At the beginning of each year, it's good business to take stock of where you are and where you want to go. For businesses, it is time to take a closer look at tech security policy and make changes to strengthen it to protect sensitive data from leaking. Security will continue to be a growing area of concern for businesses as cyber crime continues to rise.
Here are 8 recommended security policies you should consider implementing this year:
1. Require a Password Manager
Weak passwords have been the cause of an untold number of preventable data leaks. Most weak passwords happen because stronger alternatives are overwhelming and hard to remember. The answer? A password manager. Make a password manager, or vault, company policy this year. It will keep passwords strong and save employee memory space.
2. Expand Security Awareness Training
Turn Security Awareness Training from an occasional seminar or memo into a full-fledged policy. Data security is serious business and it should be treated as such. Schedule frequent security awareness activities and make sure that every employee knows what to keep an eye out for. That can include alerts on cyber scams, training sessions, and more.
3. Keep Up with Software Updates
Make sure that software updates are happening across the company. If software is falling out of date, critical security patches could be getting ignored, risking the sensitive data that you're trying to protect. Implement a policy that accounts for all the software you use and make sure that somebody is responsible for installing those updates.
4. Tighten Up Access
In this day and age, few people need 'Admin' authority. The benefits are hard to pin down and the dangers outweigh them anyway. If your current policy is 'access for everyone,' consider scrapping it for a tighter standard. Humans err and one way to minimize the damage of those errors is to prevent them from becoming a possibility in the first place by restricting access.
5. Test, Test, Test
A nightmare scenario: you're skydiving and you've jumped out of the plane. You go to deploy your parachute and it doesn't work. You had a plan. You didn't test it beforehand. That's big trouble. In a similar way, you can have an expertly-constructed security plan in place, only to see a massive breach take place anyway. If you don't test, you don't know you're safe.
6. Use Caution with Private Data
Mobile technology allows people to work from anywhere. But, that doesn't mean it's safe. In fact, accessing private data over public WiFi or leaving your laptop unattended in a Panera Bread can have grave consequences. Make sure that those standards are communicated across the company. Private data needs to remain private to remain safe.
7. Stay Informed
Make it a matter of policy for one or several employees to remain informed about cyber threats. Phone scams, phishing schemes, ransomware, and more pop up as trends and it is important to know about them. Armed with that knowledge, you can prepare yourself and others to prevent those crimes from working.
8. Prepare for the Worst
That sounds negative, but it's simply prudent. As you've likely gleaned from the news, cybersecurity is going to remain a major factor in politics, business, and every other facet of life. By preparing your business for the worst, you'll remain vigilant and be better prepared to combat crime. The moment you assume you're safe, you're in the greatest danger.
Stay on top of data security this year. Examine your policies, implement superior alternatives and keep your company safe from prying eyes.