When Should I Worry About a Data Breach? 

The appropriate time to worry about a data breach is before one occurs. There are many preventative measures you can take, but none of them are helpful after a breach occurs. Information security training for your new hires should be a critical part of their onboarding process. Regular updates for current staff help as well. Make sure your team has the tools and the information they need to succeed.  

Make Sure Data Security is Built into Onboarding 

Everyone learns slightly differently. The goal of a security-focused onboarding process is not to enforce uniformity in the learning styles but instead to deliver a great first impression and provide other relevant information. You will have the most success in grabbing and retaining the attention of a large audience if the onboarding process incorporates flexibility. This could mean having multiple different delivery mediums such as in-person sessions, online information, onboarding videos, and group sessions versus a more personalized session. Different people will find different parts of the content more appealing to them. But all of them should understand the key elements of your security procedures 

Reinforce a Security Culture 

The increase in cybersecurity concerns calls for an increase in cybersecurity awareness in the corporate sector. Best practices such as these should become second nature to your staff. It’s best to weave them into the workplace culture as a whole. It takes focus and effort every day to make sure you and your employees are making the right decisions when it comes to your digital security. But a strong security culture can help support that effort more than any software program or un-guessable password. Sharing the knowledge needed to educate employees about the risks involved with cloud storage, data security, and malware protection, partnered with taking the necessary precautions to protect the security of the company is the first step toward building a strong culture of security.   

Provide the Right Security Tools  

Don’t overlook the opportunity to provide the right tools and information that employees need to be successful at keeping your company protected. Whether that’s arranging for IT to get them set up properly with a connected workspace, or making sure they have all the software and devices they need to do their job, your new hires are counting on you to help them get started.  

Teach Smart Data Management (Both Online and Offline) 

Accessing files remotely can expose your company and your data. Make sure you and your staff know how to work on the road without exposing your company to any unnecessary risks. Keep software and hardware up to date and fully functional. Avoid logging on to the corporate intranet when connected to a questionable network or hot-spot. Don’t allow employees to use unprotected devices or download unnecessary or unapproved apps or software programs. Make sure that when employees are out and about their work computers are protected in case of theft or damage. Make sure that your team is not exposing your data to theft, hacking, or worse when they are on the road or at home. This requires a strong cyber-security policy and regular enforcement of rules. 

Remember that Strong Passwords Are Your Best Defense 

Large data breaches are often linked back to negligence in password protection. There are a number of common mistakes that can have serious consequences when it comes to protecting online information. The repeated use of passwords across different accounts is still one of the top entry points for hackers to gain access to personal or sensitive information. The same is true for the use of easily guessed passwords. Using strong passwords should be a top priority. To make a password that is both difficult to guess or hack but easy to remember, try using a phrase style password, but only use the first letter or number of each word. The key is to avoid creating passwords with recognizable words as those are easy to guess or hack.   

Of course, avoid passwords such as 123456, birthdays, names, common words, and anything with the word “password” in it. These passwords are easily guessed and can result in loss of data, identity theft, or corporate espionage. Also, remember to change passwords frequently to make sure that they are that much more difficult to guess. 



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