20:51 21 January 2018
The ever-prevalent threat posed by hackers – both amateur and professional – is understandably stressful and enough to make the palms of any business owner clammy. Criminals are becoming more and more advanced in their dedicated efforts to retrieve your sensitive information, and if they’re successful, the consequences can be unending. While security and encryption should be among your top priorities, they shouldn’t make you lie awake at night with anxiety. If you learn the top threats facing your business’s data – and how to counteract them! – hackers won’t stand a chance against your defense system.
Data in-motion (that is, data which is being moved from one location to another) not only contends with malicious actions, but also human errors, network failures, and insecure transfers. It’s the easiest way your sensitive information can wind up in the hands of the wrong person, and should be valiantly defended against at all times. Do so by restricting cloud-based sharing services such as Dropbox or Google Drive which allow individuals to bypass IT departments. You should identify your business’s critical assets and vulnerabilities, then implement a security framework for said data. If you can’t set up a clear, easy and secure system, you’ll need to hire someone to do it for you. No exceptions. Also, remember phone lines can be tapped, and communication over the phone should be conducted over secure networks using a system such as Private Branch Exchange.
Have you ever thought about where your data is actually stored? Swirling in cyberspace is the wrong answer. Depending on your system’s infrastructure, you might have data stored in caches (passwords, keys, certificates), on your hard drive (documents, files), or in your network (communication). Some business owners prefer to store their sensitive data on an external hard drive, but these can be physically stolen if not hacked. Another common solution is cloud-based storing options such as the aforementioned Dropbox, but these are notoriously insecure. The best way to properly store data and critical information is to protect it from the time it’s created via sophisticated encryption methods. You can encrypt the files yourself, or utilize a special, ultra-secure provider such as Tresorit. One more note: don’t forget about the information stored on your cellphone, including work emails and contact information! Not only can mobile data be virtually hacked, but it can also be physically stolen in one simple swipe. Make sure to use secure data storage on your mobile devices as well.
Do you have overseas clients? If so, don’t make the mistake of assuming your translations are secure. Copying and pasting 500-word chunks into a translation service over the internet and repasting the translated text back into a document is not the way to go. Your data could be intercepted, leaving you exposed. Technically speaking, data translation not only refers to language, but also the process of converting data from one syntax into the form required for use by another system. Whatever data you’re translating, make sure to use a secure translation server such as SYSTRAN which operates over the intranet, not internet. An intranet is a private network accessible only to an organization’s staff, and an absolute necessity for your business’s data security.
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