In 2021, about half of Canadian SMBs were affected by data breaches, with the average cost of a data breach being around $6.75 million. This statistic shows that protecting your data from potential threats is more critical than ever. One way to do this is by investing in a business VPN.
If you’re unfamiliar with a business VPN, it’s a Virtual Private Network that provides a secure, encrypted connection between your devices and the internet. This is important because it helps to keep your data safe from online threats like hackers and malware.
A business VPN can be an excellent investment for companies of all sizes. Here are some benefits of having a business VPN.
A massive global shift to remote working environments has created an open season for cybercriminals. No business – big or small – is safe. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) seemingly have a target on their backs, so strengthening your company’s security posture is essential right now.
There are ways to protect business data against cyber attacks. Here are nine tips to help your business boost
resilience to cyber attacks:
1. Conduct a security risk assessment
Understand the most critical threats to your business, like system failures, natural disasters, and malicious human actions, and determine the impact they may have on your company.
2. Train your employees
Conduct employee awareness training across your workforce to educate users on common scams and phishing techniques. Also, because cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, ensure your training curriculum is relevant and updated frequently.
3. Use multiple layers of protection
Implement a password policy that requires strong passwords and monitor your employee accounts for breach intel through technologies to ensure your network and endpoints are not vulnerable to attacks. Consider mandatory multifactor authentication, ongoing network monitoring, and hard drive encryption.
4. Keep software up to date
Unpatched or out-of-date software will allow some kind of threat to breach your security. Cybercriminals exploit software vulnerabilities using a variety of tactics to gain access to computers and data. Managed service providers (MSPs) can automate this for businesses like yours with a remote monitoring and management tool. Don’t forget to keep your mobile phones up to date as well.
5. Create straightforward cybersecurity policies
Write and distribute clear rules and instructions on cybersecurity practices for employees. This will vary from business to business but may include policies on social media use, bring your own device (BYOD), authentication requirements, and more.
6. Back up your data
Daily (or more frequent) backups are a requirement to recover from data corruption or loss resulting from security breaches. Consider using a data protection tool with your MSP help that takes incremental data backups periodically throughout the day to prevent data loss.
7. Enable uptime
Choose a powerful data protection solution that enables the “instant recovery” of data and applications. 92% of MSPs report that clients using business continuity disaster recovery (BCDR) products are less likely to experience significant downtime from ransomware and are back up and running quickly. Application downtime can significantly impact a business’s ability to generate revenue.
8. Know where your data resides
The more places data exists, the more likely it is that unauthorized individuals will be able to access it. Use data discovery tools to find and appropriately secure data. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications that allow for corporate control of data.
9. Control access to computers
Each access point poses an individual risk, so limited employee access to specific data they need to perform their jobs. Plus, administrative privileges should only be given to trusted staff. Partnering with a managed service provider will alleviate your cybersecurity concerns. Working with an MSP will give you access to quality advice on what technologies you need to protect your organization in the fight against cybercrime.
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Ensuring data privacy for your business is one of the most prominent challenges organizations face nowadays, but it’s also one of the easiest to implement a plan for. You can’t permanently eliminate the risk of internal or external threats, but you can create a data protection strategy that helps keep everyone involved protected.
Read on to learn how to do precisely that.
Why Is Having a Data Protection Strategy Important?
Having a reliable way to protect the data that your business encounters is essential to building trust with your customers. When you have a solid plan, you demonstrate trustworthiness, transparency, and integrity. Those three components are vital to building a solid rapport with your clientele.
An essential part of creating a strategy is the components needed to ensure its success.
1. Explore Your Business’s Data Map
The first step to developing a data protection strategy is mapping how data travels to and from your business system.
That means determining where your current data exists, who has access to it, and who holds control of that access. You may have one person who handles this data or an entire department, but mapping out the process will simplify your entire data map, meaning consistency on your end.
2. Identify Risks
Once you’ve mapped out your business’s data, the next step is to evaluate potential risks.
As you go through this process, you will likely notice inefficiencies and weaknesses in your overall data structure. Identifying them allows you to understand your system’s vulnerabilities and then take steps to respond to those threats.
This can be done through data loss prevention, tightening up data access management, encryption protocols, and learning to anticipate potential threats.
3. Know Your Priorities
Next, what are your priorities? Look at your company’s weakest links and move those to the top of this list.
Having a decent idea of what your company’s security requirements look like is also essential. This will depend on the sort of data your business stores and processes, which will differ from industry to industry.
Some areas might have regulations you must follow, so it’s essential to conduct thorough research or hire a professional to help you with this step. If you have a legal department, you can also turn to them for help.
4. Start With Privacy
A few basic things you should include are:
Basic data privacy principles
Definition of roles and their different responsibilities
How your company goes about these procedures will depend on its day-to-day tasks, but it should at least include some standard practices that your employees regularly carry out.
5. Get Organized
It’s also crucial to figure out which teams are going to have access to the most sensitive data as soon as possible so they can be educated on the process and also so they can be given a chance to help create the process. This isn’t essential, but it’s something you might find effective throughout the creation process.
6. Initiate Data Protection
Once you know the parties involved in your data protection plan, the next step is educating them on the plan itself.
You can hire or appoint an internal team to educate staff or bring in an outside professional to get the job done for you. While most of your employees will only need an understanding of the basics, some teams like your IT staff, cyber security team, legal, HR, and auditors will need specialist training that might be best suited for an expert.
7. Monitoring and Compliance
Once you have your data protection strategy in place, it’s time to take steps to ensure that your data remains protected. That means continuous monitoring for compliance risks and chances of improvement.
If your business carries out annual risk assessments, including data privacy in this plan is a great idea. Continuous monitoring is essential for ensuring internal and external compliance, and it helps you remain trustworthy in the eye of your clients.
This can be done through an occasional re-evaluation of who has access to sensitive data and regular security checks to ensure no holes are left unplugged.
Ready to Implement Your Own Data Protection Strategy?
Now that we’ve walked you through the process, are you ready to build your data protection strategy? However, ensuring you have the best technology at your disposal is essential. That’s where we come in.
At Hemi IT Solutions, our biggest priority is helping you stay connected and productive throughout the workday; that effort shows in every step of our process.
Let Hemi IT Solutions help you set up a Data Protection Strategy!
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance study, 60% of hacked businesses go out of business within six months. The vast majority of damage done in cyber attacks is due to the inability of the company to respond because they have not developed a cyber prevention and response strategy. Think about it. We practice fire drills; shouldn’t we do the same to prepare for risk with similar catastrophic consequences? If your e-commerce system, website, email, or customer data was suddenly inaccessible because of an attack, would you be able to get back up and running within minutes, hours, days, or at all? That depends on your business’s level of cyber resilience.Continue reading →