Thursday, June 13, 2024

8 precautions to secure your data


The issue of data protection is relevant at all times, as where is the data, there are villains who want to steal it.  2020 was announced as the “worst year on record” by the number of security breaches. There were more than 36 billion data records exposed exceeding the number from previous years by several times back in September, and yet the total analysis of breaches and damages is still to be finalized. 

Given this tendency, it’s natural that business owners are pondering over ways to protect themselves. Here’s what you can do to keep your personal business data safe:

Protect Internal network

Make sure that your business environment is not accessible from the outside world by securing it with a VPN. This will help to avoid the traffic injection incidents that are possible using unprotected public hotspots or home connections.

Secure ways of sharing information

In order to share files securely over the internet, make sure to use file systems that allow integration with your permission management directory, support granting and revoking permission rights in bulk, password-protected links, and one-time secrets (messages that can be opened just once) for sharing sensitive info like login details.

Disk encryption

Using this preventative measure will help to keep the data integrity even if a malicious attack was successful, and someone gets access to your server. With proper disk encryption software, the obtained data will be of no value as they will be just a bunch of unreadable symbols.

Regular updates

Software vendors regularly release new versions of their products fixing critical bugs and backdoors discovered in the previous versions. The older version you use, the worse is the protection against external attacks. Thus, it’s highly recommended to set up automatic OS and software updates to reduce the risk of data exposure.

Anti-Malware protection

As security threats are likely to come from anywhere starting with visiting malicious websites or opening an unknown attachment, it’s worth protecting your system against malware attacks. A starter pack would include a powerful firewall solution that will guard the incoming traffic to filter and block unwanted requests, and the anti-virus software to scan the existing and new files, putting them in quarantine in case of any suspicious matches.

Utilize the minimum privilege model

According to stats shared by Varonis, on average, 17% of sensitive files are accessible to all employees in the organization. It contributes to the increase in the number of successful internal breaches. That’s why it’s recommended to use the minimum privilege model and grant employees access only to the files that can help them in performing their everyday duties.

BYOD audit

If you allow employees to work from their personal devices, make sure that their laptops and PCs meet the security requirements (e.g. the latest OS  version, only licensed up-to-date software, and sufficient disk encryption). Some less tech-savvy users may not be able to do everything on their own, thus having a specialist to conduct the audit and helping to install all the necessary components is highly recommended. 

Take care of Passwords

Adopt the strong password policy within your Active directory by setting up the password strength requirements, and maximum password age, so that employees change their passwords regularly, and schedule automatic cleanup of unused accounts. Whenever there’s such an opportunity replace passwords with passphrases, as they are easier to remember than passwords, yet harder to guess by brute-force systems that are working only for password combinations.

It’s worth noting that data protection is not something that is done once and for good. As the technology evolves, there appear new ways for hackers to penetrate into your system. Thus, performing a regular security audit following the above mentioned points will help you to keep your data protected.

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