In the digital era, data breaches can cause massive harm to businesses big and small. For business owners, it is critical to protect the data of both the company and the employees. The steps below illustrate simple yet effective ways to protect your business from a data breach.

Hire a Cybersecurity Specialist

Whether a business owner hires an outside consultant or if they tap their own IT resources, a cybersecurity specialist is incredibly useful for preventing data breaches. Cybersecurity experts can teach employees and business owners where their weak points may be and how to fix them. They can also educate companies on what to avoid to prevent future data breaches. Learning these best practices and reviewing them regularly helps companies keep data safe as hacking techniques become more sophisticated.

Separate Business and Personal Accounts

It may make sense for a business owner to run all of their accounts through one email; after all, it helps consolidate everything for easy access. However, in the event of a cybersecurity breach, hackers can take control of business and personal accounts due to the interconnectivity of profiles. Keeping accounts separate ensures that, should a data breach occur, hackers cannot access a centralized hub with all of a business’s information.

Implement Strict Permissions

Delegation is essential in all businesses, as it allows employees to navigate tricky moving parts and bypass standstills. However, it is also vital to the success of a company to enforce data permissions for all employees. Giving employees only the information they need to succeed will ensure that, should an employee make a mistake that leads to a data breach, the hackers can only access the information which the employee could access. For instance, giving entry-level employees access to private info across the entire company could lead to problems should one employee fall victim to a phishing scam.

Back Up Your Data

Even when a business follows best practices to avoid cybersecurity issues, hackers can find workarounds. Cybercriminals seek weak links in a business’s data chain, and they will not hesitate to exploit such weaknesses. This is why companies must back up their data to second- and third-party servers. Using an automated system to back up data will ensure that, should a data breach occur, all of the files and information can be recovered. Doing so can also protect business data from malware, providing “clean” alternatives should a virus infect the system.