With major data breaches recently affecting many big businesses, data security is more important than ever. Data breaches could cost your company a huge amount of money, and also damage your company's reputation, so it's vital to establish some data security best practices to protect sensitive data and reassure customers that their private information is safe. Here are some key tips to improve data security in your organization.
1. Make a Plan
The first step in improving security in your organization is to make a data security plan. This kind of plan defines data access rules for your employees. For example, your plan may specify that a certain team of employees needs to have access to sensitive data, but it remains off-limits to other users. Your plan should also lay out clear rules regarding employees' personal devices, such as requiring everyone to use strong passwords on their smartphones and laptops. Note that you may need to update your plan as your organization grows and evolves.
2. Educate Your Employees
A plan is useless if nobody follows it. Organize training sessions where your employees can learn about the importance of data security and become familiar with the company rules. Teach them how to respond to common security risk scenarios, such as receiving an unsolicited email.
3. Store Data Securely
If you never delete data, you're unnecessarily opening your organization up to serious security risks. Set up a policy that explains which data you need to keep and which you can delete, to ensure that your company is only keeping the data it really needs.
4. Protect Mobile Devices
Mobile devices are the weak link in data security for many organizations. If you don't put suitable security policies in place, your workers could download unsafe apps that create an opportunity for hackers to steal data. Educate all your employees on the importance of mobile security and place limits on the kinds of apps they can use on devices that are connected to your company network. Check in regularly with employees to ensure they are following these policies.
5. Use Encryption
Any time you collect sensitive data from customers, such as credit card information, Social Security numbers or contact details, you must encrypt the information to protect it from hackers. Failing to use encryption to protect customer data could lead to lawsuits and fines.
Data security best practices address all potential security risks, including the risks posed by mobile devices and employees failing to follow company policy. Include training and education as part of your security plan to ensure that data stays safe in your organization.