If you work outside of IT or Information Security, it’s likely that data security is not often a topic of consideration in your daily work. It’s also likely that you are following bad practices that increase the risk of your systems and data being compromised. Silicon Valley is home to some of the world’s most renowned security companies and best practices are introduced every day to keep you safe. In today’s post, Menlo Partners Staffing offers some reminders of simple things that can be done to protect your data and your business.
Update Regularly to Stay Protected
Are all of your devices running the most current operating system? When was the last time you updated your computer software and mobile apps? Every time you click “Remind me later” on an update prompt, your computer, phone or other device may be exposed to a known security vulnerability. Be pro-active and perform updates regularly – set them to run during your lunch break, or if you take your computer home with you, let them run when you aren’t working.
Use Strong Passwords
The best passwords contain a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols with both upper- and lower-case characters. Don’t use the same password across multiple systems, and never share your password. If you aren’t already doing so, enable the security lock on your smartphone as added protection in the event of theft or loss. Finally, lock your computer when you are away from your desk for extended periods so that prying eyes can’t peek at sensitive data.
Consider Multi-Factor Authentication
For your most secure systems, consider multi-factor authentication (MFA), which requires not only a password but a randomly-generated code generated on a secondary device (such as a smartphone). This ensures that only authorized users who know proper login credentials and have access to the secondary device can enter the system. MFA is a very effective way for people to access systems when working remotely.
Test Your Backups
Many San Francisco Bay Area companies have moved their enterprise software to the cloud, but if you are still hosting your data on a local server, run regular backups and take them off-site. Equally important, perform periodic tests of data restoration from your backup devices to make sure that they are working. Regular backups and verification enable business continuity in the event of a disaster.
Standardize and Document the Off-boarding Process
Many technology companies are characterized by a fluid rotation of employees, contractors and freelancers. Take the time to examine your processes for off-boarding and access shutdown. Do you have accurate records of all systems (including 3rd-party systems from vendors) to which your workers and contributors have access? And how quickly is that access shut down when a person is let go? Improper or incomplete shutdown puts the organization at risk of fraudulent or malicious behavior, as well as legal penalties if protected data (such as HIPAA-protected information) is compromised.
Your Partner for Recruiting, Screening and Hiring
Additional focus and attention to data security now will prevent a lot of disruption and pain in the future. To avoid the negative consequences of a bad hire, team up with Menlo Partners Staffing for your short-term and long-term hiring needs. Our expert recruiters will streamline the selection process and help you identify qualified candidates, matched to your company culture. Thanks for reading!