Your Data Security Resolutions for the New Year

What is your resolution for the New Year? To be more organised? To get into shape? To quit smoking? While you have probably already decided on your personal New Year’s resolution, you need to ensure that you don’t forget about your business. With data breaches being rife at present, you should definitely make data security a priority in the New Year.

Set strong, unique passwords – Start the year by changing your passwords. It is good to do this often to protect your critical data. Make sure your passwords are impossible to guess and that they are a mistake of lower case letters, capital letters, numbers, and special characters.

Make sure you are compliant – There are too many business owners that assume their business is compliant because they were several years ago or they have simply answered the SAQ to ensure it appears as though their business is compliant. This is a very risky approach to take. Start off 2016 with the aim of going through the full twelve PCI requirements and ensuring you are fully compliant with each and every one.

Shred your documents – This applies to both paper and electronic documents. In regards to the former, a shredder will be one of the best investments your business ever makes, as you can ensure that all confidential documents are destroyed so that they do not end up in the wrong hands. In regards to electronic files, a lot of people think they have deleted their files, when, in fact, they remain on the hard drive. If you are getting rid of a computer or device, the best thing to do is destroy the hard drive so the data cannot be retrieved.

Ensure your firewall is sophisticated and up-to-date – You need a top quality firewall in place to ensure end-to-end protection. However, the issue is that a lot of people do not update their firewalls and thus their security measures are inefficient without them even realising it.

Educate your employees about security matters – Did you know that the vast majority of data breaches occur because of human error? Your employees need to be a key part of your security policy – it needs to be a collective effort to reduce the chances of a data breach. This could begin with data classification, which involves labeling data based on sensitivity. This will make employees think twice before they send or modify any documents or emails.

Use two-factor authentication – Last but not least, you should implement two-factor authentication whenever possible. Passwords are no longer enough. For ultimate protection, you need to make all users go through a two-step process. This could involve entering their password and then entering a code that has been sent to their smartphone, for example.

So there you have it – some great data security resolution suggestions for the New Year. Which one will you be taking up?