Digital theft is the most common way businesses are hurt today.
In fact, 4,149 confirmed breaches resulted in more than 4.2 billion data records being stolen in 2016. 55% of those record losses came from business security failures or vulnerabilities. Inga Goodijn, Risk Based Security’s executive VP, says as shocking as those numbers are, their study probably “underestimates the actual criminal activity.”
It’s more important than ever to secure your data – and protect your assets – in our digitally driven business climate.
Here is what you can do:
1. Lock the Gateways
You wouldn’t leave your car keys in the ignition, with the doors unlocked and a sign on the hood that says “Free Ride,” right? It’s the same with our data, yet many people leave their data fully exposed to would-be cyber-criminals. More than 4 out of 5 hack-type breaches (81% according to 2016 data analyzed for Verizon’s 10th Annual Data Breach Investigations Report) are directly tied to weak or stolen passwords. Develop – and enforce – a password policy that prevents unapproved password sharing and helps users create strong, hard-to-crack access codes.
2. Safely Park Your Property Management Equipment
If you use company-owned mobile devices and allow employees to use their own cell phones and laptops for company business, it’s time to create policies that protect your physical assets from theft. Conduct routine inventory assessments to make sure all your equipment is accounted for, and train employees on how to protect their personal devices against hackers.
3. Discourage Wandering Eyes
Digital theft may start with non-digital snooping. Confidential and sensitive information should never be left where unauthorized eyes can take a peak. Position fax machines out of public view. Install filters that prevent others from reading information on desktop and laptops. Keep private paper files in folders or turned face down on desks. It only takes a few seconds for someone to glance at a sheet of paper or lift something from a desk when an employee steps away to make a copy or retrieve a brochure. Always secure valuable data – even if it is a bit inconvenient.
4. Shut the Computer Down
Instruct employees to turn off their computers, or put them in a password protected sleep mode every time they step away from their device. Sure, it takes a little longer, but it’s more secure, and wouldn’t rather spend an extra two minutes powering on and off than trying to recover from a data breach?
5. Be Diligent
Pay attention to what happens. Complacency is almost as dangerous as putting out a sign that your data is available for the taking. Don’t just make policy, make sure your policies are consistently followed. Even if you instruct employees not to store password lists, financial data, and other sensitive information on email storage – which is an excellent policy – you should still periodically make sure your policy is in practice. Remember, security threats come from internally and externally. Educate your staff to spot potential threats. Never let your guard down. Build a company culture that is security-minded. Adopt a training policy that gives employees the tools they need to deal with digital and face-to-face threats appropriately.
All my best,
Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.