Companies of every size need to be ever-vigilant when it comes to data security.

The increased rates of cyberattacks, including ransomware, phishing attempts, and malware, can cause havoc to companies. Not only do companies need to worry about the risk of losing data and having systems compromised, they also need to be prepared to pay dearly to restore operations.

What’s more, companies that fall victim to a cyberattack can incur major reputational harm as customers leave if their data is compromised or stolen.

There are many steps that companies can take to ensure that their data, wallets, and reputations are protected. Here are 9 tips to keep your data safe this year.

1. Be Sure Remote Workers Are Protected

With so many companies continuing to have staff work remotely, there’s a major need to secure data being used by off-site staff and freelancers. Those employees are likely accessing the information on corporate servers or cloud solutions. Those connections can be more vulnerable, especially with employees using home Wi-Fi connections that can be insecure, raising the risk.

Working from home is here to stay, meaning companies need to develop clear rules and regulations around at-home access to networks and files. Businesses also need to ensure that employees are diligent and use available security tools, downloading updates and checking with help desks if there are questions or concerns.

2. Minimize Data Collected

There is an extensive opportunity today to collect and store information about customers and employees. The collected data is generated by connected devices that are part of the Internet of Things and stored on inexpensive cloud platforms.

Those data are powerful, providing insights and information that can be leveraged to make better business decisions and be commodified for additional revenue opportunities.

The problem with collecting so much data is that all of it is threatened by bad actors. What’s critical is to consider carefully what data needs to be tracked and stored and reduce what is contained on corporate servers. If it does not need to be collected or stored, don’t do it. More data means more security is required to ensure it’s not compromised.

3. Monitor Your Data Constantly

Cybersecurity in Denver can put in place security monitoring tools that constantly inspect and evaluate activity on your networks. With 24/7 monitoring in place, your business can receive early warnings if there is suspicious activity detected or system degradation.

A reliable MSP partner will react to those disruptions, isolate any questionable activity, and address system stability issues immediately. That means your systems stay up and operational and risks are contained and dealt with at the moment. That reliability is critical for your customers and employees to ensure productivity and continuity.

Sensitive Data

4. Backup Your Data

Data backups are a critical component of any data security plan. You want your data to be backed up regularly, stored in multiple locations that are geographically spread out. In the case of a disruption, you want to be able to restore your data quickly and as completely as possible.

Before determining your data backup strategy, you’ll need to consider the frequency of your backups and how far back you’ll go with your data backup.

Your MSP can help you develop and test a business continuity plan that ensures in the case of a cyberattack or natural disaster, your systems and data are restored quickly.

5. Ensure Data Compliance Across Jurisdictions

Today, regulators are taking action to restrict how companies use information about consumers. Regulatory mandates are occurring at every level – regionally, nationally, statewide, and locally. It’s a daunting set of restrictions and guidelines that can be challenging to manage. However, it’s necessary to ensure that your company’s data are structured and protected in accordance with the varying regulations or risk significant monetary fines and penalties.

6. Manage Updates

Your software and hardware regularly need to be updated, but not just to add the latest features or functionality. In many cases, software and hardware makers issue new updates and versions to deal with emerging security vulnerabilities.

While it can be difficult to expect every end user to update their devices, an MSP can ensure that updates are generated automatically. Usually, these updates can be done behind the scenes with no disruptions to work. That work ensures that all network devices and apps are up to date and protected.

Your MSP can also manage licenses and warranties, ensuring that if something goes wrong, your company is protected. The MSP can even contact vendors on your behalf to ensure that repairs and replacements are completed quickly.

7. Develop Sound Access Control Policies

Not everyone in your organization needs access to everyone. By developing roles-based guidelines for who can access which services, file folders, and documents, you can protect your organization from threats. Containing access also lets you set the level of interaction with contents, such as limiting users to view, use or edit functions.

A complementary approach is to require users to be proactive. Let users check a box to opt in to access as opposed to having overly permissive default access structures.

8. Reduce Redundancy and Break Down Silos

In organizations large and small, data may be stored differently, using different policies and platforms. Whenever possible, data should be consolidated. Not only does this approach make it easier to keep data protected, it will also lead to improved operational efficiencies.

9. Educate Your Employees

Employees are the first line of defense when it comes to cybersecurity. Education is essential so that employees can detect the tell-tale signs of phishing emails, suspicious text messages, and other tactics used by criminals to try to access information. You want your employees to understand emerging threats and what they can do to not do something that unwittingly gives access to someone who should not have it.

At Resilient Managed Computer Services, we help companies with managed IT services that keep data protected and accessible. Our cybersecurity, monitoring, help desk, and IT consulting services help clients get the most out of their technology. To learn more, schedule a free initial consultation.