Data Security: How to Protect Your Data

Five Steps to Data Security

data security woman in red working on laptopWith the increase in security attacks online, data security is one of the most vital parts of an effective Internet Security strategy.

As a business owner, you can never rest on your laurels when it comes to protecting your computer data and network from cyber attacks.

An effective data security strategy includes using a centralized storage device such as a NAS, data encryption, antivirus protection, network security and constant data backups.

1. Use A Centralized Storage Device

As your company grows it is important to have a centralized place to store all of your important data. You may not think that small business security is important to your company, but you are sorely mistaken.

Storing all of your data on a centralized storage device or Network-Attached Storage (NAS) allows you to be able to keep your data stored in a secure place. Many companies use a NAS locked in a secure closet. A NAS is a centralized file system which can consist of several drives to offer data redundancy.

Note: Cloud storage and secure online backup services are quickly becoming the preferred choices these days. Any business would be wise to begin exploring these offsite solutions as well.

2. Encrypt Your Data

Before Windows 7 or 8, encrypting your data was quite difficult. With the newer versions of Windows comes a much higher level of data encryption called BitLocker. BitLocker allows you to encrypt your entire hard drive with either 128 bit or 256 bit data encryption.

This can be a lifesaver should your hard drive become lost or stolen. Using BitLocker is a cost effective way to increase your small business security, assuming you are running Windows 7 or Windows 8.

3. Install Antivirus and Spyware Software

One of the easiest ways to help with your small business security is to install Antivirus and Spyware software on all of your business computers. There are literally hundreds of companies offering these types of software which can make it difficult to know which company to choose for your company.

The two most popular companies offering antivirus and spyware protection are McAfee and Norton. While these are the two most popular companies, there are other companies which offer great products for free.

Popular free antivirus options include Avast, Avira, AVG, and Microsoft’s own Security Essentials. Choosing any of these products will greatly increase data security across your entire company’s network infrastructure.

4. Secure Your Computer Network

No matter if your company has a wireless or wired network, it is important to adequately secure your network from outside attacks. Wireless networks should be secured with the highest possible encryption.

Common wireless encryption protocols include WEP, WPA and WPA2. Of these three WPA2 is likely the most secure and should be used if at all possible to secure your wireless network.

Wired networks offer better security, but are more expensive to setup and install. With a wired network, if you can control who is physically accessing your network, you can maintain strong data security and integrity.

5. Backup Your Data

One of the most important parts of keeping your business data secure is to constantly back up your data. It is important to backup your data both locally and offsite if at all possible. Many companies such as BackBlaze, Carbonite and even Amazon offer great options to backup your data using a cloud backup or storage solution. This can allow you to rest easy when one of your computers loses important data.

Takeaways

As a business owner if you can do an effective job of centralizing your storage, encrypting your data, installing antivirus on all of your machines, securing your network and maintaining backups of your data you can feel confident that you are doing all you can to protect your data.

As companies grow, small business security becomes more and more important and you do not want to be left in the dark when you face a cyber attack or severe data loss. Data security is important to companies of all sizes, so do yourself a favor now and protect yourself and your company before it is too late!

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