Companies in mining, engineering, construction and many other industries have a multitude of risks to consider when taking on a project. Many of these are well understood and managed accordingly, but data security is a relatively new player on the field and some businesses are not adequately prepared or protected. Don't be fooled into picturing cyber breaches as a Hollywood gimmick where black-clad agents open a bank vault by furiously tapping away at their keyboards as streams of code race across the screen. It is a very real threat in the modern world, and may not come in a form you expect.
It's easy to take it for granted, but technology has become an integral part of virtually everything we do. From website to cloud storage to internal communications, businesses rely heavily on technology and often share data with contractors, suppliers and other stakeholders. Protecting your company data is extremely important, and you may not realise how vulnerable it is without the proper protection. A cyber breach may result in loss of confidential information, client and employee data, intellectual property and more, which could come at a dire cost to your business.
Encrypt data: Data encryption helps prevent unauthorised access by coding information in a way that can only be deciphered by approved users. This is particularly helpful when data is “in transit” between parties—when sending an email, for example—and is particularly vulnerable to cyber attack.
Upgrade security processes and software: Many companies specialise in data security software which helps shield your business from virtual breaches that may otherwise be undetected. You can also implement two-factor authentication, which requires clearance of more than one security hurdle to gain access. If your employees log in with a username and password, for example, you can add a security fob to prevent attacks when either one of the measures fails.
Train employees: Everyone in the business should be aware of what they need to do to protect sensitive data. Security measures will not be effective unless your entire team is aware of the risks and how to manage them.
Insurance: Many traditional commercial and property insurance policies do not cover cyber security and data breaches, but there are policies available which include virtual threats.
Be prepared for the worst: Have an action plan to follow if a breach occurs. Acting fast gives you a better chance of recovering data and minimising potential damage.
Threats to your data security evolve just as quickly as the security itself, so it's important to remain vigilant and keep up to speed with developments. You may think cyber attack is an unlikely occurrence, but leaving your business exposed could spell disaster.Published 03 May, 2016