Data Security For Small Businesses

Sooner or later, once you start a business you need to face issues regarding data storage. It is better to think about this beforehand in your business plan instead of keeping it as an afterthought. As time goes by you will accumulate a large number of staff and clients. If your system is hacked, you face exposure of your financial information and also information regarding your clients and employees. There are also large costs incurred during data loss. Therefore, data security is an essential part of managing a business.

There are many causes of security breaches such as unintended disclosure where someone inadvertently exposes confidential information, malware, employees who intentionally leak information for personal gain or malicious intent, lost or stolen paper documents and mobile devices such as laptops, flash drives, CDs, smartphones etc. You can safeguard your network against hacking by using intrusion prevention system software. There can also be strict policies regarding disclosure of sensitive information when it comes to employees.

You should first identify what type of information you have and which parts of it are sensitive. The locations of such sensitive information have to be kept secure whether it is on computers, servers or hard copies. This sensitive data has to be processed and isolated. The fewer locations you have, the fewer chances of exposure. Therefore, you need to separate this data from the rest of your storage and networks. If you have a large company, it is up to you to determine who gets to access which data. An employee should only be able to access information that is pertinent to their workload within the company. Therefore, it is wise to restrict access to certain information. This goes for client access as well.

When regarding location of the sensitive data, some businesses opt to store them on remote servers on the internet or use cloud computing. This negates the need to store data on a personal computer or local server. But there are some risks regarding cloud computing. This is why cloud security services are highly recommended. Another way of safeguarding your data is the use of encryption. There are many methods of encryption as well regarding applications, databases etc. Your data can be lost while it is in transit as well. In this case, a Secure Sockets Layer or SSL can be used for its protection. Visit this link to find out more details regarding cloud security services.

When it comes to your employees, you should conduct thorough background checks to ensure that they will not disclose sensitive information. You need to get at least two references for your employees. Check with their former employers to get an idea of their work and reliability. You can also check for criminal records. You need a good privacy policy for the company in order to protect sensitive data. Nowadays, the release of confidential information over social media platforms has become a big risk. If employees are able to access these sites at work, make sure your policy dictates a clear separation between their personal and work life. People let things slip inadvertently so it is best to monitor their public online exchanges for confidential content.