Improving the security of your data need not be as complicated as you might think. Even by making just a few simple changes to the way your business stores and uses its data, you’ll go a long way in ensuring it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.To help get your business started we asked Aura Information Security's virtual security officer (VSO), Petra Smith, to give her three top tips for how businesses can better manage data.
- When it comes to data security, less is more… so don’t collect it in the first place. It’s incredibly tempting to collect information we don’t need because it “might be useful” later. But remember, there’s a cost to maintaining and securing information just like any other asset. If you don’t collect it, you can’t lose it.
- Keep it in a single place if you can. A lot of businesses share information and collaborate by emailing documents back and forth. That means there are copies of that information in everyone’s inboxes and downloads folders. It’s better to have sensitive information in a single secure place and share the link – then you can control who can access it and change or delete it when you need to.
- Delete it if you don’t need it. Information benefits from decluttering too. This is easier if you decide how long you need to keep the information when you create or collect it, and make that part of your business processes. For example, if you’re collecting people’s information for a prize draw as part of a promotional campaign, the campaign’s project plan should include deleting that information. Get your team in the habit of not leaving sensitive information lying around – secure dispose of printouts and delete files from USB thumb drives when you’re done using them.
Of course, if you’re not quite sure where to start – or where your risk lies – it’s a good idea to call in the experts. Sometimes an outside view, particularly from the perspective of a hacker, can shed light on any holes in your company’s security armour.