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Data Security – How Strong is Yours?


10 May 2017

The 8-point guide to keeping online data secure

Hardly a day goes by when there is not a story circulating that highlights the problems faced by businesses after being hacked.

There is no doubt that these data breaches are embarrassing. But as much as they are embarrassing, they are damaging too. Some hacks are sophisticated trojans that worm their way into a system undetected.

Others are embarrassing IT faux pas – in other words, the information hackers needed to enter a system was hidden in plain sight. When basic steps of data security are not taken, disaster will happen at some point.

As a business, data is valuable so follow this 8-point guide as a minimum to protect all your data…

  1. Regular backups – when disaster does happen, you need to be able to reclaim your business by accessing the latest and most recent back up. If you backed up last week, the damage is less than if you backed up 3 years ago… daily back up should be the norm.
  2. Anti-virus software – it is not always hackers who physically access your system that cause the problems, but the pesky viruses created to worm their way in. Anti-virus software is just one line of defence and essential in the modern digital age.
  • Strong passwords – consider your password collection: is it one password with a multitude of uses or one password for each level or program? Passwords need to be different at various levels and applications. They also need to be strong, containing a mix of symbols, letters and numbers.
  1. Removable disks – for high value data, consider backing up of a removable piece of kit such as a USB stick or hard drive. Although hard drives can and will fail at some point, using multiple back-up solutions is essential. Removing data and storing in a fireproof and waterproof safe is an option.
  2. Staggered levels of access – having an open system may appeal in creating a sense of trust in your business but it can leave your system vulnerable. Consider assigning distinct levels of access to prevent unauthorised or unofficial ‘browsing’ of data.
  3. Log off and other good habits – in a busy day, it is common for staff to leave their terminals for prolonged periods of time. And this means leaving a PC and your system open to misuse. Encourage good habits, with people locking or logging off when they leave their terminal.
  • Write-protection – some files have data that is irreplaceable and when it is, it must be protected against accidental changes or deletion. Write-protection means that data cannot be changed or over-ridden, essential when files and data are being viewed by many people.
  • Data encryption – encrypting data means scrambling it so should someone get hold of it, it makes little, if any sense. There are many ways of doing this – give our team a call for more details.


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