Data Protection – 6 Simple Steps to Effective Data Security

Effective data security will forever be a moving target. Whenever security professionals plug a known breach, bad actors are already working to create the next exploit. Total security relies on many different factors working together and a single failure could expose your entire IT system to risk. Here are six data protection steps to ensure your information remains effectively secured.

1. Protect the Entire Network

Almost every company today uses a network to share and distribute information quickly, via emails, network drives, applications, and business workflows, as well as printing or scanning documents. Modern MFPs (Multifunction Printers) run on advanced software, making it a target for physical exploits.

Advanced firmware scanning on the MFP and automatic quarantine feature alleviate some of these risks. The entire network will also benefit from a threat protection solution that includes a firewall, regular endpoint scanning (including printers), network data encryption, and monitoring the activity or behavior of users.

2. Train Employees and Affiliates in Security Awareness

Human curiosity (or naivety if you like) remains the number one way scammers gain access to your data. A single erroneous click on an email attachment can wreak havoc to your companies protected information. Training employees (and other affiliates) in how to spot, block, and report phishing attempts will sheer up the security of the entire organization.

3. Create Physical Data Security Controls

Wifi routers (similar to printers) provide an easy way to hide threats throughout your network. Authentication controls and strong passwords will ensure your access points remain secure. Similarly, you’ll want to establish a pull to print process for all physical documents that contain sensitive information. This requires employees to enter a pin code or swipe an access card at the printer before a job is processed.

4. Include Backup, Recovery, and Business Continuity Policies

You may only detect a threat long after it gained access to your data. Ensuring regular backups, automatic recovery, or advanced business continuity processes (such as data replication) allows you to roll back to a specific point in time. That can limit the impact of the breach, as well as allow you to audit any subsequent changes made to the data.

5. Use Password Management Services

Forcing employees to change passwords regularly may actually create more risk than it mitigates. Staff may resort to writing down the passwords, or storing them in text files. It also applies when there are many different application passwords that staff needs to remember. Implementing a password management solution like LastPass will guarantee user access information remains protected.

6. Off-site Data Center Solutions

Storing all company information in a secure data center is one of the easiest ways to achieve effective data protection. Data centers provide network security, data recovery, encryption, and advanced threat scanning, as well as physical access controls at the facility. Hosted solutions also reduce your overhead, leaving your information security in the hands of dedicated IT professionals.

Contact IntegriTech for more information on how to remain productive while also improving the information security at your company.

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