7 Ways to Keep Your Business Files Safe and Protect Your Data

7 Ways to Keep Your Business Files Safe and Protect Your Data

The secure transfer of information and digitized records is imperative for business. In this post, learn seven effective ways to keep your business files safe.

Last December, Uber Technologies Inc. suffered a data breach when the systems of a third-party vendor were compromised. This resulted in the exposure of the details of 77,000 Uber employees which could be leveraged for malicious intent.

We live in a world where businesses rely heavily on the secure transfer of electronic files just to maintain ongoing operations. Every day, files are shared between employees, companies and even third-parties

Unfortunately, safeguarding sensitive data and monitoring cybersecurity exposure are sometimes treated as secondary concerns. Neglecting these priorities has led to a marked increase in cybersecurity incidents throughout 2022 across all industries and the threat continues to grow—Gartner predicts that cyberattacks relating to third parties will only increase in 2023 and beyond.

In a time when there’s a ubiquitous need for remote and online collaboration, the secure transfer of information and digitized records is a non-negotiable essential. Organizations will have to adopt adequate safety measures to keep their business data secure. In this article, we’ll discuss seven effective ways to keep your business files safe.

7 Ways To Keep Your Business Data Safe

1. Encrypt Your Files

Encryption encodes your digital data and protects sensitive files from unauthorized access. This process basically scrambles your data and renders it unreadable unless a decryption key is used to gain access.

Standard websites use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) as a form of encryption that keeps attacks on data-in-transit at bay. Encryption can be either Symmetric (where one key is used to encrypt and decrypt data) or Asymmetric (where two keys—public and private—are used instead).

2. Back up Your Computer Regularly

Acronis in a report claims that 10% of users back up daily, 15% back up once or twice a week, while 34% of users backup on a monthly basis. It’s interesting to see that 41% of users rarely or never backup their data.

This pronounced security risk can effectively put users out of business in case of massive data loss, hardware failure or malware infection. Backing up ensures that your company’s data remains secure and accessible at all times in different locations.

Backups can be done by copying files onto an external hard drive or sending them offsite (such as through cloud storage). Encryption should be included to maintain top security and prevent unauthorized access.

3. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring users to provide two or more pieces of information to access their accounts.

One of the most common forms of MFA is the traditional password-plus-one-factor method, which requires users to provide both their password and an additional form of identification. This could be a password and a fingerprint, a password and a security token, or a password and a code sent via text message. This additional layer of security makes it harder for hackers and data thieves to gain access to your accounts and steal important data.

4. Educate Your Employees

One of the most common ways that businesses fall victim to scams is through phishing emails.

These emails designed to look like they come from legitimate sources use social engineering to extract sensitive information.

Data suggests that employees in smaller organizations are more likely to be exposed to these emails and this results in massive data breaches if successful. This prioritizes the need to build a culture of security by creating policies and procedures, providing regular training to employees, and encouraging best practices. By doing this, employees can learn how to identify and avoid phishing scams.

5. Use Antivirus Software and Password Managers

Antivirus software provides a range of tools to offer maximum security against all sorts of threats to your devices. These threats include viruses, malware and spyware. Some antivirus software offers features beyond basic antivirus protection which includes a data shredder, smart firewall, password managers, webcam shield, cloud backup service and secure VPNs.

Password managers are a safe way to store your passwords in one place. This particular system can generate strong and unique passwords, store them in a protected digital vault and keep track of them for later use.

With password managers, users can easily autofill login credentials (including credit card details and medical records) on websites and applications. The only password you’ll need to keep track of is the single master password to the password manager.

6. Conduct Regular Security Audits

Security should not be treated as an afterthought but as a primary focus. This is why you should conduct regular vulnerability assessments to ensure that your files are accurate, up-to-date and secure.

The idea is to identify potential weaknesses in the system and take corrective measures to address them before hackers find a way to exploit them.

7. Use Secure File Transfer Methods

If you run a business, file sharing is not only essential, it can be a make-or-break exercise whenever the sharing of sensitive files is required. Even the the most routine file sharing can come with some challenges such as minimizing susceptibility to attacks and the exposure of sensitive data.

This prompts the need for effective methods of transferring sensitive and confidential data while ensuring security, compliance and efficiency. We have a few such methods, including secure managed file transfer (MFT),

File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).

However,MFT happens to be a more reliable choice as it offers an advanced approach for transmitting files and data compared to traditional file transfer protocols like FTP and HTTP.

It’s not uncommon to see online file transfer methods that leverage HTTP or even HTTPS to share files within an organization and with third parties. These types of services sometimes leave the sender wondering if their sensitive files were forwarded to another, unintended recipient, or if the attachments made it through at all. From an organizational perspective, when individuals use so-called EFSS or Enterprise File Sync and Share, there is no way to centrally view all of the places to which sensitive files may have been sent, at what time, or with whom they were shared. This unnecessarily opens up additional attack surface for bad actors and that is something we can at least avoid.

FTP lacks significant security features, including safeguards to ensure that the computer on the other end of the FTP connection is legitimate and that the data transferred is not encrypted. The same goes for email transfer protocols, like Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) which also lacks user authentication and data encryption. This results in errors such as file interception, data leakage and compliance. This Progress piece sheds some light on the dangers of resorting to file sharing via email.

This is where MFT gains ground. SMFT technology utilizes robust security measures, such as encryption, digital signatures and authentication, to safeguard data during transmission and storage. It also incorporates advanced file transfer features, such as compression and automation, that reduce transfer times and enhance operational efficiency.

The Answer You Need: Secure Managed File Transfer Software

Progress MOVEit is a secure managed file transfer and automation software that enables businesses to guarantee the reliability of core business processes and transfer sensitive data between partners, customers and systems in a secure and compliant way.

It provides secure collaboration and automated file transfers of sensitive data with advanced workflow automation capabilities without the need for scripting. MOVEit also offers encryption and activity tracking to enable compliance with regulations such as PCI, HIPAA and GDPR.

MOVEit ensures the secure sharing of files across the enterprise and globally, reduces the risk of data loss and non-compliance, and enables the creation of automated file transfer tasks and workflows to accelerate business and eliminate the risk of user error. The software also allows end users to collaborate securely and ensures compliance with regulations by implementing security controls and establishing an audit trail.

Start your free trial here: https://www.ipswitch.com/moveit.

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