5 ways to stop your information from leaking

We explore 5 ways to protect your business's information.

Post pandemic life has resulted in a huge increase in remote working, and that means data is flowing to and from our businesses more freely than ever before.

With data constantly on the move, all it takes is one mistake for sensitive information to find its way into the wrong hands. Especially as remote working means we’re relying more on emails and cloud applications as a way of communicating and file sharing.

We’ve already explored how cybercriminals use phishing and other ploys to trick employees in order to gain access to a business network or steal valuable information.

However, as we all know, theft and deception aren’t the only ways we lose our possessions. Sometimes, we just lose things – and business data is no different. It’s called data leakage.

Understanding the risks and how to prevent the loss of valuable business information is a case of using the right tools.

1. Firewalls

Next generation firewalls, or ‘intelligent firewalls’ with features such as Intrusion Protection (IPS), not only safeguard the business network and employee devices, but can offer protection against data leaks. These firewalls have in-built automation that can take action if they detect unusual behaviour or unauthorised access that could signify a data leak.

2. Endpoint protection

Endpoint protection tools allow you to see which devices, such as laptops and smartphones, are accessing or downloading your business data and where, allowing you to spot any unusual activity.

Also consider the policies you have in place and what you ask your employees to do, such as how complex their password is, how frequently it needs to be changed and how quickly their screen locks.

3. Email gateway security and content control

Email gateway security scans your accounts for typical cyber threats such as malware and ransomware. More advanced versions are also capable of intercepting communications with malicious codes before they even get to their recipient.

However, as email is a vulnerable point, it’s worth also installing email content control. This uses AI to scan through text, pictures and attachments for possible data leaks and can even alert you if employees are sharing confidential or sensitive content.

4. Zero-Trust approach

Zero-Trust is a more secure way of shoring up your business network. It assumes all external devices trying to access it are suspicious until proven otherwise.

This includes only giving users access to the files they need to do their day-to-day tasks and requiring them to justify any additional access with senior personnel or the IT department. By restricting how much access employees have to the entire network of data, it reduces the ability for bad actors to move through your network.

5. Domain name service (DNS) protection

Domain name verification is one of the first steps a system takes when trying to establish any connection on the internet. But if a network has been taken over by bad actors, it can be impossible for a firewall to tell, making domain spoofing – the act of impersonating another company or individual’s domain – a favourite technique of cybercriminals.

DNS protection prevents this from happening by filtering IP addresses through blacklists of known malicious sites and subjecting DNS servers to certain tests to confirm they are what they claim to be. And as it’s so early in the process, it can prevent a data leak before it’s even had a chance to begin.

Reviewing these five areas of your business and plugging any potential gaps could significantly reduce your chances of data loss.

Want more help and support? Speak to our expert V-Hub Business Advisers, who offer tailored guidance on a range of topics.

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