I have been in the technology field for over 30 years and have witnessed a lot of changes over that time, as well as having provided service to a host of clients over those years. As a small business owner, I was always a little hesitant to drastic change because my clients were hesitant to change.

The number one pain a business owner has across the board, no matter what industry they’re in, is Data Security. The very thought of lost files or a data breach is enough to keep a small business owner up at night. While some security incidents are caused by intentional and malicious acts, countless others are the result of careless mistakes or poor planning.

5 Ways to Protect Your Data

1. Use the Cloud to Communicate:

Email is the go-to communication tool for businesses of all sizes, large and small. However, email is not a very secure form when it is sent, making it easier to tap into any conversations. Furthermore, email is typically automatically saved and can easily be read by anyone with physical access to your phone or laptop.
The bottom line is that email is easy to read and can be leaked easily via theft or loss of physical devices. Using the Cloud for all communications is the best way to keep all your communications secured and encrypted, thus eliminate the possibility of unauthorized access to content.

2. Cloud Storage Offers Protection:

The level of security offered by the Cloud is greater than the security of an in-house service. This is particularly true for small and mid-sized businesses that don’t have the financial or technical resources to properly secure the in-house servers. Additionally, the Cloud provides protection from natural disasters such as fires and floods, as well as those who wish to steal your information or even from the mistakes of a well-meaning employee.

3. Full Disk Encryption:

Even when you store your data in the Cloud, temporary files and other data can find their way onto your laptop, phone, or other devices. A Full Disk Encryption (FDE) solution encrypts the entire hard drive, including the operating system, any applications, and all data. There are FDE security vendors like Symantec, McAfee, Check Point, TrueCrypt, and others that would be beneficial to your business.

4. Manage Your Passwords:

You always hear to never use the same password for online services. By using different passwords, it maximizes the security of your accounts. However, most of us have several accounts, which means several passwords. We can’t all remember them, so using a password manager like 1Password to store your passwords under a single key is an awesome resource.

5. Welcome Change:

One common mistake is thinking it is just safer to stick with what you know – flaws and all – than to try something new. However, the systems and procedures that have been around for a while can pose some problems. The bottom line is, sometimes we all need to embrace change. It can be the only way to keep up with the latest improvements in data security.

Jeff Penland
Director of Cloud Services, Echo Cloud Solutions (NPG)

Jeff has worked in the technology industry for the last 30+ years. He spent decades in the Missouri Air National Guard, with 15 of them as a civil service technician in the Communications-Electronics field. After working as a founding owner and CEO of Computers, Networks Solutions Inc. for eight years and as the Telephony Sales Manager with Heartland Technology Solutions, Jeff has since acquired the position as the Director of Cloud Services at Echo Cloud Solutions LLC, a News-Press & Gazette company. He has been a life-long native of St. Joseph and is married to Kim. With three children, Adam, Kori, and Kyler, and two granddaughters, Beni Rae and Jovi Lou, he maintains a busy schedule.