Data security seems like a constantly moving target. The truth is that it’s never a one-and-done task that you can check off your to-do list. Cyber security and data security are ongoing processes that everyone on your team needs to invest in. Here are a few ways you can guide your whole organization to make security a priority this coming year.

Make Sure Data Security is Built into Onboarding

Everyone learns slightly differently. The goal of a security-focused onboarding process is not to enforce uniformity in the learning styles but instead to deliver a great first impression and provide other relevant information. You will have the most success in grabbing and retaining the attention of a large audience if the onboarding process incorporates flexibility. This could mean having multiple different delivery mediums such as in-person sessions, online information, onboarding videos, and group sessions versus a more personalized session. Different people will find different parts of the content more appealing to them. It is important that the delivery mechanism is tailored towards that and lets employees go at their own pace. But all of them should understand the key elements of your security procedures.

Reinforce a Security Culture

The increase in cyber security concerns calls for an increase in cyber security awareness in the corporate sector. Best practices such as these should become second nature to your staff and should be woven into the workplace culture as a whole. It takes focus and effort every day to make sure you and your employees are making the right decisions when it comes to your digital security. But a strong security culture can help support that effort more than any software program or un-guessable password. Sharing the knowledge needed to educate employees about the risks involved with cloud storage, data security, and malware protection, partnered with taking the necessary precautions to protect the security of the company, is the first step toward building a strong culture of security.

Teach Smart Data Management (Both Online and Offline)

Accessing files remotely can expose your company and your data. Make sure you and your staff know how to work on the road without exposing your company to any unnecessary risks. Keep software and hardware up to date and fully functional. Avoid logging on to the corporate intranet when connected to a questionable network or hot spot. Don’t allow employees to use unprotected devices or download unnecessary or unapproved apps or software programs. Make sure that when employees are out and about their work, computers are protected in case of theft or damage. Make sure that your team is not exposing your data to theft, hacking, or worse, when they are on the road or at home. This requires a strong cyber-security policy and regular enforcement of rules.

Large data breaches are often linked back to negligence in password protection. There are a number of common mistakes that can have serious consequences when it comes to protecting online information. The repeated use of passwords across multiple different accounts and the use of easily guessed passwords is still one of the top entry points for hackers to gain access to personal or sensitive information. Using strong passwords should be a top priority. To make a password that is both difficult to guess or hack but easy to remember, try using a phrase-style password, but only use the first letter or number of each word. The key is to avoid creating passwords with recognizable words as those are easy to guess or hack.

Of course, avoid passwords such as 123456, birthdays, names, common words, and anything with the word “password” in it. These passwords are easily guessed and can result in loss of data, identity theft, or corporate espionage. Also, remember to change passwords frequently to make sure that they are that much more difficult to guess.

With these tips as a cornerstone of your organization, you can build a strong foundation that will help prevent data breaches. Connect with the team at ESGI to find out how we can help you build strong and security-savvy teams.

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