How Tight is Your IT Security?
18 November, 2015
In the wake of recent security scandals, such as the TalkTalk hack, it’s time to ask yourself – how secure is your business data? Data breaches are becoming more common, and TalkTalk had in fact fallen victim to two previous attacks this year alone. This has led to a government inquiry being launched into cyber-security and the protection of personal data.
If you store sensitive data such as customer details or bank account information, how can you prevent data breaches and hackers from accessing that information? Not only could it lead to criminal activity, but it can have a devastating effect on brand reputation (TalkTalk shares fell 10% in the week of the hack and they are facing an exodus of customers). In light of this, should all businesses be reviewing their data centre security? Here’s some top tips from the experts:
As hackers are able to evolve with data protection software, it’s becoming more likely that companies will face a data breach at some point. Experian research shows that at present 17% of UK organisations have suffered a data breach yet a third of UK organisations don’t have data breach response plan in place.
You need to prepare for the worst, so that if data is compromised you can mitigate the damage. As a growing threat, businesses should prepare a plan including legal back-up and crisis communications in the event of a data breach. By anticipating the event, everyone will know what to do should a breach occur.
Firstly, you should minimise the number of places where you retain the data, whether that’s on a range of networks and clouds or in different data centres. Data centres should have powerful security measures in place at all times, including security access requiring fingerprints, CCTV and motion detection and perimeter security fencing. For highly sensitive data you may also consider physical security staff patrolling 24/7.
Training and technical support for employees
When managing your IT security you have to go a lot further than the IT department. All employees need comprehensive training in data protection and in the current software used within the company. This is also essential for mobile employees, so standards are upheld and all data is secure regardless of location. It’s also important that staff know how to update software on all laptops and mobile devices, and understand the procedure for reporting any suspicious activity.
These are just general guidelines for protecting your data and preventing a hack – please speak to data protection experts if you feel you need extra defences.