Protecting data from hackers is now a way of life. With every big company breach that appears on the news, it becomes clearer and clearer that this problem isn’t going away. Small- to mid-size financial firms have to be extra cautious about security because they may or may not have dedicated, in-house security staff who are trained on how to manage their digital security needs. Though every situation varies, there are three key factors to every good security plan.

1) Monitor All Devices

We have entered the age of Bring Your Own Device to Work, and while this offers many benefits to both your financial firm and your employees, there are some basic security precautions that need to be implemented. First, any device that touches your network, whether it’s a tablet or a phone, needs to be inventoried and secured. Many third-party apps allow you to implement basic security requirements such as passcodes to access the device and remote data wiping in the event a device is lost or stolen.

2) Train Employees Yearly

Having a security policy is one thing, enforcing it is another. Make sure both are being done by training every new employee and providing a yearly refresher for everyone else in your firm. This training needs to cover safe passwords, information that can be shared over the phone and in person, and security regarding all devices, including tablets, phones, and flash drives. The device inventory should be updated during this refresher as well.

3) Consider Cloud Data Storage

Yes, this one may seem self-serving because we are a cloud-based service provider, but the fact is that data storage centers have more security than nearly all on-site servers. Your security budget simply isn’t going to match that of a completely secured facility that has multiple layers of physical and digital security, encryption, and redundancy. Data centers offer the best level of security but remain affordable because you only pay for what you use.

Cloud-based storage can be accessed from anywhere in the world via secure credentials, which your yearly training will ensure are properly secured and not shared with anyone. It simplifies your security policies and it’s a higher level of security than most firms can provide on their own.

Hackers are looking for a weakness they can exploit. They are patient, cunning, and opportunistic. Oftentimes, they access a system via information they gained from a person over the phone or credentials they stole from a device. Monitor your devices, train your employees, and let us take care of the rest.