Data security is a big topic, and one that is increasingly on the minds of our clients. More and more, business owners and executives are coming to us wanting to know how they can stop from becoming the next victim of a hacking group when it seems like Fortune 500 companies are being breached every week.

The answers aren’t always simple, of course, but generally speaking we break small business data security down into four layers. If you can understand each one, and its importance, you will have made the first step towards keeping thieves away from your website, servers, and important records.

Let’s take a look at each layer one by one…

#1 Awareness

Training for employees, managers, and business owners is an important piece of the data security puzzle. After all, most online thieves don’t use sophisticated tools to get access to the files they want; instead, they simply trick people into giving up passwords or exploit known loopholes in outdated software.

The more you and your team know about basic data security, the easier it’s going to be to keep you away from risky situations. That’s why a good IT team will focus on simple training and awareness programs that teach you what to look out for.

#2 Protection

The second layer of data security relates to the kinds of tools business owners and executives tend to be familiar with. These are firewalls, software encryption packages, and virus protection suites that offer a layer of protection against known threats.

These tools are incredibly important, of course, but it’s important to remember they have their limitations. For one thing, they only work if they are comprehensive and up-to-date. And for another thing, they won’t be effective without the kinds of simple baseline measures (strong passwords, etc.) that we included as awareness.

#3 Monitoring

No matter how good your data security procedures and technological tools are, there is a chance someone will try to attack your company anyway. They could be through phishing emails, infected devices, or even attempts to log into your servers using password-cracking software.

When you have an IT team constantly monitoring your systems, it doesn’t take long for these attempts to be detected and taken care of. That’s why 24/7/365 oversight of your technology is important. A trained team member, working remotely, can identify threats and mitigate them in real-time before damage has been done.

#4 Backup and Recovery

If you have the first three layers of protection in place, the odds aren’t great that someone will be able to get access to your company’s information. Nonetheless, it’s not impossible. Mistakes can be made, and hacking gets more sophisticated over time just like security products do.

That’s why you want a strong back up and data recovery plan in place as a last resort. It will help you restore operations quickly in the event there is an issue, and also protects you against data loss from unexpected disasters like power surges, office fires, and regular offline break-ins.

Need Help with IT Support and Data Security?

At Fantastic IT, we are Southern California’s leader in technology care and cyber security for small and medium-sized companies. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and see how easy and affordable it is to get the help you need to manage your company’s hardware and software.