How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Data Security Best Practices

Most of the time, a data breach isn’t caused by a sophisticated attack, but by a simple mistake in data security. Whether it is falling for a phishing scam, getting lazy with password creation, mishandling data, or letting unauthorized users access devices, a simple mistake can cause a massive problem. Avoiding these mistakes can save your company from major damage control.

cyber security concept photo, person logging into a laptop with lock and encryption graphic overlay

Regularly Educate Employees

Most businesses have a data security policy in place, and when employees are first hired, they are trained – or at least informed – about these policies. However, in many cases, this is where the education in data security best practices ends. Lack of continuous training increases the risk of human error significantly. Your employees may know what your policies are, but can become complacent, and this is when a simple mistake can become a major breach.

Use Strong Encryption

Using strong encryption will help protect private information, sensitive data, and can enhance the security of any communication. If your data is encrypted, even if someone were to gain remote access to the system, they would still not be able to use or read the data. While no encryption technology is perfect, it can slow a cyber criminal down, making your business a less desirable target.

Regularly Update Software

Software updates may seem like an annoyance, but ignoring or skipping updates comes at a cost. Many updates contain important security updates that will protect your data from potential security threats. Software updates are necessary to keep everything running smoothly and with fewer security vulnerabilities. Often updates will contain a security patch to block any potential holes that may have been created by malware.

Establish a Clear Policy for Data Access, Back Up, and Storage

Without a clear policy, your employees are left to use their best judgment on how to handle data access, back up, and storage. Decide on who can access data, where you will keep that data, when you will destroy outdated data, and how often you should be backing up all data. Once you’ve settled on your plan, establish a clear and written policy that all employees have access to, and make regular checks to make sure that the policy is being followed.

Use Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication

Strong passwords can be difficult to remember, and many employees compensate by either creating simple passwords that are easy to guess, or using the same password for everything. Encourage your employees to develop secure, unique passwords that cannot be easily cracked, and require multi-factor authentication for all business devices where applicable.

Conduct Regular Security Audits and Develop a Detailed Disaster Recovery Plan

A proactive solution for a data breach – meaning a plan for what you’ll do if it happens before it happens – is the best way to protect your business. The CSR Readiness Program offered by AccuShred can help you identify and assess the weak points in your security. After a self assessment you can adjust and improve your security practices. In the case of a breach, CSR has a breach reporting service that can help you through your recovery.

Keep Up to Date with Current Trends in Data Security

As data security practices improve to thwart current cyber threats, cyber criminals will change their tactics, requiring new practices in security. It’s important to make sure that your cyber security best practices are not out of date. What worked several years ago may no longer be effective. Make an effort to stay informed on the current trends to keep your business secure.

Human error is the main cause of data breaches, but it doesn’t have to be a threat to your company. With the right training, clear policies, and a plan in place for potential breaches, your company can be confident in their data security measures. To learn more about how we can help you keep your company data secure, contact AccuShred today!