Data has become an essential aspect of organizations, and protecting it has become a very crucial task.

Small or big, every organization can be affected by the data breaches due to lack of awareness and lack of capability to invest in protecting their data.

Many business owners would think that cyber-criminals will pass over attacking their company because they have a small amount of data. But according to the U.S. Congressional, Small Business Committee has found that 71 percent of the SMBs which are having less than 100 employees are facing Cyber Attacks. This means there is a chance by which you could still be targeted by hackers even if you have a small business, so think about your security protections.

Is your most sensitive data secured?

If not, it’s time to protect your data.

Is there any way to protect my company’s sensitive data?

So here is the article in which we are going to discuss the best practices to protect your company’s sensitive data.

Usage of Firewall

The foremost factor of defense in the cyberattack is a firewall.

Its recommended to set up a firewall to build a barrier between the attacker and your data. Moreover, many companies are deciding to install internal firewalls besides external firewalls to provide additional protection to their data. We need to install robust firewalls and traffic policies to limit the data loss and theft in the network level.

There are many types of firewall available but mainly its either hardware-based or software-based. A hardware-based firewall is expensive than software-based.

Thanks to open source community, there are many options as explained in the below article.

If you are ready to invest (you should be anyway), you may also consider cloud-based managed firewall. The advantage of cloud-based service is that you don’t have to worry about installation, administration, and maintenance. You pay for what you use.

Here are some of the options you can explore.

When firewalling the network infrastructure, do the best practice to deny all and allow only what is needed.

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

When we deal with any security-related issues in an organization, we mainly come up with safeguarding and securing our data. For this, we need to have all the necessary tools and controls related to Identity and Access Management. The tools and controls that are included in IAM are User Behaviour analysis, Mobile Device Management, VPN & Next-Gen Firewall, and so on. Furthermore, IAM enables us to record and capture the information about user login, orchestrate the assignment, managing the enterprise database of user identities, and removal of access privileges.

IAM systems are mainly used to provide reliability and flexibility to establish various groups with distinct privileged account management for particular roles so that the job functions based on the employee access rights can be easily and uniformly assigned. Even the systems must also provide approval and request processes to modify privileges, because the employees who have the same job location and title may require customization to access. Moreover, having a capable IAM infrastructure helps the enterprises establish productive, efficient, and secure access to technological resources across various systems while delivering the information.

Patch Management

Patch management plays a crucial role in Cybersecurity.

Patches are mainly used to deal with vulnerability and security gaps. A good patch management strategy has been listed as one of the most compelling reasons in the context of cybersecurity. Security patches are mainly designed to address and identify the flaws in the program/software.

An effective patch management strategy ensures that the patches are applied on time, and also there is no negative impact on operations. The quick deployment of patches notifies the malicious actors of vulnerability potential and also seize various opportunities to find out the exploit vulnerable systems.

Software Inventory

Software inventory provides an estimation of control measure over what has been installed in-house. Moreover, in small companies, we get out of hands-on different open-source software or applications. Whereas, the purchased trail of commercial software leaves a paper of invoice for downloading open-source software directly in the web without any trace.

We must also check open-source software for integrity before installation, along with the recordings of downloaded dates and times because an open-source software comes with various MD5 hashes and different signatures of GNU privacy guard to verify whether the download is done completely or not.

As a best practice, also review the open-source software credibility. How popular it is, who uses them, who is backing them, is there any professional or community support, etc.

Insider Threat Detection

It is one of the most significant data security or cybersecurity problems faced by many of the agencies, including in the government sector.

The insider threats mainly occur to your network typically by the people who work as a contractor or an employee in your company. Monitoring user activities play a significant role because we can verify user actions and also detect the unauthorized behavior of the user.

It is a challenging task to identify the insider threats, but it may lead to a massive loss for an organization if they don’t recognize the threats inside.

Data Backup

Backup is one of the best practices in cybersecurity.

It is essential for every organization to have a full backup of all the necessary data from basic-level to high-level sensitive information. We must make sure of the backing of data present in the secure storage, and also we need to make sure that all the backups are stored in a separate location in case of a natural disaster.

We also need to check frequently whether backups are functioning correctly or not. The most important thing is that we need to divide backup duties among several people to migrate insider threats.

Backup frequency depends on the business nature. Some business may require real-time data backup some daily. If your business deal with mainly flat files, then you may consider going for cloud object storage for backup.

Enforce Password Policy

Implement a strong password policy in your organization active directory, LDAP, or IAM. Don’t settle for anything less than eight characters and combination of letter, number, and special characters. Force to change the password periodically every 2 or 3 months.

There will be many applications which have their credentials, and often they are stored in excel. Think about implementing a password manager.

Password manager store the password in their database, which is encrypted and access is controlled by access control.

Use Multi-factor Authentication

Implementation of multi-factor authentication settings on email products and the network is simple, and it provides an extra layer of protection for your data. This also helps you clearly distinguish among the improved control access and users of shared accounts.

Conclusion

Data protection is as important as growing your business. Failing to protect the data lands organization in huge losses. Securing business data is very crucial from falling it in the hands of unauthorized users. Above explained practices would help you in protecting your business data.