Cybersecurity, for both small and large businesses, may seem daunting. With all the possible ways hackers and infiltrators attempt to access company data, protecting your databases to prevent cybercrime is essential.
Why is protecting data so important?
Aside from losing reputation and client trust, falling victim to cybercrime can be costly financially.
Just last month, British Airways was fined £20million for a data breach which affected 400,000 customers. The cost for the breach was originally valued at £183million, however, due to the difficult times caused by COVID-19 and other influences, this was decreased. Although this is a huge discount, £20million is still the largest ever fine issued by the ICO.
The event serves as a prime example to other companies why protecting your business from cybercrime is so important. Although it might seem like an unlikely possibility, it’s better to have protection in place.
Simple steps to prevent cybercrime
If your business is just starting to crack down on preventing a data breach, the simpler steps are the best to start with. Ensure all staff who access sensitive data adhere to basic good practice:
- Account multi-factor authentification – have your account send you a verification code or ask security questions before you log in.
- Lock devices when not in use – ensure your screen cannot be seen or accessed when you are not at your desk.
- Be aware of phishing attacks – hackers may attempt to gain your details by requesting your details from a seemingly secure email account.
- Automate software updates – this ensures your device has the most up-to-date software for preventing malware and viruses.
For more information on what your business can do to prevent cybercrime, view the government’s guide to cybersecurity.
Doing that bit extra for protection
To go further with your data protection, there are extra preventative measures businesses can take.
1. Backing up data
Many people with personal devices backup their photos and videos to a cloud to host the images somewhere other than the device itself. This means that if the asset stops working, these elements can still be accessed. The same can be done with business data.
Rather than holding information solely on a single asset, which can be prone to theft, breakages, and infiltration, the data is stored via an account on an external server which then can only be accessed by those with an account.
Backing up data is a good way to prevent cybercrime if an asset is stolen or lost, then the data doesn’t go with it. With this said, login information to a cloud must be kept secure, weak passwords and lack of multi-factor authentication can result in a breach to the cloud, and the entire database.
2. Protecting old data from cybercrime
It’s not just current data your business should be protecting, old data held on devices and assets need to be kept secure and safe. When throwing away redundant assets, a simple factory reset is not enough to ensure your company and client data is unrecoverable.
When disposing of data bearing assets, have them professionally wiped or destroyed. This eliminates the risk of data extraction and adds extra peace of mind. Along with this, many IT Asset Disposal companies offer a rebate on devices of value if you choose to wipe and sell them, potentially earning you money for an old bit of tech.
3. Plan for the worst
Once you’ve put steps in place to minimize the risk of cybercrime, always consider the possibility and consequences of falling victim to a data breach.
Even after taking all the steps to prevent cybercrime, it is important to have a plan in place in case the worst does happen. Recovering from a data breach as quickly and effectively as possible is crucial to prevent further data loss and reassure customers you care about protecting their data.
To learn more about how to develop a recovery plan, visit this how-to by converge technology and business.
There’s always more you can do
If you’ve taken all the above actions to prevent cybercrime in your business, always reevaluate and revise your measures. With hackers and infiltrators constantly developing new ways to try and break into databases, it is important businesses keep up.
To check your measures are up-to-date, consider becoming certified by Cyber Essentials. This government-backed scheme helps to guard businesses of all sizes against common cyber threats and provides them with certification to reassure potential and existing customers you have cybersecurity measures in place.
Learn about how we can help with protecting your information with Data Destruction.