Tips on Improving the Safety and Connectivity of Your Business

Cyber Security Laptop

Digitization is taking over the world. For businesses, this means that it is crucial to stay up to date on the latest trends so that your workplace is appropriately tech-enhanced. Unfortunately, keeping up with the rapid evolution of technology is no easy feat.

Having cutting edge work tech is not only expensive, but it also requires special maintenance. Upgraded digitization without proper precaution can result in major cyber security issues. Research shows that cyber crime damage costs are to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021 — and if past statistics are anything to go on, then you know that cyber attacks are a constantly growing threat.

So why do it then? For one, we live in an age where the ease and efficiency rendered by new technology are no longer luxuries but expectations from customers and employees alike. “While constant upgrading can be a bank-breaking process, if you allow yourself to fall too far behind, you risk losing employees, customers and, ultimately, your competitive edge,” state experts at Connected Elements.

Ultimately, turning a blind eye to the digital revolution can in fact cost you in the long run. Striking a balance between new technologies, data security safeguards, and budget limitations is a challenge. Here are some recommendations on how to improve the security your business as you upgrade to newer technology:

Consider Cloud Protection

If any aspect of your business is online, you’ll have to have some form of database security. Any data you collect about customers, suppliers, or the community is stored on a database. More often than not, this data may be sensitive and is subject to strict privacy agreements. Ensuring that any data you collect cannot be compromised should be your top priority. Using modern cloud workload protection platforms, you can secure your database regardless of where your workload is being run.

Gartner’s roundup of top technologies for security details how hybrid cloud workload protection platforms work. These platforms provide “information security leaders with an integrated way to protect these workloads using a single management console and a single way to express security policy.” Many businesses have shifted to utilizing cloud technology to store the vast amounts of data they generate. If your business is very data-centric, consider a cloud protection service with strong authentication routines so that your data is safeguarded against external hackers.

Always Backup Your Data

With all the new technology out there, it’s easy to rely on automatic-save functions when it comes to your data. Best business practice, however, dictates that you should frequently backup your data, even when it seems pointless to do so. A cyber attack can lead to the loss of all your information, leaving you in more than a pickle if you haven’t don’t a a recent backup. Frequent data backups allow you to reclaim any erased data, and resume business from a more recent starting point in the event of a hack. Designate a specific time every so often for backing up data, and encourage your employees to constantly perform backups should they be working form their own devices.

Learn to Encrypt

A basic knowledge of encryption can be a powerful weapon against data theft, yet far too few business leaders bother to learn it. Encryption is the process of coding information in a cryptic way, so that it can only be accessed by those who have a special key to do so.

Encryption is especially useful for small business owners, and for those who might not have the budget to invest in a more comprehensive security system.

There are a plethora of free basic encryption courses online, as well as multiple how to articles that detail what types of encryption are required for specific business settings. Incorporating encryption is an easy initial step to protecting your business, and can be done without burning a hole in your pocket. If you just don’t have the inclination to learn encryption, be sure to work with a specialist who can set up some IT security for you.

Choose Secure Passwords and Web Hosts

With touch ID and fingerprint sensors, strong passwords may seem like a thing of the past — but in fact, passwords are as important today as they were a decade ago. People often choose passwords that are easy to remember — unfortunately, these are the ones that are also easiest to hack.

A password should contain a combination of numbers, upper and lower case letters, and special symbols to reduce the likelihood of it being guessed by hackers. Choosing secure passwords and frequently changing them might seem silly, but imagine how much sillier you would feel if you got hacked because your password was your dog’s name.

An additional security measure you might want to consider is using a hosting company that doesn’t allow just anyone to host websites on their server. Larger hosting companies allow all sorts of websites on shared servers, with very little regulation, Unfortunately, even one compromised website can affect multiple websites on the same server, putting your data at immediate risk. A local hosting company with a stronger vetting process is one way to prevent this sort of infiltration. After all, quoting Rob Timmermann of the Timmermann Group, “The best way to repair a hacked website is to not let it get hacked in the first place.”

Last year was a bad year in terms of cyber safety. By the end of December, the Identity Theft Resources Center had recorded 1,293 U.S. data breaches exposing more than 174 million confidential records. That’s why it’s crucial to improve the security of your business while considering other technological upgrades. Increased connectivity and digitization usually equates to increased efficiency, but sometimes also means increased risk of data theft. So when you’re enhancing your technological competency, remember to simultaneously improve your cyber safety framework – as the two go hand in hand.

Brooke Faulkner is a writer, professional ponderer, and proud momma of two from the Pacific Northwest. When she's not at her desk, she's likely to be found zipping around on her old ATV. You can follow her through the buttons below.