Hardly a week has gone by in 2016 so far without a story of a company, website or organisation being hacked or having data stolen hitting the news. This week the main headline has regarded apps from Chinese internet giants Baidu leaking the personal data of millions’ of users.
Any company with an online presence or a technological dent then, must surely have a fear of data loss and data breached at the forefront of their minds when it comes to their cyber-security considerations. It is only right that that fear should occupy their attention too, as an industry study from the Diffusion Group brings the potential damage caused by such data losses into sharp focus.
The Potential Damage Caused by Data Loss
The aforementioned industry study revealed that within two years of suffering a significant data loss, an astonishing 72% of businesses were forced to shut up shop and cease operations. That startling statistic is explained by the sheer cost of a significant loss, which can see the firm having to shell out a great deal of money to recoup the data lost, repair the breach and potential also to pay compensation to customers and fines to authorities for improper data management.
What’s arguably even more damaging however, is the impact that such a breach can have on a company’s reputation, with customers whose information may have been lost or stolen unlikely to ever trust the firm fully again.
With the frequency of such breaches ever increasing therefore, and the damage they can do so significant, the following tips for guarding against them could just be crucial to the future of your business.
Hints and Tips for Guarding Against Breaches
First and foremost, it is key for every small, medium sized or large businesses to have effective virus and malware protection, as well as strong firewalls in place across the board.
This may sound fundamental and obvious but a good number of companies fall down in this regard in numerous ways. All of the anti-virus or firewall software needs to be robust, reliable and most importantly up to date, as this is the only way to protect against the ever evolving array of malevolent software which might target your systems. What’s more, your business needs to have that same level of security software in place across the board and for all devices. If your workforce use mobile devices to access systems or carry out their work after all, viruses, malware and the like is more than capable of exploiting that channel to access your data.
As well as having that robust software protection, it is also crucial for your company to enact good cyber-security practices. That means doing things like regularly changing passwords and continually considering the security of documents you may be sending or transmitting digitally for instance. Passwords related to sensitive information should be changed most frequently and all passwords should be altered at least every two to three months. A document format such as PDF meanwhile, can be far more secure than others as a PDF document can be easily encrypted and password protected.
Finally, it is also vital for any company to educate and train their staff in those cyber-security best practices. Staff across your organisation need to understand the importance of maintaining a company’s cyber-security even if it means devoting extra time and effort, and creating formal data protection policies and associated documentation can help in this regard.
Following this simple guidance, your firm can significantly reduce the risk of damaging data loss or data breaches. For more in-depth advice and assistance with cyber-security and much more besides, all you need do is get in touch with the dedicated experts at EC-MSP today.