Are you a smaller business that’s short on resources for complex data protection measures and a dedicated security team? Even if your IT department consists of a single employee, there are a number of things your company can do to better protect its data.
1. Set Up Solid Security Policies
Take steps to put robust processes and procedures in place that will reduce the odds of a security breach. These can include:
- restricting employee access to sensitive files,
- prohibiting downloads of any kind onto the company network (including non-approved software or apps), and
- mandating that employees store all files on the company server – rather than on local drives – since sharing files on common drives means managing only one security firewall instead safeguarding multiple thresholds
You may even want to consider moving all or part of your business to the cloud at some point. After all, doing away with company servers in favour of cloud-based file storing and sharing facilities comes with a wide range of benefits.
2. Implement Staff Training
Adopting staff training strategies is essential when it comes to reducing security risk. Your business may have basic protection procedures in place, but if your employees don’t understand what a simple phishing scheme is, those policies aren’t going to be very effective.
One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is assuming staff know better than to click on unsolicited email attachments or potentially infected links. Don’t assume – educate! Teaching your employees about data security plays a key role in your defense against malware and viruses.
3. Update Your Hardware Regularly
Frequent computer hardware upgrades let your business make the most of the latest and greatest in data security. Better than software-based programs alone, hardware security offers a higher level of vulnerability protection that’s built directly into many physical devices.
Common hardware security features, like firewalls and proxy servers, scan computer systems and monitor network traffic. But some equipment (like the Hardware Security Module) is capable of more advanced protection in the form of encryption, decryption, and authentication.
Whichever security upgrade you choose, be sure to maximize the value of your refreshed hardware assets through ITAD engagement with a reputable company like Quantum.
4. Have a Plan for Electronics Disposal
While it’s not uncommon for many businesses to decommission equipment, stick it in a back room, and forget all about it, there’s a significant downside to this approach:
- Letting obsolete equipment sit for months, or even years on end, can mean losing track of where these assets have gone.
- Allowing electronics to age out decreases their end-of-life value. A 3-year-old computer is going to be worth more from a recycling point of view than a 5-year-old computer, for example.
- In terms of protecting your data, the longer an abandoned device sits unattended, the less certain you can be that it hasn’t been accessed – especially if you don’t take steps to secure that device while it’s stored.
When the time comes to dispose of your end-of-life electronics, you need a plan that extends beyond just letting them sit and gather dust – a plan that includes partnering with a data destruction specialist. Quantum not only guarantees your business data will be gone for good but we can often pick up your electronics for free.
5. Hire a Trustworthy Data Destruction Company
It’s vital that your business engages an approved company like Quantum to manage and handle its data destruction. Why? Because only choosing a service provider with the right certifications guarantees they’re qualified to deal with both the physical (shredding) and logical (wiping) destruction of your data.
Quantum is R2-certified, as well as a proud member of NAID Canada (the national association of companies that specialize in secure information destruction). So while protecting your data starts with your business, it should end by giving Quantum a call.