Data security is more important than ever. In the midst of so many well-known data breaches, you can never be too safe. No matter how big the organization, nobody is completely safe when it comes to data attacks. It’s everyone’s responsibility today to fight for increased data protection, especially those who are creating new technology and software.

Data security is worth the time and money. A single incident has damaging effects on your organization. You need to protect your users by taking steps today to improve your overall data protection. Stay ahead of hackers with these steps below.

data protection

1. Understand Which Data is Most Valuable

While all data has value, some are worth more than others. Where is your “crown jewel” of data? This is the top 5-10 percent of the companies data or user data, and it’s what you need to put first in your protection efforts. This is the data that causes the most damage to companies if it’s exposed to attack. It’s not the same if some hackers get access to your, let’s say, PHP code coverage logs, or if they get it to some sensitive customer info.

We can all agree it’s awful to have employee or customer emails leaked through an attack, but it would be much more catastrophic to have an attack on social security numbers or credit card info. This would be a crown jewel situation. To protect this data, create procedures to secure it first. Also, limit the access many employees have to this data and take the time to identify what’s most valuable to your organization.

2. Manage Data Access

What information do your employees have access to? How many of them need this much access? It’s easy to overlook this data by trusting your employees, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Limiting the amount of data access by both employees and admins to a smaller number will mean less of a need to worry about a breach in data.

While most employees aren’t likely to hijack any information, it’s best to err on the side of caution. It’s also worth noting that many attacks are committed when employees unintentionally fail to secure data. Take your access rights seriously, and lower the number of people in your organization who have data within their reach.

3. Create a Security Policy

If your company doesn’t already have a security policy, you have some catching up to do. A data security policy is a plan for when hacks and breaches do happen. No matter how much security you put in place, you’ll likely still find yourself facing an attack in some shape or form. The key here is to have a clear policy before it happens.

Your data policy shouldn’t be set in stone. You’ll likely need to make edits as technology changes and company policies expand. Keep your data access rules clear for every employee. Adopt strong policies that enforce these rules.

4. Educate Your Employees

Employee education goes a long way to keep your company safe from attacks. Like we mentioned before, many team members unintentionally open the company to attack with their lack of understanding about proper data procedures. By educating your employees in red flags and how to secure their own data, you can keep your entire organization safe.

Another component of employee education should include password protection. Simple passwords are a recipe for disaster. Assist employees in creating complicated passwords that include a combination of numbers, letters, special characters, and more. Every password should be unique, and employees should be required to update their passwords regularly. This should be written in your data security policy.

5. Backup Your Data

No matter your efforts, odds are some of your data will be compromised or lost at some point in time. If this happens, you need to have a backup to rely on. Backing up your data on a regular basis is a must. Even if you don’t find your company facing a hack, you can still lose your data a number of other ways.

Create a plan for automatically or manually backing up company data on a weekly, monthly, or even daily basis. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Don’t forget to protect these backup with strong software to prevent attacks. Your IT department should have a system for backing up your data regularly, but don’t be afraid to speak to a cyber protection expert about your unique needs.

Protecting Your Data

You don’t want your company or product to become the next target of a data breach. These types of news stories do a number on an organization’s reputation, and it’s hard to regain your customers’ trust once you’ve lost it.

Your data is one of your most important assets. Make it a primary goal to keep this data protected at all costs. It’s always better to be overprepared than underprepared. With our technology always changing, you’ll likely need to revise your data protection strategy every few months to make sure it’s up to any new challenges.