5 Tips for Keeping Your Business Data Secure
Nowadays, everyone wants to use their personal mobile devices for business and convenience. This poses a huge risk caused by the theft and loss of confidential data. This is compounded by exposure outside of the office environment and the increasing volume of devices including laptops, tablets and smart phones. News stories testify to the real threats from data breaches to hacking scandals. There are some simple methods to reduce this risk however and today we wanted to share some of these.
1. Password Protection
Cyber-crime business events often start by checking that everyone uses a four-digit pin password on their smartphone. Default passwords on all devices and networks should be changed both inside and outside the office. Automated programmes can easily hack single dictionary words. Longer passwords are better, which include upper and lower case, as well as numbers and other characters. Use multiple passwords together with a password manager to help remember them. Always log out of accounts and use misleading password hints.
2. Keep Data in the Cloud
Unless you work for a large organisation, data is often more securely kept by a reputable service provider in the Cloud. Being off-site means that the business data can be accessed from anywhere and usually from multiple devices, after losing your device due to theft or malfunction. Cloud computing companies build their reputations on security against hackers and natural disasters. Having your information safety stored away from your device means that you can activate remote data wipes for your mobile phone.
3. Data Encryption
The data kept on your mobile devices can be a valuable tradable commodity, whether it is confidential competitive knowledge or financial information. Scrambling the data by encryption will prevent access to the information through physical or virtual theft. Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, will scramble data automatically. Otherwise, third party encryption software can be added.
4. Software Updates
It is important to ensure that regular software and application updates on all business computing devices. These will ensure that any current security issues are prevented as well as often adding new features to their use. As hackers turn their attention to mobile devices, security software is useful to install and update, now that these devices are being used for business data and financial transactions.
5. Secure Connections
In public places, WiFi should be turned off when not in use. Applications, such as email, may be accessed through HTTPS rather than HTTP, as seen in the browser’s address bar. Options for network discovery, file sharing and print sharing should be turned off. In Windows Control Panel, this is found under the Internet and Network section or via System Preferences and Sharing for Macs. Similarly, Bluetooth should be turned off when not in use and security measures activated, such as hiding usernames. Setting up Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) will ensure secure access to shared data by small groups of employees.
The steps above will provide a good level of security and peace of mind, together with ensuring that portable devices are kept hidden when not in use.