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Posted: August 21, 2016

4 Ways to Avoid Data Breaches

4 Ways to Avoid Data Breaches

In the current era of data, we face an ongoing risk of data loss, be it through hacking or system failures. The data you hold on your computer systems is crucial for your business; as such, it is critical that you protect yourself against data loss.

Why should you care about data loss?
In addition to causing a major inconvenience and damaging your business reputation, data issues can result in serious financial losses. A recent Division Group research survey found that over 70% of businesses that experience a significant loss of data go on to shut operations completely within two years. Data breaches much more common than people think. According to the Guardian’s Media Network, a massive 78% of businesses have reported some form of data breach in the last year. The most common causes of these data breaches are malware, phishing scams, and email attacks.

Given that data loss is common and has profound implications, it is imperative that you take appropriate action to safeguard the information stored on your systems. Here are four things you can do:

1. Install reliable malware protection
Regardless of the size of your organization, make sure you have a robust malware protection solution in place. This will prevent hackers from accessing your data or installing corrupt software on your servers.

2. Change passwords frequently
The longer the passwords you use to protect your systems remain unchanged, the less secure they will become. By mandating that all employees update their passwords on a regular basis, you can reduce the risk that passwords will be stolen or exposed. Experts recommend changing all passwords at least every three months.

3. Implement data protection policies
Your employees play a key role in protecting your IT systems and assets against malware attacks. Implement a solid training plan to ensure all members of your team are aware of how their actions can potentially undermine security. Regularly remind your employees of their obligation to behave in a manner that protects company assets.

4. Don’t forget printed materials
It’s not just electronic data that is at risk. Many organizations fail to take into consideration the information that is printed. Just some of the risks associated with printed materials include documents left at the printer, printouts falling into the wrong hands, and employees printing confidential documents. One way you can safeguard against this is to use print management solutions that allow you to limit what information is printed and control who can print what.

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