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7 Ways for companies and contractors to keep their data safe online

As technology is evolving and becoming smarter, so are cybercriminals. Regardless of the size of the business, a simple data breach might have a crippling effect and cost a business thousands of pounds.

7 Ways for companies and contractors to keep their data safe online

With the increase of corporate data breaches, organisations are learning the importance of data protection. In many cases, small businesses can take a few simple steps and avoid financial and brand reputation loss.

In 2014, Sony’s computer systems were hacked by cybercriminals. They stole sensitive data that temporarily paralysed the operations of the company. In the next few weeks, unwanted details about the company made its way to the headlines. Hackers kept up with the threat to reveal more details unless the company pulled ‘The Interview’, a controversial film. Since then there have been many famous data breaches including British Airways and Talk Talk.

Sensitive business details are prime targets for hackers. So businesses, need to take important steps to secure their data and so do contractors that may be working on client data.

There are ways to secure your business data. Let’s take a look at 7 ways for companies and contractors to keep their data safe online:

Encryption all data

The importance of encryption cannot be stressed enough. You need to secure your company’s data. When you encrypt the data, you are primarily scrambling it so that it is all useless without a password or decrypting it. With encryption, even if someone steals or duplicates your file, it becomes difficult to compromise the data. This is because it is a jumbled mess without the code to decrypt and read it.

The best thing about encrypting is you don’t have to be a computer genius for implementing the encryption. You will find different types of tools and programs for encrypting and decrypting data. This is the reason you should encrypt everything. It is better to encrypt all files instead of selected files. So, you should encrypt your computer, laptops, smartphones, emails, USBs, and anywhere you store valuable business data.

Use a VPN

Your company can get a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to ensure the security and safety of the company data. Apart from allowing you to browse anonymously, you will be able to have various other benefits with a VPN provider and VPN service.

VPN helps you surf the internet privately and securely. It connects you to the preferred website through a virtual tunnel that is encrypted. The connection is made through a VPN server remotely located and your IP address is substituted with the server’s IP address. Therefore you can really enjoy a private browsing experience.

NordVPN teams make it feasible for you to get anonymous and hide online data. This keeps your area hidden from other people over the internet. Unlike conventional network sharing, it is easier to add new clients to a VPN. So, your employees might be spread across different areas and yet have the capacity to interact with each other. They don’t have to worry about their data being intercepted.

Back-up all data

Data breaches do not always entail stolen or duplicated data. In case a device is stolen or the entire network crashes, you can lose important data that your business relies on. This is the reason it is important that you make and store regular backups. And of course, make sure that your backup is encrypted.

Use cloud

Keeping your data or the backups of it in the cloud might appear to be a little daunting. Nevertheless, if you choose the right cloud provider, it might be a lot safer than actually keeping it on the site. Cloud computing comes with significant benefits. Cloud service providers make sure their clients enjoy intense security and backup, along with unlimited storage.

For some providers, the security layers are quite specific and so, the service only decrypts files when it is accessed by specific individuals with the relevant access. 

Pay attention to mobile data security

With time, more and more organisations are using BYOD (bring your own device) policies or are asking their employees to use their business tablets or smartphones. So, mobile data security for businesses is becoming a big concern. In case one of the devices is compromised or stolen, it can lead to the loss of all data. To make sure mobile data is safe, you have to do the following.

  • Enable device wiping and remote location in case the device gets lost or stolen.
  • Set every device to local after a certain period of inactivity.
  • Check the privacy setting on phones and applications.
  • Use passcodes or fingerprint ID for securing mobile devices.
  • Install mobile anti-malware and anti-virus software.
  • Back up the data present on mobile devices.

Educate your employees on data security

One of the major risks to data security is employee negligence. However, it is possible to overcome the risk by educating them about data security best practices. Share security policies, send security details, organise quizzes, or run seminars to make sure that your employees know how to maintain the data security of the company. They should know that they have to turn off the computer when they are not using it. Ensure that they are not clicking on the links that come from unverified sources and sign out of accounts they are not using at all times are just some of the simple measures.

Create a data fortress

Hackers and scammers are clever and sneaky. At times, they opt for a brutal cyber attack. So, they might sneak in from the backdoor in the security or operating system. They send in malware through links that appear to be legitimate and steal information from the computer. Hence, you need to make the business data network and the devices a data fortress.

Use firewalls

It is great for blocking malicious programs from getting access to your data and devices.

Update antivirus or anti-malware program

Keep the anti-virus and anti-malware running on the business devices to stop access to your files from potential and harmful external sources.

Use two-factor authentication

No matter if a passcode is sent to a physical device or a separate device, check if there is a second factor for the authentication access.

Block or disconnect microphones and webcams

Put a sticker on the webcam if it is built into the device or just disconnect it from the computer in case it is a separate device.

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