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How to be confident when improving data security

How can you be confident in your cybersecurity policies? Follow these steps to improve data security.

Be-confidant_Blog_shutterstock_688688728.jpgThe need to improve data security has never been greater. Yet many IT leaders aren't confident in their organizations' ability to protect their data from evolving threats. Recent high-profile attacks and data leaks only reinforce the need to protect sensitive proprietary and customer information.

How can a business build confidence in its ability to improve data security? Start by following these key steps.

  • Train employees to recognize threats. Numerous threats—such as Trojan horse programs, phishing emails, ransomware, spoofed links, and DDoS attacks—target employees who aren't likely to recognize them as threats. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, training employees to spot potential problems is critical to cybersecurity. Coordinate and conduct frequent training sessions with employees to keep them abreast of current and common security threats. An educated workforce is a secure workforce.
  • Mandate strong passwords. Employees who pay little attention to their passwords are tempting fate—and a data breach. Address this risk by instituting a strong password security policy and strictly enforcing it. Compile and circulate a list of easily hacked passwords or password variations to make it clear that such passwords are not acceptable. Clarify, too, that employees aren't permitted to swap passwords for the sake of convenience.
  • Install malware protection. There are many free and legitimate antivirus software programs that protect against malware. If your budget permits, consider springing for anti-malware solutions that offer more robust protection.
  • Protect your mobile devices. When employees download apps from questionable sources, it increases the likelihood of hacking or mobile malware. Employees should not store any vital business data on their mobile devices, and it should be standard policy that no employee can download an app on a business-owned device until it's been evaluated and approved by the IT team.
  • Ensure off-site data security. Public Wi-Fi networks are breeding grounds for hacking and information theft. Every business should add encryption to every business-owned mobile device, and emphasize to employees the importance of keeping tablets, phones, and other mobile devices used for work with them at all times. Businesses should also require employees to use a virtual private network when connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot, log out after every active session, and set up two-factor authentication.
  • Strengthen your data backup routine. Presumably, you have a data backup schedule in place. But there's always more that can be done, especially by data service providers who specialize in comprehensive backup protection. Service providers can often institute a higher standard of security than a business can accomplish on its own.

Every business, large and small, faces cybersecurity threats. By prioritizing data security and combining security-forward practices with strong networking security solutions, you can keep your business information and customer data safe and secure.

Optimizing data protection is just one best practice in a Hybrid IT environment. Find more in the HPE Best Practices for Hybrid IT: Tips for Midsized Businesses whitepaper.

A new era of cyber warfare has begun: hardware vulnerabilities and attack variants are growing in sophistication and numbers, elevating security and business risk. How well are you prepared. Check out this Frost and Sullivan on-demand webinar.

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About the Author

RobertChecketts

Robert has over 25+ years of IT Marketing and Product Management leadership experience spanning country, Regional and WW organizations. Robert is a marketing executive with extensive experience in field marketing, channel marketing and product marketing on a global basis and is driven to deliver SMB’s end-to-end affordable infrastructure that’s secure from the start, optimized for every workload, packaged for many consumption models, ready to scale, and easy to manage.