Your business will always be a potential target for criminals if you don’t protect its digital infrastructure with enough layers of security. That’s the sad truth about today’s corporate world. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to steal your valuable proprietary data using sophisticated hacking methods and technologies. That means you can’t afford to slack on cybersecurity. You should always be reviewing your data security infrastructure and address existing vulnerabilities before hackers can exploit the flaws and steal or corrupt your proprietary data.

Here are 12 tips to help you establish and manage a secure corporate data infrastructure.

1. Get Expert Assessment from Information Security Professionals

Your corporate entity may have its own in-house information security professionals but a second opinion from security experts will always be helpful. When you engage with professional information security services, you get a cost-effective way of assessing and identifying weaknesses in your security system that your in-house team may not be aware of. The security experts will even recommend and design security solutions that suit your budget. Avoid the complicated research and testing tasks by sourcing for the best security solutions from the experts.

2. Implement Comprehensive Security Inside and Out

Prevent cybersecurity risks by implementing security measures from the inside out. You can do this by investing in tools and technologies that monitor how your network is used both by your staff and outsiders connected to the business. The objective of your security infrastructure is to address vulnerabilities before a breach happens. At the most basic level, have the right malware and virus protection software at various levels and sections of your entire information acquisition, processing, transmission, and storage system.

3. Create a Security System for Third Party Relationships

Third party vendors, customers, suppliers, and their products are a major source of security vulnerabilities. This is because credentials provided to vendors for remote access to your system are often unsecure and hard to control. It is important to first learn how industry requirements and regulations apply to your business and ensure that your vendors are also compliant with the regulations. Your partners should also undergo security testing on a regular basis to ensure that neither their systems nor yours are compromised.

4. Establish Clear Security Policies

You’ll need to have clearly documented policies on how you expect your employees and other people to use the company’s IT system in a secure manner. The policies provide a framework on which you can base your security processes and procedures. Make sure the policies include a section about the secure use of mobile gadgets to access company data.

5. Deploy a Business-Class Firewall

Most computers come with a preinstalled firewall but unfortunately, the firewall is never enough to sufficiently protect your company’s network, data, and applications. You should, therefore, invest in a business-class firewall for additional Unified Threat management (UTM) protection. It is an affordable solution that comes with useful features such as Intrusion Prevention, gateway Anti-spyware, Antivirus, Content Filtering, and much more.

6. Create a Secure Company Password Standards

Password management solutions usually come with enterprise versions of the applications. Enterprise password management solutions allow you to create secure, customized password standards for the company that can be used to generate hard-to-crack passwords for your staff and other users of the system. The passwords are strong enough to withstand cracking attempts by cyber-criminals.

7. Remote Data Backups

The importance of creating data backups cannot be overemphasized. In the IT security environment, anything can go wrong at any time. However, when you have regular well-encrypted data backups in affordable cloud storage, you can always recover your company’s data if you ever suffer data loss or data corruption after a successful hacking attempt on your system. A hosted backup solution will also save you from data loss due to physical disasters such as flooding, fire, or damage to your server hardware.

8. Get the Best Anti-Malware Protection

It’s essential to have an antivirus program on all your computers and networks but an antivirus alone does not provide enough protection. Add another layer of security to your system with the best anti-malware protection that you can find. There are many ways malware can be introduced to your system such as unsecure web surfing, email attachments, and files downloaded online. Business-class malware software is usually inexpensive and can easily be configured to scan your entire system or network for potential vulnerabilities and cybersecurity risks.

9. Get Compliance Certifications

Don’t ignore or take compliance certifications for granted. They are essential requirements in every small or large business that handles customer data. Examples of certifications that you must have include PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPAA, and SOC 2 Type II among others. To get these certifications, your infrastructure will have to undergo detailed audits to determine whether the data processed, transmitted, and stored in your system is completely protected from unauthorized access. You can always enlist the professional assistance of an expert information security company such as Venkon to prepare for certification audits.

10. Update Your Software Applications Regularly

Most of the software applications you use in your day-to-day come with regular security and performance updates from their developers. Update all programs you use on devices such as PCs, laptops, mobile devices, and servers on a regular basis. Update hardware such as switches, NAS drives, and firewalls as soon as their vendors release a security update. Some applications don’t have automatic update functionalities so check for the updates regularly.

11. Establish Incident Response Policies

Your employees are your first line of defense or weakness against cybersecurity risks. It’s, therefore, to empower them with proper education on how to avoid cyber threats and how to respond to a security incident. Create a clear documented incident response policy and take it a step further by forming an incident response team to analyze any reported security breach.

12. Develop a Comprehensive Security Approach

You can reduce cybersecurity risks and impact of security breaches by building and maintaining a secure information infrastructure. With a comprehensive security strategy, you’ll protect sensitive company information, reduce cybersecurity risks, stay in compliance with the industry data security regulations, and avoid hefty non-compliance penalties. Your overall security plan should focus on identifying vulnerabilities and building a strategy that covers every possibility of a cybersecurity threat.