News reports of business data being stolen are far too common these days, and taking the proper steps to minimize the risks of it happening to yours is paramount. But, most people at the helm may not be fully aware of the myriad ways their information is vulnerable. Even the simplest measures of protection may be missing from your security protocol. If you are feeling a bit lost in regards to what you can do to keep your data safe, here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Take Steps to Protect Mobile Devices

In this day and age, company data is being stored on myriad devices besides in-house computers. Smart phones and tablets are becoming increasingly integrated into the mix, and many businesses neglect to secure them in the same way they would their computers.

Establish Protocols for Email and Internet Usage

All sorts of bad things can worm their way into your network through email and the internet. To minimize risks, establish clear protocols for handling both in your business. This may include measures such as prohibiting the use of certain websites on company computers or not opening certain types of emails that may be received.

Perform an Analysis

You must do a thorough analysis to identify potential risks. Only then can you begin implementing effective network security measures. What sort of data do you possess that may be vulnerable? Where is it being stored? Who has access to it? What are you currently doing to protect it?

Limit Access to Data

The more people who can access specific pieces of data, the greater chance of it getting into the wrong hands. Now that you have performed your risk analysis as suggested in the first tip, ensure that sensitive information is only accessible by those who absolutely must have access to it, and block anyone else.

Limit the Amount of Computers that Store Sensitive Information

Like limiting access, limiting the amount of machines that store sensitive information, like your customer’s financial information, or the notes on that hot new product in development, will minimize the risk of a breach. If possible, condense this type of information on the least amount of computers possible.

Research Software Solutions

There is no shortage of software out there to protect your network, and for optimal protection, it may be necessary to purchase some. But, before you just buy the first thing you come across, do your homework. Give some thought to the exact protection needs of your business—this will help focus your search on products that will best meet your needs, and keep spending under control since you will not purchase products that offer more than what is necessary for you. Look for vendors who are experienced in providing security solutions for your type of business—industries have unique needs when it comes to security. You want to work with someone who is familiar with yours.  This step may be costly, but, if you have sensitive information that must be protected, failure to take the proper security measures will be much more so.

Kelli Cooper has blogged about all things technology, and particularly enjoys sharing tips to keep safe online and protect your information.