From growing startups to global enterprises, no organisation is exempt from being at risk of having its data compromised. There’s much to be gained from storing and analysing valuable information, but unless proper measures are put in place to protect it, businesses leave themselves vulnerable to attacks.

A data breach is seldom just a nuisance, and it’s not uncommon for them to cause irreparable damage. Small businesses are especially at risk, with many shutting their doors as a result of a single attack. To help your company avoid such an untimely demise, consider the following 5 ways to improve the security of your data.

Formulate a Strategy

Instead of having a vague idea of what should be done to prevent and control a breach, your business should have a detailed strategy to protect its data. This can include best practices for employees and a solid incident-response strategy.

In doing so, you’ll be able to swiftly take action in the event that a breach occurs. Having a security strategy also speaks for the amount of effort you put into protecting customer, employee, and stakeholder data, which makes your business more attractive to work with.

Utilise Storage Facilities

The majority of data breaches occur internally, so it makes sense to keep valuable records off-site instead. This also comes with the benefit of cost savings, as you no longer have to pay to obtain and maintain the infrastructure necessary to store data on-site.

Records management specialists such as Topwood provide both digital and physical storage facilities for all your business data and documents. Moreover, they offer document shredding services to securely dispose of any confidential waste – which is then recycled, thus improving the green credentials of your business.

Implement Malware Protection

New kinds of malicious software designed to gain access to crucial data are infiltrating businesses all the time.

Malware is particularly adept at swarming a network and affecting all the devices connected to it. This is why it’s important to apply a firewall and use appropriate security software. It’s also a good idea to implement anti-spam so that the chances of employees opening suspicious emails are reduced, as they’re a major entry point for malware.

Safeguard Passwords

Something as simple as a password that’s too easily cracked can allow entry into your systems from an employee’s computer. Ensure that any passwords used to gain access to your company data are complex, random, and frequently changed. Use a password manager so that your employees don’t have to remember them or write them down.

Perform Background Checks

A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 70% of fraud cases in small businesses were carried out by internal staff. While your employees are likely the last people that you’d expect to sabotage your company, it pays to be vigilant. Be sure to perform background checks on new hires and watch out for any anomalies in their behaviour or performance.

Taking steps to protect your data can save your business from catastrophe. It will also benefit from being a more attractive company to work for, buy from, and invest in, which is key to growth.