Viruses, spyware and malware, physical damage to the hard drive or its malfunctioning, system failures and severe power outages — not mentioning threats like earthquakes and floods, dealing with which is common to residents of areas subject to natural disasters — there are plenty of reasons your crucial business files may become inaccessible one day.
Fortunately, in our high-tech world there is a lot of prevention means that can help you to protect vital data from loss and prevent each of aforementioned sorrowful scenarios. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to keep everything under control: since business is a huge mechanism that relies on many parts and cogs, there remain things that hurry to slip away from our attention whenever we lose vigilance. These days people are carrying their smartphones all around, so a fusion of work and personal affairs is only a matter of time. Which makes it reasonable to ask: how much of work-related data do your employees keep on their personal devices, or within personal data storages? How well informed are they about those possible threats and preventing measures?
Here’s what a survey of 2000 employees had shown on this subject:
- 73 percent of employees downloaded personal apps to tablets provided by their employer
- 62 percent of them did the same to smartphones their organization issued
- 45 percent of surveyed reported doing it with finally, over 50 percent used their smartphones and organization-provided notebooks to operate company business
All together, such tendencies imply that, due to the massive misuse, who-knows-how-much important organization-related data’s been leaking outside the building, and who-knows-how could further be used… which doesn’t sound encouraging, does it?
Of course, if you have 100+ employees, working for your company, you stand no chance of being able to take control over each of them; but there are basic strategies that companies’ IT managers and decision-makers can draw on to avert potential damage. Below, we have gathered 8 most important things your employees must be instructed on, meaning to minimize the possibility of leakage or loss of your business data.
- Protecting devices with strong passwords.
A strong password is first to assure that in case the device is left unattended, stolen, or lost, the finders won’t be able to get into vital files and documents that are stored on it. Make sure your employees have protected their devices and, more importantly, are informed on how to create a strong, reliable password that is not easy to crack.
Unlike how people imagine it, hackers don’t waste hours typing in their guesses manually; instead, they allow advanced programs to parse through dictionaries and various word combinations in order to find the match. Which is why it’s in your interests to explain that things like most common “12345” or “qwerty” is exactly how data can be compromised in less than a second.
- Phishing schemes.
According to Malwarebytes’ report, nearly 60 percent of hacking attacks are carried out via email or in the form of embedded URLs. With that, phishing schemes remain most popular way among cybercriminals that is used to thieve data.
Normally, most of phishing emails contain a message of urgency — for example, subject line telling “Get this done asap”, intended to evoke in those reading it emotions like confusion or concern, — and a link that the sender persuades the recipient to click on. The link, however, will surely bring the victim to a fake website where they will be lured to reveal some sensitive company information, exposing the latter to the risk.
- Messages from impostors.
In addition to the previous clause, the intruder may also try to impersonate someone on the organization’s board of directors. Even when being taught as to the existing phishing maneuvers they may face, employees could still be suckered into following a malicious link contained within an email.
Of course, you can try to educate them regarding all the nuances they should check for until clicking on the link — e.g. the good ol’ method of replacing symbols with similar ones (like substituting capital “i” with lowercase “l”) — that are used in dummy messages and fake email addresses to make them look as believable as possible. However, to avoid confusion and make things easier, simply prevent your worker from clicking on any links provided inside emails. No exceptions.
- Immediate device updates.
Most of these updates patch up security vulnerabilities that will restrict unauthorized access, or needed for virus databases to be refreshed. Thus, it is necessary to convince your employees to accept updates for their devices as soon as there are available rather than opt for “remind me later” option.
- No “rooting”.
Whenever user is messing up with root access and gadget’s factory-implied system setups, a possibility that a device can get infected with malware is highly increased. Inform the staff of your company as to the menaces related to “rooting” their smartphones, and make sure they understand how could all the stored information be jeopardized.
- Risks associated with Wi-Fi public networks.
System alerts — like messages about public Wi-Fi networks not being secure that users receive whenever they connect — are usually something most people tend to neglect; some may not even be aware what that means. Meanwhile, working within unprotected connections is exactly how access to their devices can be easily intercepted — along with all the data it contains. Emphasize that it’s necessary to use a virtual private network (VPN) instead in order to significantly boost their devices’ security.
- Free download offers.
It is a well-known fact that most applications offered for free come with dozen of malware and viruses that get installed onto the victim’s computer as soon as the .exe file is launched; yet, the “Download” buttons still hit. Your goal here is to explain what running free applications can eventually lead to.
- Third-party software sources.
You can never tell what those third parties’ true motivations are. Buying applications from a trusted app store is many times safer, so make sure your employees opt for this option.
Each member of your company shares responsibility for the safety of entrusted information — which is why training is the surest thing you, as a business owner, can do.
And if data loss overtakes you from any other side — like corruptions caused by damaged hard drive, power outages, or even system failures — don’t hesitate to contact Salvagedata, whose competency is proven by over a decade of experience in the field of data recovery, as well as earned 96% rate of successfully solved cases. Just get your device to the nearest Salvagedata office for free examination of your device — and let the professionals do the rest!