Staying connected is a top priority for businesses all over the globe. Especially with the pandemic in the mix, more companies have had to send their employees home and quickly adapt to remote work, or create a hybrid business model with some staff on site, and others working remotely. With so many interactions moving online and via a variety of digital outlets, from social media, email, to project management tools, companies need to think ahead with regards to data protection. 

After all, spending more time online and interacting more via these outlets means exposing your data centers and potentially sensitive customer information to unknown entities. Knowing that, more brands are looking for comprehensive solutions to protect their sensitive business and customer data and prevent breaches. Here, we’ll suggest some of the most effective solutions for any industry, so that you can adapt your security strategy and make sure your data is secure at all times.

Implement stringent protocols

It’s far from enough for anyone in your company to use their birthday or nickname as their password for the building, their main PM account, or client files, that much can go without saying. However, you also need to boost data privacy take your security protocols a step forward by making sure that you have assigned proper credentials to your employees. Not everyone needs access to the most vital business and customer data, isn’t that correct?

That is why giving credentials only to the most essential employees is crucial. Use multi-level authentication whenever possible – combining passwords with biometric scanning is a solid option, as well as the use of several devices to authenticate the person attempting to access certain files. NDA contracts as well as onboarding and offboarding protocols are vital, so as to revoke access from anyone who leaves your company and to ensure your business data is secure.

Utilize software across the board

All of your devices, and yes, that includes your smartphones and tablets, need to have proper software protection at all times. That means that the software systems you use need to be updated regularly, with the latest security patches installed. Add to that, you also need to use software protection to prevent malware, ransomware, and other unwanted dangerous intrusions. 

Keep in mind that the software you use is only as good as the people who regulate them. Make sure that your employees are both trained to update and monitor software performance, and that you include hardware protection, too.

Leverage hardware protection on site

On that note, in addition to strong security protocols, employee training (to which we’ll get quickly), and software, you also need to consider hardware firewalls on site to make sure data breaches are not just unlikely, but impossible. By leveraging cutting-edge enterprise firewall protection for your business technology, you can create a holistic, all-encompassing security solution to keep all your data and interactions secure.

A hardware firewall system on the premises can help filter all the incoming and outgoing traffic to ensure business-wide network security. Combined with other elements of your security plan, the hardware will help you simplify the necessary maintenance, supervision, and response plans should anything go awry.

Train and educate your teams

Cybersecurity is no longer a matter limited to your IT experts. It includes a set of protocols, behaviors, and preventative measures that all your employees need to be aware of, and able to implement daily. Depending on their roles, their access to sensitive information, and their internal and external interactions, you can give them tailored cybersecurity training modules to make sure they aren’t overburdened with information, but that they always have enough to keep your business safe.

Teach all of them how to choose and safeguard their passwords, on all of their business and private accounts. Make sure they don’t visit their private social media profiles from company-issued computers and phones. Teach them how to spot phishing and don’t fall for common scams in the cyber world. 

Use VPNs for your remote staff

Firewalls combined with stellar software work wonders to keep your data secure when your employees are on site or they’re using their private network at home, provided that it also comes with optimal security. However, there will often be situations when some of your remote teams will need to use Wi-Fi from public places such as restaurants, coffee shops, and the like, which may become a security hazard for the data you’d exchange during those interactions.

This is where investing in a VPN can do your business good. Setting up a virtual private network means that your teams’ location and digital footprint will be impossible to track and will remain, as the term indicates, private. Add to that, the data that travels through such a network will remain protected and confidential, thus helping you stay on track with your security goals even off-site.

Stronger security means that your teams can be productive without worrying about the potential perils of lost or stolen data. It also means you can keep your customers, partners, and clients assured that your brand can be trusted no matter what happens, and that you have the right preventative measures as well as response plans ready. That way, your reputation, your business, and your employees are taken care of, and you can focus on business growth rather than mere maintenance. Make sure that 2021 is the year when you enhance your security and prevent data breaches at all costs.

Posted by Dan Radak

Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites.