5 useful measures you can take to improve data security in your business

No matter what size your firm, data security is crucial and should be one of your top priorities.

According to government figures from the 2023 cyber security breaches survey, 32% of all businesses experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the past year. Of those surveyed, 59% of medium-sized businesses and 69% of large businesses said they’d been affected.

The good news is that the same report suggests that the most common cyber threats tend to be relatively unsophisticated. As such, it may be simpler than you might think to ensure you’ve taken appropriate measures to protect your business and client data.

So, read on for five steps you can take to increase data security in your business, before it’s too late.

1. Implement a company password policy

A relaxed approach to passwords is likely to cause your team to use simple, generic, and easy-to-hack passwords. Unfortunately, this will bleed into the critical areas where you’re storing sensitive and valuable client data.

A company-wide password policy can help ensure the use of strong passwords throughout your business. It’s also among the easiest things you can do to help thwart an attack.

Experts recommend using reasonably complex passwords – short phrases or three random but memorable words or series of numbers can make passwords harder to crack. Ideally, passwords should also be changed at least every 90 days.

Finally, make sure you adopt a secure way of storing passwords. There are loads of apps available for this, including 1Password that is excellent and very easy to use.

2. Update your hardware and software programs regularly

Most computers will make it known when they require an update – put it off too long and you can guarantee that something will malfunction, forcing you to down tools and install updates when it’s least convenient.

Making sure your computer is updated regularly, and that you’re using the latest available software, can help you stay adequately protected.

Hackers constantly adapt and adjust to exploit known weaknesses, so if you have special security applications, it’s even more crucial to ensure they are up to date.

3. Install antivirus software on every computer and device

Very few internet-connected devices are immune from viruses. So, investing in appropriate antivirus software should be high on your cyber security to-do list.

There are many competitors in the space, so you’ll need to shop around for the right one for your company. It may be worth paying for software that can be used on multiple devices – so you can ensure that company phones are also protected.

4. Back up your data regularly

Apart from adding much-needed security for your files, a rigorous and religious approach to backups can help you to handle everything from accidental file deletion to a complete ransomware lockdown.

For a proper belt and braces approach, make sure your backup data is stored in a separate and secure, remote location.

5. Encrypt sensitive data

Encrypting your business’s most sensitive data can offer a whole lot of peace of mind – to you and your clients.

Ideally, you should consider encrypting complete hard drives. Once a stolen drive is plugged into a different PC, a thief will be able to access all its contents. Ensuring proper encryption will make this impossible so while you may lose your device, the content will remain safe and out of harm’s way.

Make security everyone’s responsibility

Everyone in your business is responsible for keeping data secure. It needs to be a mindset that’s ingrained because hackers and scammers are always seeking areas of weakness that they can easily breach.

If one person fails to abide by the security needs of the firm, your business is exposed – and it only takes one weak link. So, take the time to make sure that everyone on the team knows that data security is everyone’s job, and should be taken seriously.

Get in touch

While we do much more to help you secure your data, we can help you secure your future.

So, if you’re looking to sell your financial advice firm and want the support of experienced professionals throughout the process, please get in touch.

Email hello@melo.co.uk or call 0113 4656 111.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.


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