[This article was written by Craig Middleton.]
Regardless of how large or small your business is, data security is an essential concept to think about and to plan for. Data breaches, hacking and other concerns are most commonly associated with huge security issues in very large corporations. These events can have widespread ramifications for these corporations as well as for their customers in some cases. As a small business owner, you need to be aware of the possibility of data security issues arising, and you need to understand the ramifications that they may have for your business. Many small business owners fail to consider the importance of data security until they have already been negatively impacted by security breaches and other unfortunate events. Now is the time to bolster data security for your small business, and these important steps can help you to accomplish this goal.
Secure Your Network
The most common method that you can use to secure the data on your network is to install a solid firewall. There are different types of firewalls that you may set up on your network, so you should consider consulting with an IT professional so that you can learn about the network security options available. This professional may be able to install security features that can help you to deter a wide range of cyber attack events. Remember that your passwords also play an essential role in this. Your employees should be properly educated in the strategies and methods for selecting passwords. You should also encourage your team members to change their passwords regularly so that the risk of a breach is further reduced.
Protect Your Physical Location
While some cyber attacks use a wide range of network or firewall breach strategies, other attacks involve the physical theft of IT equipment, data files and more. You need to take considerable steps to protect your physical business location. This may include investing a solid alarm system, and this may include a video surveillance system, remote access monitoring, heat or motion sensors and more. You may also add extra security for your IT or network room. If you have very sensitive information on your equipment, it may be beneficial to keep these data files in a secure location when they are not actively being used. One idea is to store the physical data in a fireproof safe. Remember to limit which employees have access to sensitive data as well, and train each employee on the proper way to keep data secure and private. Improve lighting and locks for further security benefits.
Use the Cloud
Regardless of whether you need to save files or send large files to another party, consider the many benefits associated with cloud computing. With cloud computing, your files are stored in a secure, off-site location. There is no physical threat associated with data theft or destruction. For example, a fire in your facility will not destroy data that has been stored in the cloud. In addition, if you need to share or send files, the files will be delivered in a secure manner to the recipients who you have personally selected. More than that, cloud computing is affordable, and it gives you access to your data files from any location where you have connection to the Internet. These additional benefits make cloud computing a veritable necessity for many small business owners.
Data security issues can result in serious problems for all sizes of businesses. While this type of issue is most commonly a concern for larger businesses, small businesses must also take steps to protect data in the current business environment. While data security is essential to your small business, the good news is that there are numerous steps that you can take to improve your efforts in this area. Now is an excellent time to review your current data security efforts and weaknesses. After doing so, use these tips to improve your business’s data security efforts.
Craig has worked in small businesses and entrepreneurship for most of his professional career. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. When he isn’t writing or working at his many businesses, he’s spending time with his wife and three children.