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How to Stay Proactive with Data Security

February 06, 2017

With more business being conducted online than ever before, companies must implement a strong foundation to prevent data breaches before they happen. Hackers are prevalent, smart and they can cost you a lot of money. A recent study on data security indicates a mobile computing “mishap” costs businesses $429,000 per incident, enough to shutter some small businesses for good. Don’t make it easy for a hacker to attack your network; take these proactive steps to protect your business:

Perform a security audit. You can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken. A professional services firm can identify vulnerabilities in your network and help you shore them up.

Know where the important data is stored, and put tight controls on access. Password-protect company financial records, employee account information, and the like. Limit the number of devices on which your business stores sensitive data.

Set up a firewall and make sure your wireless network is password protected with a WPA2 encryption versus a WEP one. A firewall will be your first line of defense against a breach, and antivirus protection is your second line of defense. Make sure your antivirus and antispyware software are up to date.

Conduct data security training for staff. Educate employees on the dangers of downloading apps and software containing spyware, and teach them how to recognize spam and other warning signs.

Protect all mobile devices. Many employees work outside of the office and are susceptible to theft. Make sure they are password-protected, have data encryption protection and can be erased remotely. Also, you should use secure apps and virtualization technology to protect mobile devices when they are using WiFi connections in public places.

Come up with a disaster recovery plan. You need to back up your data continuously in the event of a disaster. Make sure to test the backup system to ensure it is working properly. POA provides backup and secure offsite data vaulting to store your information in the event of a disaster.

Use real-time monitoring. You need to know the minute a breach happens. That requires 24/7 monitoring of your firewall, router, and server. Companies often wisely outsource this service.

Be mindful of passwords. Change them quarterly, and immediately after employees leave the business or third-party vendors have been working on your network. Require every employee to have their own username and password to access, share, print, or save important documents to external media.

Invest in a multifunction printer to reduce points of access to documents. Even in the digital age, paper documents pose a significant security risk. Convert to an electronic records management system, and require passwords to access, edit, share, or print documents containing sensitive information.

Pacific Office Automation helps businesses of every industry and size protect their data. Our multifunction printers keep documents secure, and we offer a full suite of managed IT services like auditing, 24/7 monitoring, and backup recovery. Contact us today for a free workflow analysis and to find out how we can help with data security.

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