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Incidents of data breaches have escalated within the past few years. It’s alarming that hackers are now targeting small businesses. Sadly, most small businesses lack the infrastructure to protect them from cyberattacks, and this can have a devastating effect if care isn’t taken.
Data breaches are expensive. Apart from losing sensitive data and money, your customer trust is at stake too. It’s not surprising that a lot of consumers are concerned about getting their data in the wrong hands. This has made them to be wary of dealing with brands with a laid-back approach to security.
Exploring the importance of big data for businesses
Several small businesses are making data-driven decisions and enjoying the benefits. Big data is readily available, and analyzing it isn’t rocket science. You can beat the competition and organize successful marketing campaigns once you have the right tools.
Ensure that you have a foolproof data strategy in place before collecting data. Let’s check some of the ways small businesses are maximizing data.
- Compete with top brands
Big brands have been using big data long before it became mainstream. The good thing is that small and medium businesses now have access to the same data and tools. This provides endless opportunities for them. As time goes on, you can even emerge as a leader in your industry.
- Minimize costs
Small businesses that rely on big data can attest to the fact that it helps them reduce operating costs and boost sales. This usually gives them an edge over their competitors that are yet to join the bandwagon. It will be easier to understand your customers’ shopping habits by analyzing their digital footprint.
This can help you offer customized products and services that meet their needs. Asides from that, big data can serve as a tool for creating fresh revenue streams.
- Enhance efficiency
Teams that use big data tend to be more efficient. There are different online tools to handle tasks without leaving the comfort of your home. This enables people to handle tasks faster and boost productivity, thereby improving operations.
5 Strategies for protecting your business during file transfer
Everyone in your team must be responsible for securing customer data. The strategies deployed in the last decade may not be effective now. Data security trends keep evolving, and cybercriminals are relying on more sophisticated tools.
It’s expedient to take extra security measures to protect your business data in this era. That said, here are 5 ways to protect your data.
1. Train your employees
Human errors remain the leading cause of security breaches. The first step to take is to include data security in your brand’s culture. Your employees will get used to the concept over time. You need to lead by example.
You can organize training programs to educate them on the importance of transferring data securely and the steps to take. Make sure you provide the necessary tools so that they will be equipped with the ability to detect suspicious elements and warning signs early on.
A data protection policy can help your brand avoid a lot of data-related issues now and in the future.
2. Invest in a robust antivirus
Although this strategy looks simple, a lot of companies often skip this step. It’s risky to depend on free antivirus or spyware protection software, especially if your business handles sensitive information. The level of protection of such software will likely be insufficient.
Invest in reliable software and opt for automatic updates. There are affordable options out there for your PC and mobile devices. You can also leverage a patch assessment tool that helps to maintain secure applications and operating systems.
3. Be strict about role-based access
Contrary to popular opinion, establishing role-based access isn’t limited to big brands. Small brands need to be proactive about this to minimize the risks associated with data breaches.
Be clear about the team members who have access to different categories of data. For instance, your personal data should remain private. In a nutshell, data should be available to those you’ve assigned certain roles to.
Avoid relying on default permission when it comes to accessing cloud-based data. It’s advisable to grant read-only access instead. Another thing is that you must remember to revoke access and change the passwords immediately an employee leaves your company.
4. Protect physical devices
It’s best to protect your data at all times regardless of the location. Many small businesses allow employees to work remotely in a bid to save overhead costs. Lately, other brands have embraced the work from the home trend in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, working remotely shouldn’t jeopardize data security. The fact that a device isn’t your brand’s property doesn’t mean it can’t gain access to your system. Your best bet is to get antivirus software for your employees and enjoy an extra layer of protection.
Integrate endpoints that detect and filter dangerous files before they gain access to your system. More so, design a device control strategy for preventing removable storage devices from infecting your system.
5. Back up your data
Saving your company’s files locally won’t cut it in this era. It’s ideal to use the cloud. Recognize the important data you need to back up and make sure you take swift action.
Endeavor to back up your company’s data on the cloud from time to time. This will help you avoid losing all your data in the event of a data breach. Take advantage of the automatic update option instead of handling it manually.
Different sectors of the economy are becoming data-centric. Moving data to the cloud in an encrypted manner will give you peace of mind. Various file-sharing options have been emerging in recent times. However, it’s not all of them that integrate best practices for digital security.
You need to invest in software like IBM Aspera which is perfect for migrating large volumes of data. This tool also facilitates easy collaboration among team members even when they are on the go.