We’re fully aware that sometimes we sound like a broken record. But as a Managed Services Provider with security as one of our chief responsibilities, it’s worth it to once again remind you that cyberattacks are everywhere these days. Malwares such as viruses, worms, and ransomwares not only corrupt your data or hold it hostage, but they also inflict irreversible damage on your brand and business operations.
While it’s becoming more commonplace for small businesses to invest in anti-virus and cybersecurity systems, it’s unfortunately not enough. That’s because they often overlook one important aspect: access.
Ask yourself, how easy is your data to access? How can you strengthen the walls that keep your data safe? Here are four major considerations that your business should address as soon as possible.
ALWAYS ROLE-BASED ACCESS
Role-based access means that people in your organization have access only to the data that they truly need. Generally, the higher the designated role in the organization, the deeper the data access permission and stronger the rights. For example, an end user may not be able to edit your MIS (Information Management System) spreadsheet, but a manager should be able to. And because role-based security profiling is easier to handle when people leave or join your company, it’s both safer and easier to manage.
FORMAL PASSWORD CONTROLS
No matter how good your cybersecurity is, you need to ensure the password protocols are followed at the ground level. Enforce policies that demand strict password practices and that hold violators accountable. Examples include:
- Password combinations – Ensure your staff follows the recommended best practices when selecting passwords so there are no ‘easy-to-crack’ passwords.
- Password sharing – Thoroughly discourage password sharing across your organization. No matter who asks for it, passwords shouldn’t be disclosed unless authorized as per the protocols.
DON’T IGNORE PHYSICAL SECURITY
Virtual security is critical, but so is physical security. It’s true that in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture of today, there is only so much that physical access controls can do to keep your data safe. But it’s still an important part of a complete security picture. Installation of Closed-Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras in your workspaces, biometric and/or card-based access to your workspace/server rooms, and other hardware that guard access also have a role to play in data safety from the access perspective.
TRAINING & REINFORCEMENT
Finally, train, train, train! You must train your employees on data security protocols, so they don’t accidentally act against them. Conduct mock drills, refresher trainings, quarterly audit follow-ups, and make sure to use positive and negative reinforcements to ensure everyone takes it seriously. Because, at the end of the day, no cybersecurity software is good enough if data access best practices are ignored.
Managed IT Services Providers like us can only do so much since we don’t have constant access to your staff, your operational processes, and how your company enforces its rules. It’s up to each small business to set up an accountability culture that’s right for them and that ensures the people side of security gets the attention it needs. If you have any questions about what could work for you and which technologies could help support your efforts, just reach out to us. We love talking about data safety.