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8 Best Practices to Strengthen Data Security (+Avoid a Data Breach)

by Mara Calvello  |  August 2, 2019

It seems like we can’t go more than a week without reading breaking news that a major company has experienced a data breach.

From Equifax to Capital One, many customers of these companies have learned the hard way that they shouldn’t have trusted these brands to keep their data secure.

data breach like these is completely avoidable, but only if you don’t deny just how important cyber security is for your business and its customers. If you don’t want to be the next Capital One but are unsure how to go about enhancing your data security efforts, you’re not alone.

We asked these security professionals to break down the data security methods they implore to ensure they don’t experience a data breach. Keep reading to find out what they had to say!

How to strengthen your data security efforts

Before you can take the necessary steps to reinforce the data security efforts your company is taking, let’s define exactly what data security is.


No matter how big or small your company is, or the kind of information your customers provide you to do business, a data breach could be just around the corner. Don’t leave it to chance and start utilizing these best practice tips!

1. Consolidate your tools

“As a small business, we try to centralize our tools into as few products as possible. For instance, we chose our file share solution based on its ability to consolidate other services we need, such as group communication, shared calendars, project management, online editing, collaboration, and more. So, we chose NextCloud on a virtual private server. One SSL certificate covered everything it does for us. We use a static IP from our internet service provider and enforce secure connections only. The second reason why we went this route was that it encrypts the data it stores, hacking our NextCloud will only get you gibberish files you can’t read. It saved us quite a bit of money implementing our own solution, and it has free apps for iOS and Android.”

 Troy Shafer, Solutions Provider at Shafer Technology Solutions Inc.

2. Be wary of the cloud

“When it comes to data security, we regularly implore people to not store sensitive data in the cloud! After all, the ‘cloud’ is just another word for ‘somebody else’s computer’. So any time you put sensitive data up ‘in the cloud’, you are abdicating your responsibility to secure that data by relying on a third party to secure it.

Any time a piece of data is on a computer that is connected to the internet, or even to an intranet, that connection is a possible point of failure. The only way to be 100% certain of the security of a piece of data is for there to be only one copy, on one computer, which isn’t connected to any other computer.

Aside from that, the weakest link in any organization is often the users – the human factor. To help minimize that, we recommend that organizations disable the so-called ‘friendly from’ in email, which is when the email program displays the name, and even the contact picture, in an inbound email.”

 Anne Mitchell, CEO/President at Institute for Social Internet Public Policy