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11 Smart Strategies for Self-Storage Data Security

By Kevin Kerr Comments

Fifty percent of small businesses report they’ve had data breaches involving customer and employee information in the past 12 months, according to studies accumulated by “Small Business News,” an online publication for small-business owners. Further investigation shows that in most cases, these attacks can be attributed to lack of security, malicious attack, employee errors, lost or stolen devices, or any combination of these.

Simply put, there’s an overwhelming number of digital threats actively targeting industries like self-storage. Unfortunately, a data breach isn’t only costly and time-consuming to repair, it can permanently tarnish your company’s reputation. Below are several prevention strategies.

Bring Prepared for Attack

Cyber-attacks don’t always come in the form of a big, red shiny button with semi-inviting words such as “Click Here.” You could be putting your company at risk by simply visiting an infected website or clicking on an infected advertisement. New forms of malware are being developed every day with the sole intent of deceiving you. While you may never be aware of every type of threat, it’s important to be prepared.

Employee error makes up for more than 90 percent of all digital attacks, according to data-security and government studies. That means limiting employee exposure to these threats and training them on proper protocol should be your priority. Consider these five strategies:

  • Anti-virus/anti-malware software will protect against most common cyber-attacks and can be your first line of defense. Keep your software up-to-date, as it will give you protection against the latest malware developments.
  • Management software acts as the hub of your self-storage operation. To limit employee access to vital information, ask your software provider how to configure user rights and permissions.
  • Restricting access to the Internet is another way to protect yourself if you’re concerned about employees’ browsing habits. This can be done in a variety of ways and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. In some situations, a written agreement specifying justified Internet use may be appropriate; however, you may also consider router blocks or specialized software that only allows access to approved websites.
  • Your computer operating system (i.e., Windows), should be set to automatically download and apply updates. Many vulnerabilities are often found and exploited in these systems, so make sure you’re as current as possible to ward off threats.
  • Ransomware is a growing threat that can hold your business hostage. This malware comes in many forms, but what they all have in common is the ability to use strong encryption to lock you out of your system until you pay reported costs of $200 to $10,000. In June 2016, the FBI released a report showing that, on average, 4,000 ransomware attacks occur per day, with the most common method of delivery being fake e-mails or other “phishing” methods.
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