After 143 million people had their personal information put at risk in the Equifax data breach, it comes as no surprise that data security is an even hotter topic than usual. As much as you’d like to think that a breach like that would never happen to your business, this is an unrealistic hope that won’t do you any good if the threat of a data breach does come around. It is much better to be prepared.
Here are three means of securing your business through preventative measures.
Make Sure Your Users Are Familiar With Best Practices
You entrust your employees with your entire business, whether you mean to or not. After all, they are most likely to encounter a threat, and as a result are in the most contact with them. Are they prepared enough to carry that responsibility? Do they know how to recognize a phishing attempt, or an email that could potentially contain a nasty bit of ransomware? It is best if you take the time and educate your users on the warning signs of the various threats that are out there. Who knows--it may just be an employee’s vigilance that saves you from a major snafu.
Enforce Password Standards and Require Two-Factor Authentication
Your password is often the only bit of verifiable data that distinguishes you from someone else, from the computer’s perspective. Most password requirements demand that a password has a certain amount of characters, including a least one letter, one number, and occasionally one symbol with both capitalized and lowercase letters. While these passwords are considerably effective against someone trying to deduce your credentials, a brute force attack will likely crack it.
There is also the option of using a passphrase, which is a sentence that takes the place of the password that only you know. Either of these approaches work well, as a hacker will have no idea if you are using one method or the other, let alone which one. Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is another effective means of securing an account, as it requires a second set of credentials that is delivered directly to you via a mobile device before it will permit access.
Use UTM to Help Defend Your Network
A UTM, or Unified Threat Management, tool is a comprehensive defense against threats of all varieties. Including a spam blocker to protect your inbox, enterprise-level firewalls and antivirus solutions to repel threats, and a content filter to keep your workforce away from risky websites, a UTM makes sure that your business’ bases are covered. In addition to these features, your threat reaction time can become much quicker, allowing you to respond to issues before they cause very much damage.
These three defenses are an effective way to minimize the risk of a data breach. For more best practices for maintaining and protecting your business, keep reading our blog, and reach out to us at 605-341-3873.
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.