5 Ways Corporate Leaders Can Protect Their Business's Sensitive Data

5 Ways Corporate Leaders Can Protect Their Business's Sensitive Data

Indiana Lee 25/01/2023
5 Ways Corporate Leaders Can Protect Their Business's Sensitive Data

Around 15 million data records were exposed in data breaches worldwide in Q3 of 2022 alone, a 37% increase from the previous quarter.

There’s no doubt sensitive data was in these records. Having it fall into the wrong hands cost these companies money, customers, and an unblemished reputation. 

If cyber thieves and malicious attacks are growing sophisticated enough to breach this much data, company leaders must become even more refined in protecting data. 

The following practices will help you better protect your business’s sensitive data.  

Determine Security Weaknesses 

To better protect your business’s data, you must first know where you’re weak. Walk through and audit your company’s current data security systems and protocols to determine any shortcomings. 

Analyze physical and online data security to get a complete picture of what needs improvement. Use the following questions as a guide: 

  • How do you store physical documents? 

  • What about digital data? 

  • Who has access to sensitive information? 

  • What’s the process for accessing sensitive data? 

  • Have you had any data breaches?

  • If you have had a data breach, how did you recover?

  • Are employees trained on security risks and how to prevent them?

  • Do employees know what to do in the case of a data breach?

  • What are your current cybersecurity tools? How effective are they?

Improve Cybersecurity 

As the world becomes increasingly digital, businesses do too. Doing more online requires you to have top-tier cybersecurity tools. You’re much more vulnerable to data breaches if you don't have them. 

A comprehensive information security program is a step toward improved cybersecurity. 

Invest in an Information Security Program 

According to Ventiv Technology, "An information security program is a collection of procedures and best practices related to maintaining data security. It also acts as an inventory of valuable assets that require strict security, as well as assets your business can use to maintain cybersecurity.” 

An information security program can provide ironclad protection for sensitive data. Data security processes and tools and the private information you’re protecting are all in one place, simplifying your approach. 

The easier your cybersecurity tools are to understand and use, the better risk management, data integrity, and confidentiality will be. 

Choose Suitable Data Storage Options 

Sensitive data is way too valuable in business to just store it anywhere. Where you keep your data is another line of defense for it. So data storage mustn’t be taken lightly. 

Take your time choosing the most suitable data storage options for your business. Start with storage options for your digital information. 

A cloud storage system with built-in cybersecurity tools is an excellent way to go. Set a budget for how much you want to spend and explore companies with options that fit. Make sure you go through a demo for each system you’re considering and get all your questions answered by a customer service rep before making a final decision. 

Then, go through the same process for storage options for your physical documents.  

Familiarize Yourself and Your Team With Common Security Risks 

You and your employees play a significant part in guarding your sensitive data. The more you know about what threatens your private information, the better you can defend against it. 

Familiarize yourself and your team with common security risks. For example, hackers are partaking in camera hacking. They’re accessing webcams without the owner’s permission or knowledge and spying on whatever’s within earshot and their sight line. 

If employees are talking about and sharing sensitive data, hackers can easily make a note of it and use it maliciously well before the company notices. If you and your team understand the risk of camera hacking, you can implement measures to prevent it, such as installing antivirus software on every device. 

Here’s a list of other common security threats that may put sensitive data at risk

  • Malware

  • Ransomware

  • Phishing 

  • DDos attacks

  • Spambots

  • Adware and spyware 

Get educated on these threats and how to best prevent them. 

Invest in Ongoing Employee Training 

There’s no point in putting in systems and establishing best practices for data security if you aren’t going to train your employees properly. It only takes one employee to open a phishing email by accident or click on a malware link to take an entire organization down.    

Extensive, ongoing data security training for employees will help prevent this from happening. The first step is creating an initial training program introducing data security, why it’s essential, and the systems you use to protect sensitive data. 

It should also show your employees how to use your security systems, best practices for securing physical and digital data, and what to do in the case of different kinds of data breaches. 

Finally, be sure your training is ongoing. Every time there’s an update to your security systems, notify and train your employees on the new features. Whenever a data breach happens, call a meeting, discuss the incident, and create a plan for moving forward. And when you want to implement a new best practice, policy, or tool, set aside time for training your employees on them. 

Conclusion 

There’s no guarantee you’ll recover from sensitive data being stolen or breached. So, it’s best to do everything possible to prevent this from happening. 

Start by determining where you’re weak in data security. Next, improve your cybersecurity with an information security program. Choose suitable data storage and familiarize yourself and your team with common security threats. And finally, invest in ongoing employee training to ensure sensitive data is fully protected. 

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Indiana Lee

Content Writing Expert

Indiana Lee is a writer, reader, and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest. She is an expert on business operations, leadership, marketing, and lifestyle. 

   

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