With that in mind, we have some suggestions that could help your company create — and maintain — a better data security posture going forward:
1) Get everyone on the same page
You likely have a lot of stakeholders who handle your sensitive data regularly, whether they are your employees or your supply chain partners, according to Zycus. All those people need to know what your rules and requirements for handling that information are, and how to react in a given situation.
2) Make sure updates are prompt
Your policies should certainly include a mandate to ensure all software is fully up-to-date; no waiting weeks after release to upgrade to the latest version, Zycus said. That way, you can be assured that all known security issues are patched and your data is better insulated from accidental or intentional breaches.
3) Assess risk on an ongoing basis
Again, data security is not a one-size-fits-all, set-it-and-forget-it issue, according to Digital Guardian. You need to be proactive in reviewing your policies to make sure they are appropriate for whatever your current needs happen to be, and update them quickly if that's not the case.
4) Craft plans to respond to problems
When you set standards for how data should be protected, you also need to acknowledge that no security standards are foolproof, Digital Guardian cautioned. As such, any strategies you put together need to incorporate how you will react to a breach of any and all types. That way, there's no guesswork in your response.
5) Make training part of your security processes
You certainly can't expect every employee to be a cybersecurity expert, but you might be able to boost their knowledge with a bit of training, according to Purchase Control. Showing people some new ways to protect themselves and the company could help improve your defenses immeasurably.
6) Invest in the right software
If you don't have top-of-the-line antivirus, antimalware and firewall software installed on every device connecting to your network, you may be leaving yourself unnecessarily vulnerable, Purchase Control advised. Making those investments may have mostly invisible benefits right up until someone attempts to get into your network, at which point the added layers of security could save you from potentially massive data breach remediation costs.
7) Safeguard incoming and outgoing data
Finally, it's important to make sure you and your partners are sharing data that is both appropriate to your needs and being transmitted properly, Purchase Control further warned. A little extra caution on this front can go a long way toward ensuring success throughout your partnership.