How can you protect your business data?
To keep your data safe you need to implement safeguards across your technology, processes and people.
1. Create an Asset Register
This simply means recording what data you have, and where it is stored. Create a list of all the data you use or store and include all the items we talked about in the previous module, such as:
- Your customer records including credit card details, personal details, account numbers, orders and payments.
- Your business records such as your strategy, banking details, your marketing database and accounting records.
- Your intellectual property, such as market research or product development plans.
2. Next to each item, list where it’s stored (i.e. local hard drive, network drive, USB stick, email, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.).
3. Finally, assess how vulnerable to cyber attack each item is. To do this, ask yourself:
- Can the information be accessed by someone outside your business? Think about information that may not be securely stored on your employee’s devices, including laptops, phones and tablets.
- Where is all your data stored? If it’s all in the same place - either on physical storage media or virtually in the cloud - you risk losing everything.
- Is your data backed-up off your network and checked for recovery regularly?
4. Implement these important technical controls on both your desktop and mobile devices to help secure your data:
- Block unauthorised access to your network by installing a firewall, opens in new window.
- Set PINS/passwords/patterns on mobile phones and tablets.
- Protect computers and laptops by setting up auto-updates on your anti-virus software, applications and operating systems. See the Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online, opens in new window service for useful information on how to do this.
- Check your cloud storage for its security standards.
5. Implement the Essential 8
For a comprehensive cyber security strategy, check out the Essential 8, opens in new window - a prioritised list made for small and medium sized businesses. It’s been put together by experts at The Australian Signals Directorate, an intelligence agency in the Australian Government Department of Defence.