5 tips to protect your business data

The measures small businesses are advised to put in place help to protect your IT systems, but it’s not always an easy task. If you have personal data within your organisation it’s important you recognise the need to keep it safe, but before you do you should consider the type of security that suits your business.

To do this you will first need to review your IT and assess your security practices. We advise taking a layered approach to data security; there is no ‘fire and forget’ method to keeping your systems safe.

Some methods will work well for you but others won’t – it all depends on what you discover after you conduct your security audit.

To help get you started here are five simple things you can do to protect your business data:

1. Conduct a security audit

You need to know the extent to which your organisation collects, uses and holds personal data and risks that are posed. You also need to consider how valuable this data is and to take appropriate steps to secure it.

2. Devise a security policy

Without a security policy you will struggle to implement change in your organisation. Having a clear and simple policy that everyone is aware of will create a safe working environment across your company.

3. Teach your staff about the importance of securing data

Your staff are the defenders of personal data but they are also one of the main causes of security breaches. Ensuring that staff are aware of the important role they play in keeping data safe will minimise risk.

4. Control user access to data

Segmenting user access to data will keep the risk of data breaches to a minimum. If your sales team don’t need access to finance information then don’t provide it. By limiting the number of access permissions to certain data segments you can reduce the chance of accidental loss.

5. Encrypt your data

Encryption is widely used as a way to keep information secret, even in cases when it has fallen into the wrong hands. Encrypted data is impossible to read without appropriate encryption access.

It’s important to combine several different tools and techniques when protecting your data, especially because every business processes data differently and is at risk from different threats. Ultimately, the key to keeping your data secure lies in creating a culture of responsibility, so your people know why the rules you create and the procedures they follow matter.

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