7 Key Measures for Data Protection and IT Security
GDPR was one of the most widely used terms in business in 2018. Is your digital data safe?
We all remember receiving dozens of emails in the run-up to May 25th last year, asking us to ‘Opt in to receive further communications’. It was the result of the introduction of GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation) by the EU. GDPR was introduced to protect the privacy and personal data of EU citizens.
Businesses are continuing to adapt to the new guidance, and need to be seen to be taking reasonable steps to comply. But with technology continuing to play an increasingly significant role in all industries, have you considered how safe your business’ data is?
Is Your Business Vulnerable to a Data Breach?
Could your IT security be leaving your customer data vulnerable – not to mention your sensitive business information? Whether your business operates using hundreds of computers and devices or just a single laptop, you need to take steps to meet GDPR compliance. Failing to do so could potentially be damaging to your business.
Ensuring Your Tech is Secure
So how can you ensure your tech provides sufficient levels of data protection? Here are our Seven Key Measures for Data Protection. Implementing effective measures will help to protect your business from a data breach.
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A cornerstone of IT security, firewalls are used to block and filter traffic to a network. This prevents hackers from accessing your data via your computer network.
Spam emails are often carefully disguised to appear genuine. Following through on a Spam email’s call-to-action can introduce malware to your computer, or leave the user at risk of inadvertently disclosing sensitive information.
Anti-virus software works to detect harmful software, and prevent it from causing problems. Some forms of virus, such as ‘Trojan horses’ are designed to breach a computer system and then extract your data.
4. Content Filters
Content filters are installed to prevent access to various items online (including emails) that may be harmful if accessed. They act as a barrier, flagging up content before the content is interacted with.
5. User education
As the eyes and ears of your business, your staff need to have a good understanding of their responsibilities using the internet and web-based applications. It is important for staff to be able to recognise (and report) potential threats before interacting with them. Above all, staff should understand best practice in order to use the web in a safe, secure manner.
What would happen if you lost data crucial to your business’ operations? It’s vital to implement a backup schedule. Wherever possible, this should consist of a physical back-up on a hard drive as well as back-up to a cloud-based provider. The regularity of your backup depends on your business’ operations; a daily back-up may suffice, but in some industries, more regular back-ups may be necessary.
7. Patching / updates of all IT security systems
The provider of your operating system (OS) will usually provide regular system updates. These updates usually improve user experience, whilst also fixing bugs and areas of vulnerability. This is often in response to the latest security threats. It is therefore vital to run an up-to-date OS. For example, if your computer is still running Windows 7, you need to upgrade your OS before January 14th 2020 to ensure your computer receives the latest security and system updates.
Implementing the Correct Measures
Implementing the above protective measures (or upgrading existing software or hardware) – will help to protect your business’ data. However, it is important to realise that there are many different types of protection available. The right measures for you and your business’ IT depends on factors such as the size of the infrastructure and the sensitivity of the data.
Seeking professional advice will ensure your business’ IT systems – and therefore your data – receives the best – and most cost-effective protection. Can your business afford a data breach?
Blunt advice on IT security from Yorkshire Powerhouse
Now you’ve read our article on IT security – have you any more questions?
Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:
At the time of release, Microsoft committed to supporting Windows 7 for 10 years - January 14th 2020 has been chosen as the last day of this support. Read >