Billions of people were affected by cyberattacks and data breaches in 2018, which led to tens of millions of dollars in damages. According to Positive Technologies, a digital security firm, cyberattacks were up 47% in the April-June period of last year compared to the same period in 2017.
With data breaches and cyberattacks becoming more frequent than ever, data security is becoming a top priority for businesses. Here are five ways they are keeping their data safe and secure.
1. Secure Networks
Businesses are taking steps to ensure that their networks are secure. Systems are outfitted with firewall and antivirus software that’s updated regularly. Email services have filters turned on and configured properly to minimize threats.
Businesses are also paying more attention to their Wi-Fi networks. It’s common for businesses to offer free Wi-Fi to customers or visitors, but because these networks are public, company data can be at risk if system computers share the same network.
For this reason, many businesses now have two Wi-Fi networks. One is for the company’s use, and this network is hidden and encrypted. The other one is for customer and visitor use. The customer network still has a password (which is updated daily) to protect users, but is less secure than the company network.
2. Protecting All Devices
All devices used for customer business should be protected. Along with anti-virus software, businesses are using VPNs (virtual private networks) to keep their data secure. They’re also requiring company devices to have a six-digit passcode and biometric authentication when possible.
Biometric authentication systems make it extremely difficult for criminals to access data if they steal an employee’s device.
Many businesses also take advantage of automatic software updates, which ensure all company devices have the most up-to-date versions of anti-virus and firewall software. This minimizes the risks of a cybercriminal exploiting a security hole that could put your information at risk.
3. Cloud Storage
Cloud storage allows businesses to store their information online with a third-party provider. The data is accessible from anywhere and at any time. This makes the data more secure against fraudsters, and it also protects data from burglary or fire.
4. Clear Company Policies
Digital security is now becoming a part of company policies. When hiring new employees, many businesses are including specific language related to confidential data while working for the company and upon leaving the company.
Compliance training is also becoming a part of company culture. Employees are regularly trained on how to handle sensitive information. HR departments are also working with IT departments when backing up company devices and wiping them clean when needed.
5. A Security Culture
For many companies, data security is a part of company culture. IT departments are developing cybersecurity programs in which employees are cleared to access and/or use data at different levels. If an employee accesses a certain file that he or she is not supposed to access, the company is alerted and action can be taken.
When security becomes a part of company culture, employees have an incentive and a desire to keep data safe.