November 22, 2021
Shred-it’s Data Protection Tips: Protect Your Employees, Customers & Company
For many, data is widely regarded as the new oil – and data thieves will go to great lengths to obtain it. Business’ s online systems and records, where confidential data often lives, are therefore goldmines (or rather, oil fields) in the eyes of cyber-attackers.
In fact, thousands of online systems are compromised daily – and last year alone, 39% of businesses across Europe reported suffering a cyber-attack 1. But the number of data breaches reported so far this year has already exceeded the total for 2020, with the average cost of a breach an eye-watering $4.15 million 2.
Such is the unrelenting, ever more sophisticated nature of their attacks, employees are being targeted more than ever before. In response, it’s imperative for businesses to do everything they can to equip workforces with the know-how and tools to protect your company’s personal information. In response, our latest blog is complete with essential advice and steps to help you do exactly that.
Cybersecurity Best Practices
Our data protection tips include a comprehensive rundown of the best practices your business should adhere to. By following these simple steps, you’re well on your way to minimising the risk of your company’s confidential data being compromised.
1. Set up a Risk Management Regime
A risk management regime enables businesses to identify and understand threats – and then helps you to eliminate or reduce these risks, by securing the technology, systems and information in your organisation. Remember to also extend your risk management regime to paper-based confidential documents, to make sure you are protected in both cyber and non-cyber spaces.
2. Secure Your Networks
Defend the network perimeter and filter out malicious content. Security software essentials include firewall and antivirus programs. But it’s vital to never click on a link from an unknown sender. Check that emails are legitimate: red flags include spelling mistakes, poor grammar, odd phrasing and urgent requests for money or action.
3. Use Strong Passwords
Password. 123456. Picture1. If you hadn’t already guessed, these are the most popular (very insecure) passwords. Strong passwords use eight characters or more and include a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Keep passwords in a safe place, don’t use the same one for multiple accounts and change them every three months.
4. Share Less on Social Media
Keep your personal information secure on social media. Cyber criminals can obtain your confidential information with just a few data points, so the less you share publicly, the better! For instance, if you post your pet’s name or reveal your mother’s maiden name, you might expose the answers to two common security questions.
5. Employee Education and Awareness
Create employee security policies covering acceptable and secure use of your systems and provide ongoing cyber security awareness training. Employees must know how to identify suspicious emails or links and they should be wary of what websites they visit and the applications and mobile apps they download. Encourage staff to report all cyber-attacks.
6. Use Hard Drive Destruction Services
Don’t stockpile computers or hoard digital data. Keep digital data filed and current and purge files regularly. Once your old technology is obsolete, have old or unused computer hard drives securely destroyed. Shred-it’s physical destruction of hard drives is the only way to ensure your confidential information stays confidential.
7. Protect Smartphones & Other Devices
Businesses are increasingly reliant on mobile technology. But mobiles and other devices are big targets and can be your organisation’s weak link. Be aware of where devices are, never leave them unattended and make sure you switch on password protection. Keep your mobile apps and operating systems up to date and can track, lock and wipe lost or stolen devices.
8. Don’t Forget Documents & Physical Threats!
In today’s digital world, old documents and physical threats can be overlooked. But leaving them lying around the office or improperly disposing of them is done so at your own peril. Establishing a Clean Desk Policy is a sure-fire way to discourage this, while a Shred-it All Policy removes the need for employees to decide what is and is not confidential, to reduce human error.
Protect Your Business this Festive Season
Our data protection tips comes at a pivotal time for businesses – with cyber-attacks soaring over the festive season and peaking in the run up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, attacks during this shopping frenzy continue to soar by as much as 275% every year 3. So, follow the above to protect your personal information.
Get in touch today to see how our services can protect your employees, customers and company.