4 Data Encryption Strategies for Small Businesses – Behalf
This post is contributed by Dixie Somers
Keeping your small business network protected from cybercrime attacks is a must these days. With more than 300 billion gigabytes of business data created each year, hackers are very interested in breaching company networks and accessing small business data.
Here are four strategies to keep your small business data safe:
1. Password Discipline For Increased Data Security
Effective data encryption begins and ends with strong passwords. Some of the most spectacular and costly cyber heists in recent history, such as the Sony data breach of 2014, have been caused by poor password security.
Master passwords such as the ones used to access password lockers should be generated randomly and communicated to staff in absolute confidence. Another recommendation for increasing data security is to implement a password policy that calls for changing at least the master password every 90 days.
2. Operating System Data Encryption and Authentication
In modern versions of Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X, system-level data encryption is included. In Windows, this feature is known as BitLocker; in OS X, it is called FileVault. The data encryption strength of these features is similar to the standard used in online banking transactions. It is important to note that small business owners and their staff are responsible for encrypting data on USB drives, SD cards or any other external storage device.
Data encryption can only be effective when access to the system provides a good level of data security. To this effect, small businesses can easily install a two-factor authentication system such as the RSA SecurID, which requires a physical token mechanism to grant network access to your business data.
3. Email and Cloud Encryption
Modern small businesses are more likely to use cloud computing solutions in lieu of setting up their own networks. This is a sensible strategy insofar as encryption, but it is up to business owners to weigh their options as to the level of data security their cloud service providers can offer. For example, Microsoft Office 365 is a solution that can offer email and document encryption, but only if the right subscription plan is chosen.
4. Real-Time Threat Detection
Companies that offer online accounts for their customers are particularly vulnerable to insider attacks.Detecting a data security breach like a compromised customer account is not easy; it may require taking the time to monitor and account, investigate it and even challenging the user if foul play is suspected. An easier way to handle such potential business data security threats is by installing applications that provide real-time detection of threats by analyzing account behavior. Stealthbits is a company that offers such data security services, detecting suspicious activity before databases can be attacked.
Additional Considerations For Small Business Data Security
The four strategies above should not be considered the sole recommendations for small business data security. Depending on the industry sector and the type of business services provided, other data encryption strategies may include remote backups and disaster recovery.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.