The Best Data Loss Prevention Tips for Small Businesses

Saturday, May 25, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

What will you do if your company is hacked, your whole system gets fried, or someone simply dumps your data accidentally?

Data loss can quickly derail your business, and it’s an all-too-common occurrence.

Being prepared can make the difference between a minor hiccup and a major loss, so read on for valuable advice to small business owners.

The Best Data Loss Prevention Tips for Small Businesses
Image courtesy of Unsplash

  • Could It Happen to You?

    There are many reasons you might believe your company is immune to a serious data loss. Perhaps you think your business is too small to attract hackers, or that your network is plenty secure. However, some statistics indicate that more than half of the businesses in America were hacked in 2016. Of those data breaches, more than a third of the victims paid out $50,000 a piece to get their businesses back on track.

    The most common causes of these problems turned out to be staff errors, hackers, and disgruntled employees — potential threats to any business. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why all companies need to establish protocols and precautions for dealing with data breaches.

  • Map Out Guidelines

    When it comes to data loss prevention, little can give you a better tactical advantage than establishing best practices. As Digital Guardian explains, a company-wide data protection policy is a wise first line of defense with critical benefits.

    Because governance is increasingly strict, it helps your business maintain compliance, a step some experts feel is a challenging must-have for all small businesses. You can also implement methods for tracking data usage, providing valuable insights on how collaborators interact with and access data. On top of that, a solid policy protects your trade secrets from falling into the wrong hands.

  • Forewarned Is Forearmed

    When it comes to data loss prevention, strong guidelines are just the beginning. It’s imperative to educate your staff so they can avoid being your company’s weakness. Begin by training everyone to recognize common phishing attacks.

    For instance, ensure they are aware that attackers often personalize scams, cloaked as common, trustworthy websites and recognizable email addresses. Once they can see the disguises, they will be less apt to fall for cyber trickery.

  • Entertaining Training Techniques

    The last thing you want is for your people to zone out while they are learning about things like web-based scams. With that in mind, Forbes recommends exploring game-based training. It’s a chance to fully immerse your staff, it’s compelling, and it’s educational. Because it’s interactive, employees come away with more thorough knowledge than from traditional training methods, and they learn proper responses in a hands-on manner.

  • Playing at Passwords

    Well-chosen passwords are a simple but effective defense against cyber crime, yet many people choose passwords that are far too simple — and then use the same passwords across all their accounts.

    In accordance with your data protection policy and employee training, implementing a strong password policy is wise. It’s something you can DIY for free. You can use a template to build your policy, and consider adding tools to help your staff. A password generator is an easy way to create complex passwords, or a password manager app can both create and store passwords on everyone’s behalf.

  • Implementing a Plan of Action

    Even with proper guidelines and training, sometimes data breaches still occur. If your company should experience trouble, stemming the flow of data is the key to recovery. Quarantine devices in question, pulling them from the network and shutting them down. From there, look into the extent of loss and where it occurred, then notify those whose information is compromised.

    If your company does not have an IT team, you might need to enlist outside help with the process. Computer forensics professionals specialize in data breaches and recovery, and they can even help compile evidence toward prosecuting the parties responsible.

When it comes to data loss prevention, it’s in your business’ best interests to be ready. Establish solid policies, train your staff, and have a plan in place. By preparing now, you reduce your risk and set your company up for the quickest recovery in the event of a data breach.

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