Data breaches occur when hackers and malware such as computer viruses succeed in breaching the security infrastructure of an individual or business and exposed the sensitive data stored in the latter’s computers or servers.
Back in 2020, remote workers comprised 20 percent of all victims of data breaches, identity and bulk data theft and sale, ransomware, and network breaches. Even big-name companies and federal agencies with supposedly top-tier cybersecurity infrastructures were not spared: Microsoft, General Electric, NASA, DOD DISA, T-Mobile, and Nintendo were among the hapless victims of cyberattacks last year.
If you own or manage a business, you should be aware of the various consequences of even a single cyberattack. It could lead to loss of revenue and intellectual property, online vandalism, and irreparable damage to your business’ reputation. The effects of such an attack on your business could be so devastating that it would be next to impossible to bounce back from it.
Here are some tips to protect your business’ sensitive data from cyberattacks:
Encrypting your critical data is now easier than ever with readily available encryption tools available for both Apple and Windows operating systems. These encryption programs can protect emails and computer hard drives against possible cyberattacks so you can focus on running your business instead of worrying about your data security.
Periodic/Automatic Backup and Installation of Recovery Software
There are cases when data stored on physical hard drives and cloud servers are unwittingly compromised. If such a thing happens to your data, it could be devastating enough to bring your business down. As such, you should invest in software that can periodically or automatically backup and recover data.
With this, you could enjoy 24/7 data protection even without physically watching over your computers or servers.
Many data breaches occur due to malware that infiltrates computer systems and compromises data stored in them. Malicious software is a collective term for worms, trojan horses, spyware, and other software designed to damage computers. You can easily prevent malware by installing anti-malware protection such as those from Kaspersky, Avast, and AVG. There are free and paid versions of these, so you have to choose which one to download and install on your computers.
Some cases of data breach happen due to irresponsible or careless online habits of computer users, like clicking on suspicious email links or accessing unsafe websites. There are also instances when improper handling of computer hardware and peripherals such as flash drives and external hard drives lead to unauthorized access to sensitive company data.
One way to avoid these scenarios is to orient your employees on proper computer use, both online and offline. You can invite a computer security expert or tap your in-house IT personnel to conduct a quick lecture on your employees.
This simple step will go a long way in preventing or at least minimizing potential data breaches.
Hardware and Password Protection
Another easy trick to protect your important data is to activate two-factor authentication and install passcodes on your official social media or email accounts. You should also consider using a password manager if you don’t want the hassle of memorizing or inputting different passwords each time you access your accounts.
With a password manager, you only need to memorize and use a single password for all of your online accounts, which will make life easier for you.
A firewall is essential in blocking spyware, viruses, and programs used by hackers to infiltrate computer systems to gain access to sensitive data. You may choose between software firewalls and hardware-based firewalls depending on your budget and needs. But, given a choice, opt for the latter as it offers better protection for your computer system.
Regular Security Updates
Updates from operating systems are there for practical reasons and not mere decorations. As such, you should never skip on those prompts, no matter how inconvenient they may seem. Those updates are rolled out to address system vulnerabilities and install patches that help improve protection against malware and other tools used in cyberattacks.
If you want excellent protection and privacy each time you connect to wi-fi, you should use a virtual private network (VPN). This security tool encrypts data being sent and received by a user to and from websites. If you’re connecting to public wi-fi, using a VPN is a must if you don’t want your data to be compromised in any way.
With these tips, securing your business’s data from potential cyberattacks or data breaches should be easier.
Pearl M. Kasirye is a writer at Kemistri.co, editor, and researcher who spends most of her time reading. When she isn’t reading or working, she can be found sitting on her balcony writing her own novels or traveling.