tips to prevent data loss

4 everyday security tips for business data loss prevention

Data loss is a constant threat in today’s business world. As many as 50% of SMBS will experience some form of data loss each year. It pays to be prepared. But that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated.

Here are 4 everyday tips that you can get started on right away to prevent data loss in your business.

Passwords, STRONG passwords

Passwords are both a physical and online barrier to nasty problems that can lead to data loss. Whether the threats come from unauthorized in-person access or ransomware, the first step to preventing data loss is creating and implementing stronger passwords.

This is because hackers often use software that’s designed to overwhelm weak passwords with “brute force,” by randomly generating password attempts over and over until they hit the correct one. A stronger password provides more time for you to update your password in the event of a brute force attack, and it reduces the likelihood the password can be compromised at all.

A strong password is all about complexity. One way to create a strong password is to use the “pass phrase” method. To do this, first create a memorable sentence, such as “We ride bikes on 2 Sundays every 3 months!”

Then take the first letter of each word in the sentence, as well as the numbers and exclamation point, and you’ve got a complex password that is still relatively easy to remember.

In this case, “Wrbo2Se3m!” would be your password.

And relax. If you still worry about remembering all your various complex passwords, you can use a password manager to keep track of them all. Plus, a password manager can automatically generate those complex passwords for you.

Stay updated, don’t wait

Updates matter. And not just security software updates.

The 2017 WannaCry malware outbreak took advantage of Windows computers that had not been updated to address a recently detected security flaw. Had all Windows users simply updated in a timely manner, it is likely that none would have been affected.

The lesson here is to stay on top of your updates. Software developers, like hackers, are always on the hunt for vulnerabilities. The difference is the good guys are looking to shore them up rather than exploit them. These patches come in the form of updates, so don’t sleep on them.

Educate your employees

The majority of data loss incidents come from simple employee negligence. Often employees unwittingly fall victim to phishing scams and other credential-stealing attacks. The easiest way to avoid this is to train employees to avoid clicking on dangerous attachments or URLs your network’s security software might have missed.

Conduct frequent training to make sure employees are updated on the logistics of phishing and trojan horse scams. Teach them how to identify and avoid falling victim to them. Employees possess login credentials that can have serious repercussions if compromised.

A little education goes a long way to prevent this. While you’re at it, follow the principle of least privilege to control what data employees have access to.

Related: Phishing Attack Prevention: How to Identify and Avoid Phishing Scams

Call for backup to prevent data loss

This may or may not seem obvious. But you need backup. Whether that backup comes in the form of professional data backup services, network security oversight, or both, Seeking out and enlisting professional help is by far the biggest step you can take to prevent data loss.

A qualified MSP will have multiple solutions that can provide you with maximum protection from data loss. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes.

Investing in a professional partner is likely to save you money, time, and stress in the long run. Waiting until your data is lost to take action could spell disaster.