Seven Tips To Keeping Your Data Secure

In the digital age where filing cabinets and paperwork have been replaced with digital assets and cloud networks, cybersecurity is essential.

Every data point, from sensitive customer details to finances, is transmitted through software and networks to create the complex dance of modern business.

Your business and customers rely on you to manage this data, but as the trickle of information turns into a raging torrent, keeping it all safe from hackers gets more difficult.

From phishing to malware, cybercriminals employ a variety of ways to access your data. If hackers do get in and steal your information, it can be disastrous to your business.

You may be left to deal with the financial and reputational consequences of a data hack, which has the potential to put you out of business.

This article has seven helpful tips and tricks to protect your business data and a safeguard you can put in place in case hackers do access your information.

  1. Use good password practices

Access to networks requires private passwords. Hackers will most likely gain access to your network if they can obtain this information. Hackers will do anything to obtain your login information, from phishing emails to brute force attacks where they try and crack your password.

It is therefore important to have a complex password that is unpredictable. Avoid reusing passwords, change them often, and set up a multi-factor authentication for particularly sensitive information.

2. Update your software and devices when prompted

Although you may still use the 2009 screensaver, the network behind your computer is in a constant state of updating. Hackers seek to exploit network weaknesses and network providers are working equally as hard to patch these holes through updates.

You can vastly improve your security by updating your operating system or any other application software as soon as recommended. The new versions will most likely be well-equipped to prevent current threats.

3. Installing central firewalls and antivirus software

Firewalls and antivirus software are both designed to protect your data from hackers.

The central firewall monitors your network and computer system and prevents outside sources from accessing it. Antivirus software detects and destroys any threats picked up across the network such as malware or other viruses.

Together they form a formidable wall that hackers will have a hard time scaling to get your data.

  • Track file sharing

The more files being shared from different places and across different applications on your network, the easier it will be for hackers to gain access to your data.

Sharing files is a necessary part of running a modern business, so depending on your company’s size, it may not be practical to limit your file sharing.

If you run your business through cloud software, consider cloud app security. This software will help you identify and combat any cyberthreats to your network.

Essentially, it will identify who is sharing and accessing the data, and the destination of the file is situated.

  • Implement screen and device locks

Your employees are not glued to their devices. People get up and move about and many forget to log out every time they go on break or take a phone call.

Screen locks and device locks are a crucial security measure. A simple unlock code is sufficient to stop most opportunistic spying. After a brief period of inactivity, ensure your business’ devices are locked.

  • Educate your business about data security

While all the tips above are things you can implement, your business is only as strong as its weakest link. From your executive team to junior staff, inform and educate your team about these safe data practices and instil a culture of cyber security.

Swerve is a great New Zealand-based small business resource, designed to help train your staff about the importance of keeping your business data secure.

  • Encrypt your data

Encrypting your data is the last of defence between hackers and your private information. It adds another layer of protection if your network or device has been compromised.

Essentially, data encryption changes your data into a different format so that only people with access to a secret key (your business) can decode and access it.

There are many data loss prevention software available that can encrypt your data and keep your sensitive information private.

What safeguard can you put in place to protect your business?

While there are many tricks that can help keep your data secure, sometimes hackers can still get through and steal your data. A good data management plan prepares for this situation, and Cyber Liability insurance is an important safeguard to have that’ll help protect your business.

Cyber Liability insurance is a type of small business insurance policy designed to protect small businesses from the legal costs and expenses associated with being hacked.

It can generally be used to cover restoration and expenses, such as: 

  • Data breaches, such as theft or loss of client information 
  • Network security breaches 
  • Business interruption costs 
  • Cyber extortion 
  • Forensic cyber analysis costs associated with investigating the cause and extent of the breach

Cyber Liability is also designed to cover the legal costs, penalties, and fines resulting from a third-party claim because of data breaches or network security breaches against your small business.  

It can even be used to pay for data recovery and other expenses related to crisis management, as well as public relations costs to mitigate reputational damage. 

The bottom line

Across nearly every industry, running a modern business in New Zealand requires a solid understanding of cyber security. Data is the new gold in the modern age, and hackers can make big bucks accessing and sharing your sensitive business information.

Hopefully, this article will point you in the right direction so you can keep your data secure. This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, BizCover Limited is owned by BizCover Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975)

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