Effective encryption practices for small businesses

Here at Creative Network Solutions, we are Preston’s leading IT support and network services experts. From secure remote access services to business VoIP, we are the team you can count on. And this is our guide to everything you should know about encryption for small businesses.

What is encryption?

Encryption is the process of scrambling text and data to make this unreadable and unintelligible, unless you have access to the key needed to unscramble it. Encryption can be applied to individual files, folders, volumes or entire disks within a computer, as well as USB flash drives and files stored in the cloud.

What are the most effective encryption practices for small businesses?

The most effective encryption practices to protect your company data include:

  • Using an effective backup policy- with your data encrypted, it is absolutely necessary to ensure that your computer is fully backed up, before you apply any encryption, and that you backup your data regularly and effectively. This is because if your encrypted disk crashes, or becomes corrupted, you could lose the data permanently, without a recent backup. This can have a range of negative consequences for your company, including increased length of down time and recovery, loss of earnings, and even loss of company reputation and custom.
  • Create a safe and secure passcode or PIN- the passcode or PIN is the one thing that prevents your data from becoming legible again to any hackers or criminals who gain unauthorized access to your network. As a result, it is absolutely crucial that this is secure. As such, when developing the passcode you should be sure to use random numbers and letters in combination with special characters and symbols. You will need to memorize this, and one tip is to use the first letter of each word in a sentence, phrase or line from a song you enjoy, and substitute some of the letters for numbers and symbols, or add extra as well. While this might look random to anyone else, it will have meaning for you and be more likely to be remembered. You should also consider writing this down, and storing it in a separate, completely safe space. This is because becoming locked out of your encrypted computer can be impossible to rectify, even for IT professionals, without the passcode or PIN.
  • Use virtual private networks for remote working- Remote working is something that many companies and employees have had to adapt to over the past year, but this should still be secure. Using a virtual private network to access the office network from a laptop or other mobile device when working remotely should be essential. This is because a VPN creates a secure tunnel over the internet, encrypting all data that you send and receive during that session.

For more information or advice about your network security, systems, or cloud solutions, why not ask the experts today, here at Creative Network Solutions.