How To Prevent A Data Breach: 5 Best Practices

cyber security for startups

As a business, you may experience unauthorized access to your network from time to time. Even though some may not do much damage, losing sensitive data can be a big concern. The data in your system include your internal ones, and those of your customers and business partners. Therefore, the security of this data is essential to your business’s reputation and operations.

Get Cybersecure

While you may not grasp the overall idea of cybersecurity, various managed service providers (MSPs) have service and educational tools that can enable you to protect your business from cyberattacks. Even though these service providers can give you support remotely, it’s advisable to find one within your location. Getting a local MSP ensures that you can get immediate physical support if the need arises.

When searching for available MSPs near you, you can use your geographical location to narrow down your search. For instance, for MSPs with cybersecurity plans in Australia, you can search ‘cyber security Australia.’ Then, from the options available, you can check the one closest to your business location.

Managed service providers can help your business improve its data security. However, you should establish cybersecurity policies and practices to reinforce their services. The below points can help you with the best practices that can prevent a data breach in your business.

Frequent Staff Training

Your team members can present one of the highest risks for data loss in your business. This is because the team is a link between your network system and the outside world. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that your team understands and practices good cyber hygiene.

It’s important to note that cyber-criminals consistently devise new forms of cyberattack. As such, keeping your staff updated on emerging risks and cybersecurity practices can help keep your data secure. You can, for example, train your team members on how to recognize phishing emails and malicious websites. In addition, you should ensure they understand the importance of using strong passwords and a virtual private network (VPN). It’d also be best to educate your team on the need to separate personal devices from work accounts, and work devices from personal accounts.

As you carry out cybersecurity training, you can follow up with an assessment to gauge its impact. For example, you may send a phishing email that can help you identify the vulnerability of your team. From these tests, you can assess the success rate of the training and know where to improve.

Create Access Levels And Monitor User Activity

Sometimes, you may want your team to have unrestricted access to perform their duties. While it may good for daily operations, it can be a significant risk to your cybersecurity. A team member may knowingly or unknowingly expose sensitive data or provide a loophole for cybercriminals to access your network.

Therefore, to minimize the risk of exposure, you should create access levels according to the users’ roles. You limit the access risk to sensitive data from possible cyberattacks by so doing. As a general rule, the most sensitive data should only be accessible to a select few.

The access privileges should then be controlled by the system admin, who can monitor user activity. This monitoring can help detect compromised user accounts or weak passwords, which can create loopholes that lead to data breaches.

Regularly Update Your Software And Firmware

Given the frequent changes in the security threats on software, most software providers always release new security patches to counter any new threats. The safety measures you use today may not be as effective tomorrow. Therefore, you should constantly update your software and firmware to install the latest security patches and improve your cybersecurity.

You can set these updates to occur when the system is less in use. This allows the updates to finish without any interruption. It’s also essential to ensure your team understands the necessity of updating their workstations.

Establish And Practice A Data Backup And Recovery Process

In some cases, a cybersecurity breach can delete data from your system. Therefore, having a data backup plan enables you to restore your network close to the pre-data breach level. An effective backup plan should allow you to back up your data regularly and automatically. Additionally, it should involve a remote backup and an off-site backup.

Most managed service providers can provide you with a cloud-based backup package. On the other hand, an off-site backup means that the backup device is disconnected from your network after the backup process is complete. The backup frequency should allow the least loss in case a security breach occurs between backup schedules. Thus, it can be hourly, daily, or weekly, depending on your operations and data sensitivity.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication

Using passwords alone can still pause a security risk if the login credentials fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, you should implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication before one can enter your network. Using MFA creates an extra layer of security that ensures the access request is from an authorized user. It’s important to note that using MFA shouldn’t eliminate the need to use strong passwords.


The frequently evolving cyber threats mean that protecting your data from breaches can be quite challenging. The loss from a data breach can be damaging and irreversible. However, you can minimize the risks and ensure your data are safe with the above best practices.

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