents, or employee errors. Many cloud storage providers will perform backups of your data, so this is something to consider when picking a provider.
Also, it is good practice to use a password generator and manager. Every staff should use unique, secure passwords to access company apps to prevent the possibility of a data breach. And under no circumstances should employees use personal or “multi-use” passwords. Business versions of password management apps like LastPass and Keeper are inexpensive and can be used by your team to generate and store complex passwords that carry virtually no risk of being breached.
While building secure processes and tech infrastructure in your company may require a little up-front investment, in the long-term it represents by far one of the best possible uses of resources. The ramifications of a data breach, in terms of costs, legal issues, and public relations to restore customer faith, are barely worth thinking about. So, spend some time implementing the tips in this article.
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