Know What Your IT-Related Risks Are

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Know What Your IT-Related Risks Are

Every company should conduct an IT risk assessment at least once a year. A thorough IT risk assessment will help identify and prioritize problem areas.

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Know Where Your IT-Related Risks Are

It's not enough to know "what" the problems are, the "where" is critical, too. A good IT risk assessment can save money in the long run.

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Achieve Compliance With Data Protection Regulations

First, get compliant with all relevant government and industry data preservation standards. But achieving compliance is pointless if the company can't consistently maintain it. Develop a process to manage compliance and keep compliance records up-to-date.

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Conduct Penetration Tests

Hire an independent auditor to run penetration tests to find the vulnerabilities in the system. Run social engineering tests as well.

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Know the Incident Response Plan

All companies need to assume they will need an incident response plan. If your organization doesnt have one, develop a plan soon. Practice the plan, so when data breaches happen, everyone knows what to do immediately.

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Educate All Employees

People are inadvertently the most common causes of security leaks. Teach employees—top to bottom—to be careful of what they do on personal devices and what corporate data they download.

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Encrypt Sensitive Data

Encrypt sensitive data stored on servers, laptops and portable media. If data is being stored on highly portable USB flash drives, encrypt those, too. If any of them are lost, no one can access the encrypted data.

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Strong Password Policy

Require all employees—from the highest to the lowest—to change passwords frequently and make sure the selected passwords are strong. Educate users to not reuse passwords across multiple business or even personal accounts.

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Segment the Network and Computers

Use a separate machine for financial transactions such as banking and payroll. Don't access anything else, such as email or any other Websites from that machine, to foil malware and phishing schemes.

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Dont Treat Security as a Nuisance

Security is more than just preventing or limiting what people can do. Good security enables businesses to operate more securely by protecting revenue and profits that could be lost through a data breach. Treat security as an essential part of the company's mission.

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