1Know 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.
2Know 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.
3Achieve 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.
4Conduct Penetration Tests
Hire an independent auditor to run penetration tests to find the vulnerabilities in the system. Run social engineering tests as well.
5Know 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.
6Educate 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.
7Encrypt 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.
8Strong 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.
9Segment 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.
10Dont 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.