According to ICASA’s Global zCybersecurity Status Report of 2015, only 38% of global organisations claim that they’re adequately prepared to handle a sophisticated cyber attack. That statistic is worrying in its own right, but it takes on even more urgency when you look at the context surrounding it: cybercrime is on the rise worldwide, with nearly 40% more incidents reported in 2015 than 2014. To make matters worse, the reported incidents are the proverbial tip of the iceberg, with an almost 100% increase in unreported security breaches last year. All things considered, cybercrime resulted in an estimated half a billion exposed identities in 2015.
But what most organisations don’t realise is that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to protect yourself from data security threats – there’s a lot that you can do to minimise the amount of risk your organisation faces by simply adjusting your business processes. In this blog, we’ll take a look at four easy and affordable ways to give your organisation’s data security a leg-up.
1. Make sure you’ve got your basics covered
Some data security best practices go without saying – or almost without saying – as it’s worth mentioning some of them here:
- Changing passwords often
- Using unique passwords for different accounts
- Firewalling wireless and wired access points
- Installing anti-malware and antivirus systems on endpoints and servers
- Restricting access to company data from personal accounts
- Managing security on BYOD devices
- Destroying old hard drives when disposing of old computer equipment
There are many more examples of foundational data security practices, but this should give you a good idea. While these should be obvious to anyone, relatively few organisations explicitly mention these as part of their data best practices.
2. Educate your workforce on the importance of data security
While it’s important to have the basics covered from an organisational point of view, the principal threat to data security in many organisations is, unfortunately, their workforce. Of course, that doesn’t mean your staff is consciously trying to sabotage you. In the overwhelming majority of cases, lack of education is to blame. Make sure your staff understand the chief causes of data security breaches, how these impact their job responsibilities, and how they can reduce the amount of data security risk your organisation faces in their personal capacities.
3. Implement data security measures in your culture and processes
As we touched on in the first point, implementing data security measures as part of standard operating procedures is an effective way to ensure that the foundational aspects of data security are accounted for. Even if you’re running a business of fewer than 10 people, it pays to think big when it comes to data security. According to Cisco’s 2016 Annual Security Report, only 29% of SMEs use standard tools like configuration and patching to safeguard against data breaches; down from 39% in 2015. This means that one in three small enterprises is exposing the entirety of their company data to cybercrime.
4. Invest in an offsite backup solution
Even the most disaster-ready IT environments can still fall victim to an unforeseen data security threat. It’s an unfortunate fact of business in the digital era. That’s where offsite backup solutions come in. Regularly backing up critical data to the cloud means you can restore your data even if every device in your office fails. Off-site backup also means your data gets backed up without disrupting operations in your office. Just like a cloud storage solution syncs in the background, your data will be backed up without you even realising it, leaving you to worry about more important issues. Additionally, implementing off-site backup means your data is safe from physical disasters, such as theft and fires.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive data security and hosting solution, PowerNet can help. Find out more about our off-site backup services and what they mean for your organisation’s data security.