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8 simple steps you can perform today to protect your data

While it is possible to protect your data today, that is not a guarantee it will be safe and secure tomorrow.

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Before you can begin to fully protect your data or even begin to understand the fundamentals of a cyber-extortion attack, you have an idea of the data you have and how much you have of it.

A full data inventory is going to give you a much better idea of the amount of data you actually have at risk of being lost, and what impact it would have on your business. 

When you have identified your business data, there are a number of essential questions you should ask yourself: 

  • What actual do we have? 
  • Where is it stored? 
  • Who has access to this particular data? 
  • Where did the data originate from? 
  • What is the scope of the data? 
  • What quality is the data? 
  • Does it contain test data? 

A data inventory will allow you the opportunity to identify the data sources that are available and what format the data is available in.

Offering a complete view of all your data sources, will allow for an accurate prioritization analysis to be completed. 

Create Data Backups 

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The vast majority of businesses have their critical files backed up on a secondary storage device or the cloud that is not able to be stolen or compromised easily.

In fact, a number of businesses will back up every type of file regardless of how unimportant it may seem at the time. 

However, a good number of smaller businesses will not have the computer power or bandwidth to handle such daily operations if the regular network should go down or become compromised.

You will want to investigate your current system and decide what would happen to your organization should the computer network come under a full-scale attack. 

Teaching Employees To Spot Phishing Scams 

It is essential that all employees are trained to understand and spot modern phishing scams on a daily basis.

It is important that IT security threats are understood by all employees as it is easy for any employee to download the wrong program or enter user information into a scam website. 

All employees need to be able to identify common dangerous file attachments, sites, and scams. Otherwise, it is possible for your own employees to unlock the doors and allow the attackers entry. 

Employee Background Checks 

It is important to ensure that employees do not have criminal records, especially if these are cyber-related.

If there is something within their background check that simply does not sit well, it is best to get a second opinion before hiring them. 

Once you have hired a new employee, you will want them to fully understand the right way to use computers and networks, as well a low clearance to secure data. 

The Importance Of Antivirus and Firewalls 

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Image: PCMag

It is even more essential today to have the correct security measures in places such as anti-malware, antivirus, and firewalls.

It is essential that every aspect of the network is safe and secure including the cloud, emails, and any other program that is using the internet. 

Take the time to research various products that are going to help secure your data and meet your needs. 

Patches and Updates 

When a piece of software announces a new update or patch, it is essential that those are installed as soon as possible. This is especially true of any security patches that are released. 

When these types of updates are announced, hackers will begin to seek out any exploits that might be available as not all businesses are going to install them upon release. You do not want to fall into that security hole. 

Seek Out Data Breach and Intrusion Detection Software 

Many businesses and people, in general, feel that all they need is a firewall and antivirus to stay safe, however, there are a number of other programs that can greatly decrease the threat of a cyber-attack. 

Data breach software is intended to help keep your data secure, whereas intrusion detection will help to alert any unauthorized access. You will want to take the time and search for good IDS software for added protection for the system. 

Full Protection 

When your system is fully protected with firewalls, antivirus, SIEM tools, you want to ensure that everything is working correctly. This is where an outside company can be hired to actually try and attack your system! 

If they are able to gain entry, your defenses have failed and they need to be upgraded. Even if they are unable to gain access, you still want to remain vigilant.

While it is possible to protect your data today, that is not a guarantee it will be safe and secure tomorrow.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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