If your company doesn’t have a data protection policy in place, you are at risk for devastating data breaches. Here’s everything a strong policy should include.
A data protection policy should implement effective cybersecurity measures across the entire company. Taking proactive, preventive steps to protect your sensitive information will save you from costly downtime, a loss of customer trust, and non-compliance fees.
Here are a few tips for stronger cybersecurity throughout your company:
- Have employees create strong passwords (a long combination of random letters and symbols) and make sure passwords are changed often. Passwords should be changed at least every three months, but if your company needs to protect a large amount of information, more frequent changes are best.
- Create backups of important business data (once a day or more is best)
- Utilize cloud storage
- Use VPNs (especially for remote workers) and firewall software
- Take steps to ensure your business website is secure (obtain an SSL certificate if your site doesn’t already have one).
Human error is a top cause of data breaches, especially with remote work structures. Therefore, educating your employees on best practices for cybersecurity should be a priority. Discuss the potential dangers of accessing company information on personal devices, as well as the risks involved in using public Wi-Fi.
If you have remote team members who like to work in coffee shops or shared public workspaces, have a clear guideline in your data protection policy for using VPNs and multi-factored authentication. Additionally, discourage employees from leaving their work devices unattended while in public spaces, or open and logged in while they’re away.
Emphasize that only they should have access to company files and data, and that sharing access with family members or letting them use a company device is against company policy. All of these scenarios open up the opportunity for potential data breaches and theft.
You can connect with a cybersecurity company like The Baran Agency for staffing and employee training solutions.
As data and files are shared and accessed between employees, or when customers visit your website, data is actually “in transit” until it reaches its destination and becomes “at rest.” Both data in transit and data at rest are vulnerable to data breaches. Data encryption should be used to provide the best protection to your data.
Transport Layer Security (TLS), SSL certificates, and evaluating a cloud vendor’s cybersecurity measures can help make sure you’re protecting both data in transit and data at rest.
Authenticating and Authorizing Users
Authenticating and authorizing users should be another policy implemented on your company’s data protection plan. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) creates an added level of security when users are logging into their devices and company websites. MFA requires a user to provide various pieces of information before they’re granted access. Voice recognition, security questions, pins, or company badges can all be types of MFA.
Using levels of authorization can help protect a company’s most sensitive data by requiring users to be first authenticated, and then authorized to access that data.
Risk Assessments and Audits
Lastly, a data protection policy should include conducting cybersecurity assessments regularly (twice a year). Risk assessments help detect vulnerabilities in your company’s network before an issue takes place, and can help you learn where to focus your cybersecurity efforts.
Risk assessments and audits also allow you to stay proactive with data compliance regulations.
Develop a Robust Data Protection Policy with The Baran Agency
The Baran Agency can help your company not only develop and implement a data protection policy, but we also offer cyber security training services, as well as help your company prepare and respond to a data breach.
Get in touch for a free consultation.