If your company retains personal and sensitive information about your employees, clients, or customers, you must protect this data. Cybercriminals attack businesses each day to steal data they can use for profit. As a business owner, it is important that you understand data security. A South Carolina business compliance lawyer can help you ensure that your company complies with all federal and state laws governing data security.
Beginning with the Basics of Data Security
Knowing some of the basics of data security can help you protect your data from cybercriminals. Remember, cybercriminals attack both large and small companies. Therefore, it is important for a small business owner to understand data security methods and how to protect data just as it is important for large companies to protect their data.
Five important data security basics you need to know are:
1. Update Your Software
Setting updates to occur automatically is one way you can protect your data. You need to update all software, including operating systems, apps, and web browsers.
2. Encrypt Devices and Secure Your Files
Using encryption on all devices that could contain or access sensitive data is an essential step in data security. Devices that should have encryption software include removable drives, laptops, cloud storage accounts, tablets, cell phones, and backup tapes. In addition, secure your files by backing up data offline. You can use cloud storage solutions or an external hard drive, but do not forget to encrypt the device. Also, make sure that your paper files are secured too.
3. Require Strong Passwords
It is easy to choose a password that you can remember; however, this practice can leave your data at risk. A strong password is at least 12 characters in length. The password should be a mixture of numbers, letters, and symbols. You should also use capital letters and lowercase letters in the password. Set your systems to limit the number of unsuccessful log-in attempts to limit criminals from attempting to break your password to gain access to your data.
4. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Secure your sensitive information by requiring multi-factor authentication to access areas of the network that contain private data. There are several types of multi-factor authentication that your business may use for data security. You might require a temporary code that is sent to a specific cell phone number or a physical key that must be inserted into the computer to complete the login process.
5. Train Employees and Develop a Data Breach Plan
You need to include your employees in your data security plan. Regular training sessions help your employees understand the need for cybersecurity. Training sessions also update employees on new vulnerabilities and risks related to data security. Businesses should require mandatory attendance for training sessions. Also, develop a data breach response plan for your company. The FTC has several resources for protecting data and developing a data breach plan on its website.
Contact a South Carolina Business Attorney For More Information
Failing to comply with federal and state laws related to data security could result in substantial penalties for your company. Contact our South Carolina business compliance lawyers at Willcox, Buyck & Williams, P.A. Our South Carolina business attorneys can help you ensure compliance with all data security laws.