4 Data Security Tips for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

3D illustration of white steps on a red wall. Each step has a different word on it. The words are "Tips, Advice, Guidance and Wisdom"

Halloween gets top billing in October, but did you know it’s also National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)? NCASM is a public-awareness campaign that encourages individuals and businesses to take proactive measures towards protecting themselves from cyber threats. In this blog, we offer tips for safeguarding your data.

Tip 1: Back Up Your Data

Having your data stolen is a nightmare. Hackers use ransomware to steal sensitive files and hold them hostage until you pay a fee. A backup strategy mitigates ransomware risks and can potentially save you thousands of dollars. Even if a hacker steals your data, you still have an accessible copy. Back up your data offline to tape or invest in an E-vaulting service.

Tip 2: Fortify Your Network

In addition to ransomware threats, botnets and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are on the rise. Protect your network from these threats by installing a firewall and keeping your security software, operating systems, and applications up to date. If you have employees who work remotely, have them use a virtual private network (VPN).

Tip 3: Say Goodbye to Weak Passwords

Weak or frequently-used login credentials give cybercriminals the key to your data. Protect your network by using different passwords for multiple applications. Each password should be a combination of numbers, special characters, and upper- and lower-case letters. A password manager can help you keep track of multiple passwords that can’t be memorized, and also offer encryption options. Many applications now offer two-factor authentication; be sure to use it for an extra layer of protection.

Tip 4: Invest in Employee Training

Corporate data is often compromised due to employee error. Even well-meaning employees fall victim to phishing scams or inadvertently give sensitive information to someone they shouldn’t. Training is the best way to minimize employee mistakes and thwart negligent behavior.

Make sure your employees understand the following data security threats and how to prevent them:

  • Malware and social engineering, a.k.a. phishing
  • Negligent disposal of documents and data
  • Improper handling of files and media
  • Password mismanagement

Reinforce data storage and handling policies and carry out regular training sessions so your employees stay current on ever-changing cyber threats.

The ghosts and goblins of Halloween are tame compared to the potential theft of your corporate data. Use these tips to keep your information secure.

Pacific Records Management provides data protection solutions for businesses throughout Fresno, Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto, and Napa and Solano Counties.

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