With Data Privacy Day making its annual return on January 28th, now is the perfect time for businesses to review their data security set up.
Almost two years on from GDPR, a staggering 52% of businesses are still not fully compliant, according to a report from the ICO; but with fines set at up to 20 million euros (or 4% of global turnover, whichever is higher) it’s a risk business owners can’t afford to take.
As well as having significant financial implications, data breaches can also massively jeopardise a business’ reputation if valuable employee and/or customer data is lost or stolen.
Data security for SMEs needn’t be expensive or time consuming either, so there really are no excuses.
With this in mind, we’re rounding up some of our top tips for ensuring maximum data protection:
- Secure wireless networks
Many Wi-Fi routers are riddled with security holes that leave data exposed if the right security measures aren’t in place. The risk is even greater for businesses who allow their staff to use the network on personal devices.
Network encryption comes as standard these days and requires an authentication key before a connection can be made. However, not all encryption provides the same level of security. Previously, WEP encryption was the favoured choice; however, this can now be cracked in minutes. Use only WPA2, which introduces a new AES-based encryption for better security over WPA.
What’s more, having a strong authentication key (password), which is changed regularly, will minimise the risk of a business’ wireless network being hacked.
- Educate staff
One of the most effective ways of preventing a cyber-attack is to ensure staff are clued-up across the business. There are plenty of free resources available online to teach staff about important issues, such as phishing emails and setting secure passwords. In fact, we have a free ‘7 deadly sins of cybersecurity’ resource you and your staff can read here.
- Back up your computer
This one is a no brainer! Your computer could crash at any time, or ransomware could install a bug on your computer, causing your business to potentially lose highly significant data. There are many ways to back up your data, from using an external drive, to backing up those files on a remote server over the Internet. Cloud storage services, such as Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox are great options and are free to use.
- But before you do that…encrypt your data!
For even tighter security, encrypt your data before you add it to a back-up cloud server. This may sound super technical, but there are plenty of easy-to-use programmes which will help you do so.
- Two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication provides businesses with an even tighter layer of protection. Not only is a password required, but usually some sort of code will also be sent to a personal device, such as a phone, before anyone can access the data. Many online platforms or banks will now ask you to set up two-factor authentication as standard, so the same should go for your business.
Ensuring your business data is safe is an ongoing battle; however, once set up, it can be easily managed and reviewed. Here at BTP, we take away the hassle for you, with our IT support packages starting from just £19.75 a month per user.