In this age of technology, cyber security is becoming more and more important. As hackers and thieves utilize more sophisticated methods, the measures an organization takes to keep its data safe and secure must also be updated to be one step ahead of intruders. A simple password on your computer is no longer enough to provide sufficient data protection. Particularly in large enterprises that have loads of proprietary documents and customer data to protect, adequate cyber security protocol is essential. Read on for five tips to help keep your data safe from intruders.
1. Encrypt Your Data
Encrypting your data is one of the best ways to protect it from intruders. They will not be able to access the information contained in your documents without the decryption key to decode the data. When using file encryption, it is important to note that the data will be accessible to potential thieves as long as the document is in use. It is advisable to only open documents during the time that you are actually reading and editing them, rather than leaving them open on your computer screen for long periods of time. Always shut down your computer when leaving for the day to reduce the risk of hacking while you are away, particularly on weekends. Leaving your system running with encrypted documents open is akin to leaving your front door wide open when you leave for a vacation.
2. Employ Permission Protection
If your organization needs to share documents among a variety of users, set the permission on the document so that only those who need it can have access to it. Anyone else trying to access the document would not have the ability to do so. Similarly, if multiple users share the same computer, you will need to change the permissions for the specific file so that other users of the computer would not have access to the document.
3. Secure Your Wireless Network and IP Transmissions
When data is being transmitted over the internet or over a wireless connection, it needs to be encrypted to protect your data from hackers trying to access your network from the outside. For IP transfers, you’ll need Internet Protocol Security (IPsec). Keep in mind, though, that this only works if both ends of the transfer are using it. For Wi-Fi transfers, you’ll need Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) for the best security. Wired Equivalent Protocol (WEP) also works but is not as secure as WPA.
4. Manage Document Rights
Rights management protects your data once it is outside your system. For example, if you need to send a particular file to a client, you can set the rights for the document so that the client will be able to view the document but not save, copy, or change it. You can also prevent clients from forwarding particular emails you send to them. For time-sensitive documents, you can set an expiration date after which the client will no longer be able to access the information. Rights management settings can be modified in your organization’s Windows Server.
5. Educate Your Workforce
The best data security in the world won’t be very helpful if your employees are not using it. When implementing a new cyber security strategy, have a meeting with all key managers to ensure that they fully understand the new protocols and the reasons behind them. The managers can then go on to have similar meetings with their departments to pass the information down through the organization. Be sure to put measures in place to monitor whether or not employees are complying with the new data security guidelines and come up with an appropriate punishment for not following them. Compliance by all members of all departments is key in a company’s efforts to protect files from malware and unauthorized access.