Technology is evolving at lightning speed. It’s introducing new capabilities into our personal and business lives. And, vitally, it’s reimagining the way we store data.
Gone are the days of hefty filing cabinets and label makers. Even the good old-fashioned family photo album is out of vogue. Today, it’s all about cloud-computing and off-site data centers.
It’s true. We all too happily let third parties handle our most critical information in exchange for cost-saving, time-saving, and productivity-boosting benefits. Of course, this puts our data at risk.
“Although digital transformation has revolutionized our lives in many ways, from accessing information to purchasing goods, it also means we’re at risk.” – Forbes
Data breaches are very real things. It seems almost every day a headline exclaims yet another security disaster. Just recently, news broke that 20 million people in Ecuador – that’s almost every resident – fell victim to a large-scale breach.
The question, then, is this: how can you protect your business and its data from security vulnerabilities?
The first step – identify them. And that’s exactly what we’re going to help you do in this article.
How to identify your security vulnerabilities
Before we detail a few ways you can identify and remedy critical security vulnerabilities, it’s worth noting that the best way to mitigate risk is to work with a trusted managed services provider.
Going it alone might appear to save you money, but without the proper equipment, expertise, and time allocation, you just will not be able to keep up with the latest in sophisticated security threats.
With that being said, you can get started now – here are four tips you can take action on today.
1. Make sure your operating systems and software are up-to-date
We all know that one person who downright refuses to update their software. Don’t be that person.
As well as new features and improved performance, software updates contain vital security patches. The provider has identified a threat, come up with a solution, and deployed the solution across their network. It’s up to you and your team to install it as soon as possible.
2. Assess the physical security of your network
Threats aren’t always external. Disgruntled employees and opportunistic thieves may be looking to seize a computer, steal customer information, or gain unauthorized access to your network.
Be sure that your physical security defenses – such as your locking mechanisms – are robust and impenetrable.
3. Share security best practices with your staff
Go out right now and ask a couple of your team members if they use the same password for multiple accounts. Ask them if they know how to recognize a phishing site or email or regularly connect to public Wi-Fi networks.
Remember, if you don’t employ an IT partner, it’s up to you to keep your employees aware of the latest best practices. They should understand the importance of using unique, strong passwords. They should be able to pick up on illegitimate emails. And they should know to avoid public Wi-Fi networks at all costs.
4. Perform a comprehensive risk assessment
If you really want to identify the security vulnerabilities facing your business, perform a comprehensive risk assessment. This should encompass on-site infrastructure, devices, drives, and servers, as well as any cloud-based software and applications you use.
Then, take action. Don’t just identify the risks and do nothing about them. Invest in data security. No, it’s not a profit driver, but it is a preventive measure. If you go on unprotected, you risk the worst. And you may just not be able to recover.