One of the biggest issues facing today’s companies is preparing for and preventing data breaches. When a company’s sensitive data is compromised, it can have long-lasting consequences. At best, the breach can set work back months and create a sense of mistrust with their customers. At worst, the company might go out of business altogether from the financial and reputational damages.
While you can’t fully eliminate all risks of a breach, there are ways to reduce the chances of one occurring. Below, five members of Young Entrepreneur Council discuss some approaches businesses can take to help avoid data breaches.
1. Use A Virtual Private Network
It’s relatively easy to protect yourself and your organization from data breaching using a few simple steps. Use a VPN whenever traveling or using WiFi, especially free public WiFi, and encrypt all traffic. Use a strong password manager and do not re-use passwords. Finally, control all network access. – Matthew Gibson, Flewid Inc.
2. De-Identify Your Data And Only Collect What You Need
To prevent data breaching, de-identify your data and use encrypted data transmission. Reduce the volume of data you collect and retain only what is critical. Lock physical records containing sensitive information in a secure location, and destroy storage units, whether paper or digital (CDs). You should also use an authentication ID system and security software. – Zahra Timsah, AMCL
3. Require Two-Factor Authentication For All Employee Accounts
We require two-factor authentication on all accounts used by our team. If a particular software has an option to enforce two-factor authentication on account sign up, we enable it. If a software tool we use does not have an enforcement option, then we have a process internally to make sure all employee accounts have two-factor authentication enabled before being put to active use. – Jordan Gurrieri, Blue Label Labs
4. Find A Third-Party Software That Suits Your Needs
In the majority of cases, data breaches should not be your problem. The majority of businesses that are concerned with data breaches have received bad advice to invest in custom software solutions that are expensive to build and just as costly to maintain. Nearly every single problem can be solved with existing third-party software, so make sure you’re not complicating your life unnecessarily. – Ryan Meghdies, Tastic Marketing Inc.
5. Train Your Staff And Have A Response Plan
Studies show that employees open suspicious emails every day that have the potential to download viruses. We regularly train our staff about employee security awareness and the response plan. We also require all employees change their password every three months and do not work with applications that are less secure or do not require additional verification steps. – Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs