Home » Quick Guide to Selecting Suitable Data Protection Methods
This guide has been formulated to help SMEs select offline and online measures to protect their data.
Choosing Offline Data Protection Methods
It isn’t just the internet that contains data, your physical office has hoards of confidential materials too. And you need measures in place to keep this information confidential. This is because it’s a legal duty to prevent data falling into the hands of people who would abuse or share it.
Here are 12 offline measures to keep your physical data secure:
- Lock rooms containing confidential information when not in use.
- Make sure employees don’t write their passwords down.
- Use swipe cards or keypads to access the office.
- Use CCTV cameras to monitor your office space.
- Shield keyboards when inputting passwords.
- Shred confidential waste.
- Use forensic property marking equipment and spray systems to mark assets.
- Use anti-climb paint on exterior walls and drains.
- Install an alarm system.
- Place bars on ground floor windows.
- Hide valuable equipment from view when not in the office.
- Assign a limited number of trustworthy employees as key safe holders.
Picking Online Data Protection Measures
It’s a little more technical from here on out (but don’t worry, I’ve brought my metaphor a-game). Online measures are essential because a data leak can irreversibly damage your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
Use a cyber shredder (otherwise known as data wiping software). In the same way that you’d shred confidential data rather than dumping it in the bin, you should use a cyber shredder as part of your online security. Data wiping software keeps your information secure by overwriting it with nonsensical binary code. Much like defacing a book until it’s illegible. Otherwise, when you send files to your computer’s recycling bin they are recoverable. Which means, that if your equipment is lost or stolen, your data can be stolen too. Data wiping software, however, makes your data irretrievable.
Encrypt your data. Data encryption makes your sensitive and confidential information unreadable. This safeguards against data leaks if your devices are stolen. Encryption turns data into ‘ciphertext’ so that only authorised users can access the original.
Use firewalls to protect your systems from malware. A firewall is a cyber barrier. It prevents your computer from external and network-based threats. And malware is an umbrella term that describes any malicious software. So computer viruses, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, and worms come under this term.
Use IP security to protect your data from hackers as it travels between networks. IP security ensures private and secure internet communications making sure that no one can view the data you send and receive.
Limit user privileges on corporate computers. This prevents users from downloading potentially harmful software.
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Hannah is The Hub’s specialist on social issues and HR. She has a master’s degree in Contemporary Literatures and writes about safeguarding issues and business. When she’s not writing, she practises yoga and peruses bookshops.