Data protection. It’s on the minds of enterprise CIOs throughout the globe. Events like the Parker Hannifin hack remind us of the importance of safeguarding personal and sensitive information. Without proper security measures in place, organizations leave themselves open to the risk of data breaches that can lead to consequences such as financial loss, reputation damage, and lawsuits.
Fortunately, organizations in all industries can keep their business data safe by following security best practices. These range from implementing control access to hiring a managed service IT provider to perform data inventories. When you invest in the right solutions, there is very little an attacker can do to gain access to your information.
Let’s look at the most effective ways to protect data in an enterprise and achieve compliance with regulatory bodies.
1. Prioritize Encryption
From encrypted USBs and hard drives to encrypting data before its transfer onto personal devices, encryption is crucial to protect customer data and safeguard confidential company information.
The best approach is to encrypt everything all the time. Software vendors like Microsoft and Apple support encryption and let users encrypt many aspects of their business, including data in transit and at rest. For remote teams, encrypt on both internal and employee devices so sensitive data isn’t accessible to outsiders.
2. Consider Enterprise VPN
With the sudden rise in remote work setups, devices started leaving the safety of company networks. Organizations have little to no control over external networks, such as an employee’s home network or airport WiFi. Since bad actors often target such networks, hiding your company’s information is imperative.
You can implement an enterprise VPN that transmits your data through a secure, encrypted tunnel. Want a quick solution? Ask your personnel to opt for a password-protect personal hotspot instead of an open public network.
3. Educate Employees
Large corporations must ensure employees at all levels are aware of potential data threats. Start by providing clear guidelines and training to those handling the most sensitive data types. This includes C-level executives, frequently targeted due to their access to high-level data.
Large organizations should implement policies that prevent C-level managers from circumventing data rules and ensure the same data protection measures are implemented across the board, not only at a certain level. You can look into data loss prevention (DLP) solutions as they serve as an effective method of access restriction and policy enforcement.
4. Delete Old Data
As much as we like to store all the data that comes into our company forever, it’s not a good information security practice. Holding onto data puts you at risk of violating privacy laws—always take note of data retention periods and other policies before deciding how long to keep sensitive data. Instead, conduct an annual data out and clear out all the old files and records that are no longer useful. The less data you store, the easier it is to manage, and the lower your data storage costs may be.
5. Create BYOD policies
Organizations embracing BYOD to improve mobility and reduce costs often neglect the potential consequences. Accessing confidential information on personal devices outside the workplace could expose the data to malicious actors. As a first step, make sure to limit the type of data employees can access on personal devices. Second, apply device control policies to ensure that only devices with a certain level of security are trusted. This control will encourage remote employees to take steps to align the security of their personal devices to the level implemented within the enterprise.
6. Hire an MSP
If your resources are tied up in other areas of your corporation, hiring a managed IT services provider is the best thing you can do to protect your data. MSPs constantly monitor their client’s data and use advanced solutions to minimize the risk of a data breach. Even when your employees leave the office, the MSP continues to look for suspicious patterns and generates reports to keep organizations updated on their systems. Also, MSPs will create backups of your data in the cloud, minimizing the chances of complete loss and ensuring business continuity even in the most difficult times.
At Summit Technology, we offer best-in-class IT support and data protection services. As a managed IT services provider, we help clients switch to a cloud-based access control system, which is much safer and simpler for companies. Confidential data is stored on a secure remote server and monitored by an experienced team. If you’re looking to hire an MSP, contact us to learn how we can help protect your sensitive data.