SME: 3 tips for managing digital data privacy

Teleworking has increased the risk of security breaches in the past year. A security breach can compromise the integrity of the digital data you collect as part of your business activities. Even large enterprises are at risk. Could the reputation of your SME also be at stake?

According to a recent report by Proofpoint, 63% of businesses in Canada have noted an increase in targeted cyber attacks since turning to telework. Protecting digital data is more important than ever.

Very strong technological trends—everything relating to business mobility and the availability of wireless networks in your establishments, for example—require greater accountability from managers when it comes to data privacy. Here are some tips to ensure you’re not making headlines for the wrong reasons!

1) Draft a privacy policy

To adequately protect all data collected as part of your activities, it’s best to have a formal framework in place. Whether the data was collected by way of your transactional site, on hiring an employee, or on signing a contract with a new service provider, devise a policy accordingly.

A good governance practice is to involve the members of your board of directors or consulting committee in the implementation of this procedure. In fact, if you collect personal information from your website, you need a policy that is compliant with the Privacy Act, and it needs to be clearly visible on your website.

But regardless of the stakeholder concerned (client, provider, or employee) within your organization, only ask for the information required to carry out your work. Everyone wants to protect their personal information! Once the data is no longer of use, it should be archived according to the standards in place or destroyed in a safe manner.

2) Invest in information security

As an entrepreneur, you wear several hats. Although you are well aware of security issues, you probably don’t have the time to manage the various facets of your company’s digital transformation on your own.

Why not assign an information security manager to help you with this? This person would be responsible for setting up a partnership with various specialized consultants working on the project. As part of this mandate—managing resources to ensure the security and confidentiality of digital data—this person would help make your work teams accountable for this issue. It’s important to ensure your employees get continuous training on the best practices to be adopted in terms of IT protection.

This helps avoid reusing the same passwords from one application to another. They need to be vigilant when using a Wi-Fi network on the road or when taking a break at the coffee shop down the street. Remind them to be careful with the content of messages received from unknown sources. Your employees’ engagement is the stepping-stone of any strategy to fight cybercrime.

3) Choose a cutting-edge service provider

As the director of an SME, you must be able to rely on a personalized service from the telecommunications service provider of your choice. In addition to the desired transparency, reliability and added value from the company providing the services likely to contribute to the safe management of your digital data are also of utmost importance. Let’s look at three examples.

Opting for a Business router 

The proper configuration of your router’s features is key to ensuring the effectiveness of your local area network and its security. Opt for a business-grade, high-performance router that would simplify the management of your local area network (LAN). Supported by all business sizes, the Business router service comes with support from a team of dedicated, certified experts in order to provide you with peace of mind. Thanks to the business-grade router, clients enjoy high-performance equipment intended for IP telephony and new technologies. The Business router also comes with an Wireless Backup solution, so you never have to worry about your connection going down, whether you’re at the office or at home.

Choosing the right VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a safe way to share information in the context of working remotely, to guarantee information security within your business. The VPN is an encrypted remote connection protocol based on the company’s servers. It’s a secure extension of your internal network that provides employees with access to applications and data that are usually available at the office, from any type of Internet connection. Data sharing is thus easier and more secure.

Effectively managing external threats

To ensure your data is well protected, choose a smart solution that allows you to control and block external threats. A cloud-based firewall allows you to detect and eradicate dangerous files and malware by applying WEB and DNS filtering for websites based on their content and notoriety.

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