Secure Your Business in the Digital Age: Essential Data Protection Strategies
Learn how to safeguard your business against data breaches, comply with Colorado data protection laws and automate your cybersecurity measures for enhanced protection.
A robust approach to data protection is essential to running a successful business in the digital age. The rise of big data gives you a better understanding of consumer preferences and can help you identify trends and market pressures before your competitors.
However, storing and managing data comes with a risk. You’re responsible for protecting the data you keep. Failing to abide by laws can result in hefty fines, as Meta found out after being hit with a $1.2 billion fine for mishandling user information. Keep in mind that Colorado has strict general data protection laws as well.
Safeguarding your business requires constant vigilance and a strategic approach. If you suspect that your company is vulnerable to a breach, consider reaching out to state-funded organizations like Colorado’s CIAC Cyber Unit Support for help.
Strengthening protections for consumer data privacy act
The Strengthening Protections for Consumer Data Privacy Act (SPCDPA) came into law in 2018. At its core, the act is designed to protect consumers and promote proactive cybersecurity and data protection across all Colorado businesses.
Staying up to date with SPCDPA regulations can feel like a chore. However, Colorado companies are still getting hacked today and are falling victim to malicious actors and scammers. Fortunately, you can make the data protection process much easier by automating some of the fundamentals of IT security, like:
- Automated patching and updating.
- Utilize robotic process automation (RPA) to detect vulnerabilities and unauthorized accounts.
- Back up your data and install automated programs that can recover data in the event of a crash/hack.
Automating these functions will save your IT team time and minimize your risk of a data breach. In the event of a breach, automated programs, like RPA, may even be able to detect unusual activity and shut down unauthorized accounts before personal data is stolen from your servers.
Colorado is a national hotspot for remote work. Nearly one in four Coloradans work remotely, as working from home jumped by 23.7% over the course of the pandemic. While the rise of digital work is good for employees, working from home may pose a significant data security risk for Colorado-based businesses.
You can safeguard your firm and protect your business’s data by improving account security and minimizing the risk of unauthorized access. Use the best password policies today — including regular password changes and auditing your accounts to check for a breach — to mitigate the risk of malicious actors forcing their way into your company.
You can further improve your account security by limiting access and conducting employee training. You can even test your employees’ abilities to detect a phishing scam by running an attack simulator with Google. This will help your IT team spot vulnerabilities and improve your company’s ability to detect suspicious activity in the event of a real attack.
Safeguarding Sensitive Information
Cyberattacks can take many forms. Common attacks, like phishing, spoofing and code-injection accounts, will test your procedures and may push your data protection plan to the limit.
Improve your data protection plan by classifying data before you store it. Personally identifiable information (PII) should be kept behind the tightest of protections and should only be available to users who clear security checks and are deemed to have necessary reasons for access.
You should also have a plan in place to protect physical documents that involve data. Shredding your sensitive documents can protect against insider attacks and ensure that on-site visitors don’t get a view of PPI. Complete an inventory check and safely secure any documents that you decide to keep on file.
Consider encrypting the data that you plan to store for any length of time. Encryptions can be cracked but may slow malicious actors down during the process. Encryption can even give you time to recover stolen data and may aid your efforts to recover after a breach. If you suspect you’ve been the victim of a breach, you can find support via governmental organizations like:
- Governor’s Cybersecurity Council.
- CIAC’s cyber unit.
- Colorado Threat Information Sharing (CTIS) network.
- Multi-State ISAC.
- Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
These organizations are designed to serve Colorado businesses during the digital age. They can offer support, firm up your best practices and help you respond to attacks and data breaches.
The bottom line
Safeguarding the data you gather is an essential part of your business operations in the digital age. Stay up to date with Colorado data protection acts by taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity and PII. If you suspect you’ve been targeted by a hack, consider reaching out to organizations like the CIAC’s cyber unit for support.
Indiana Lee is a writer, reader, and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest. An expert on business operations, leadership, marketing, and lifestyle, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.