Businesses handle a lot of data in their daily operations, yours included. Such data include customer information, which can be put at risk should it get into the wrong hands. Therefore, data security is an important aspect of your company.
Also, it’s believed that most companies utilize Microsoft 365 tools, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, to process their data. As a business owner that’s adopted Microsoft 365 in your operations, how do you ensure that your data are safe and secure? This article discusses how you can ensure this.
Consider the following strategies:
- Adopt Multi-Factor Authentication
Gone are the days when companies relied only on login details to secure their data. But, with the rise of cyberattacks, hackers have become good at cracking passwords. Also, there’s a high possibility of your workers leaving out their passwords on notes below their keyboards. Should any unauthorized person want access, notes are always their first checkpoint.
Consider adopting a multi-factor authentication system. You’ll seek additional proof to gain access beyond the login details; it could be by sending a code to the phone of the registered email, or through fingerprint or facial scanning. The options are many—opt for those that match your company’s needs and capabilities.
- Back Up Your Data
There’s a possibility that all the security measures you’ve put in place won’t work. Therefore, you need to be prepared. One sure way to ensure you’re ready in case of a breach is to back up your data. You can adopt various options, such as the Microsoft Office 365 backup & recovery system. Ensure whichever backup system you adopt utilizes the cloud.
The cloud offers a large storage space, such that you don’t have to worry about losing space as you store all your data. Also, you can easily retrieve the said data should you lose them in a malware attack.
- Limit Access
It’s always believed that the smaller the number of people that knows about a certain piece of information, the more secure it is. The same applies to data security. Restrict those with access to sensitive data. You can do this by putting in place extra security measures, such as utilizing biometrics.
Your workers might need a particular piece of information to fulfil their responsibilities at one point or another. Consider limiting the amount of time any team member can access such data. Ensure they clearly outline how the said data will assist them. It’d also help to ask for a report once a worker utilizes the sensitive data—it should include the time spent and the specific data used.
- Formulate Security Policies
As a business, it’s essential to develop security policies that your team should adhere to, no matter the circumstances. The policies should include the dos and don’ts of data handling, the security procedures to adopt in your workers’ daily operations, etc. The policy should also have the consequences for any breach of the said policies. Ensure you implement the consequences to the letter; it’ll ensure your team is always on their toes regarding data safety.
- Develop An Incident Response Plan
Even with all security measures in place, there’s always a possibility of a breach. As a business, you need to be ready for this, and this is where the incident response plan comes in. The plan aims to guide your workers on what to do in case of a breach. This is essential since, in the event of a malware attack, there’s a likelihood of workers panicking, leading them to make mistakes. These mistakes can make the attack worse.
Ensure the incident response plan outlines the procedure your team should take step-by-step, the communication channel, and the order of priorities, which includes what data your team should first recover, from the most to the least important.
- Adopt The Right Tools
To incorporate your chosen security measures efficiently, you must have the right tools. One of such tools is a password management system, which will help your workers create strong passwords that aren’t easy for hackers to figure out. The system will also update these passwords regularly, such that not one password stays for too long, which increases its vulnerability to cracking.
Firewalls are also an essential tool to incorporate into your systems. As the name suggests, a firewall will build a wall through which hackers can’t pass through. This protects your Microsoft 365 business data.
- Update Your Microsoft Office 365 Regularly
Securing your data goes beyond getting the right tools for your business. Make it a habit to update the tools regularly. In the development of software, there are possibilities of them having weaknesses that hackers familiarize themselves with. They’ll use these loopholes to bypass your data. Due to this, developers regularly update their tools to cater to loopholes; hence, you need to update all your systems.
- Train Your Employees
It’s often believed that most security breaches happen from within your company. This is why employees are a crucial aspect of your data security efforts. Also, as a business owner, you might be putting all security measures in place, but they’re of no use if your workers don’t embrace and adopt them into their operations. Therefore, make a point of bringing them onboard. Do this by educating them on the importance of securing data and showing them how to go about this.
Consider bringing in experts who’ll train them on cybersecurity issues, including how to identify potential attacks. Besides identifying the threats, the experts should also train them on how to counter attacks to prevent data loss.
- Encrypt Your Data
Data encryption is another strategy you can adopt to secure your Microsoft 365 business data. This’ll mainly work for sensitive data, although it can also suffice for non-sensitive data. Here, you’ll store your data in a coded format, such that even if unauthorized personnel bypass your security systems, they can barely get any information from the stolen data. They’ll have to first crack the code, a process that might be too long, causing them to abandon the data theft altogether.
From the discussion, you’ve seen that it’s not challenging to keep your data safe with the right guidance, as this article gives. Therefore, consider implementing the tips to safeguard your business and customers; they’ll thank you for it.
Working as a cyber security solutions architect, Alisa focuses on application and network security. Before joining us she held a cyber security researcher positions within a variety of cyber security start-ups. She also experience in different industry domains like finance, healthcare and consumer products.