As new details of the Equifax breach emerge, the business world is on high alert. Now is the time to double down on your security measures. In this blog, we offer tips for protecting your data in wake of the Equifax breach.
Know What You Have
You can’t protect what you don’t know about. Be aware of the data you collect, where it’s stored, and how to access it. If taking inventory of your data is too overwhelming a job to handle in-house, consult with a qualified information management partner.
Have a Secure Backup Plan
Now is the time to make sure you have a solid backup plan. One way online criminals steal business data is by using ransomware. After accessing your network undetected, they wait until it’s likely that all your backups have been overwritten with backups containing their ransomware code, then hold your data hostage until you pay a ransom to get it back—hence the name, “ransomware.” But with a solid backup plan, you’re not at the mercy of these criminals.
Your data security plan should minimize internal and external threats. Store your backup data in a vault where it’s protected from unauthorized access with specialized technology that includes:
- 24/7 security monitoring
- Media-specific climate control systems
- Fire detection and suppression systems
Your offsite vaulting provider can come daily, weekly or monthly to pick up your backup media for offsite storage and return archival tapes for re-introduction to the scratch pool.
Shred Your Media
Too many businesses protect data during retention only to negligently dispose of it at the end of its lifecycle. Deleting files from an expired hard drive or backup tape does not permanently destroy the information. With the right software, criminals can still access confidential data hiding on an erased digital device. Instead of taking a chance, use a media and hard drive shredding service to physically destroy expired digital media.
Educate Your Employees
Data security is a team effort. This is why it’s important to educate your employees on security threats and risk mitigation strategies. Begin by creating a security policy that specifies the following:
- Bring your own device (BYOD) rules
- Network access
- Password strength
- File sharing practices
- Software updates
- Final disposition of information
Schedule routine training sessions to discuss emerging threats and revise security best practices. Staying ahead of data-stealing criminals has never been more important. Make these tips part of your data security toolkit.
American Document Securities provides records storage and document shredding services for businesses in Atlanta and Northeast Georgia. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.