One of the biggest issues these days in the corporate world is ensuring that the data you’ve created and collected over the years stays that way.

With all of the ransomware issues and dark web repositories of collected data from companies that didn’t know they were being exposed or “hacked’ these days. Trying to keep your data your data can become a full time job.

I think the number one focus that most companies forget about (minus the IT Dept. trying to keep up with firewall updates, virus software and other technology to help mitigate attacks) is the human firewall. I know that sounds weird, but your first line of defense after you remove all of the technology are your co-workers. They can be what may make or break whether or not you may face that untimely hack, breach, ransom or whatever it might be.

Keeping your co-workers up to speed on the issues that are out there not only will help keep them aware for office issues, but may also help them save themselves or a family member from running into the same issue as in an office environment. Think about it. If you don’t inform your co-workers as to the vulnerabilities that they might see, how are they to know not to do something? All it takes is one click on the wrong email attachment and you could see your company’s data, clients, and your company’s confidence to perform well go right out the window.

I try to do my best to make sure that whenever I see a major issue arise that I inform everyone in the company of the possible attack. Whether that might be a phishing email with a bogus attachment, a website that redirects to a fake tech support site, or maybe a scam going around after a major event. Whatever might come up you and your company need to know that they are taking the right steps to ensure that not only is the technology doing its job, but that everyone is doing their part as well.

I have to say that everybody here at People Science does an amazing job of coming to me when they aren’t sure of an email attachment, a website or anything that they think might be malicious in some way. I try to do my best to make sure to educate them about the issues going on and when they do come up with a possible issue I think it gives them a sense that they’re doing their best to stop a possible problem. Not just so they don’t get in trouble, but because they care about the company and want to see it succeed.

There are tons of ways to go about starting that process. One is from a company called KnowBe4. They do a great job of setting up templates that you can send to your staff and see who’s clicking on links and opening email attachments without it coming from you. Also, the basics are also a big one. Making sure that your hardware and software are up-to-date and have been patched with most current security measures. And above all else make sure you have really good backups. That can be the thing that may make or break you in the event something disastrous does happen. Without backups of your servers and other equipment you could be looking at the worst possible outcome.

All in all your technology can help keep your data as protected as it can, but the human part of the equation can be the biggest investment you can make.

By Brian Easley | People Science Director of IT