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6 Tips to Simplify Secure Information Sharing

For small business owners, the idea of navigating complex security protocols might sound daunting, especially when time and resources are already stretched. However, the rewards for getting it right, in terms of trust, efficiency, and business growth, are immense.

Whether you’re a startup or a well-established SME, ensuring your data stays safe sharing across your teams and with clients is paramount. Here are 6 actionable tips to simplify and strengthen your information sharing practices.

Implement a Secure File Sharing System

Transitioning from emailing sensitive documents to a secure file sharing system can be a game-changer. Systems like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive offer encryption and access controls that allow you to decide who can view, edit, or download your files.

Choose platforms with robust security features that are simple for your team and clients to use. For small businesses, it’s about finding the right balance between cost and functionality. Make sure the system you choose also has integration options with your existing software tools.

Establish Clear Information Sharing Policies

Sharing policies should cover everything from the types of data that should not be shared to the expected conduct when sharing sensitive information. These policies should be easily accessible and regularly updated to reflect the latest threats and best practices.

Most importantly, involve your employees in the creation of these policies, and ensure they are part of the training process. When your team understands the ‘why’ behind the rules, they’re more likely to follow them.

Use Secure Communication Tools

It’s not just about the files you share but also how you communicate about them. There’s an array of encrypted email services like ProtonMail or Tutanota that provide an extra layer of privacy. For instant communication, you can opt for messaging apps that offer end-to-end encryption like Signal or Wickr.

Moreover, using Data Rooms for Security can be a powerful solution for small businesses looking to enhance their information security situation. 

Unlike traditional document sharing services, VDRs are designed with high-level security features to protect confidential information. They offer secure access controls, allowing businesses to manage who can view, edit, or download documents. 

When sharing sensitive data, the entire communication chain needs to be secure, not just the final destination. This means using secure tools for every step, from draft to delivery.

Regularly Update and Secure Your Devices

Outdated software is one of the easiest entry points for cyber attackers. Ensuring all your devices and software are up-to-date with the latest patches and versions is a straightforward way to strengthen your defenses.

Consider tools that can help automate updates and security checks, as it’s often the routine chores of cybersecurity that fall through the cracks in busy small businesses.

Backup Your Data

Regular, automated data backups are crucial for safeguarding against data loss due to cyberattacks, accidental deletions, or hardware failures.

Use a mix of backup methods, including cloud services and physical backups, to ensure your data remains accessible and secure. Test these backups periodically to guarantee they will work when you need them.

Conduct Regular Security Audits

Periodic security audits allow you to assess the effectiveness of your current security measures and identify any vulnerabilities.

This can be done in-house, using online tools, or by hiring a professional auditor. The results of these audits will serve as a roadmap for where to focus your security efforts and investments in the future.

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