As the world becomes more digital, data privacy becomes increasingly difficult to ensure. For IT admins, this task can be particularly difficult, given the amount of data and number of vendors the average company works with. While security is never a 100% guarantee, there are still a few things you can do to shore up your data privacy — and they don’t all have to be long and expensive endeavors.
In honor of Data Privacy Day (Data Protection Day in Europe) on January 28th, we’re bringing you six quick, affordable, and effective steps you can take to dramatically improve your organization’s approach to data privacy. If you’re looking for data privacy quick wins, start with these.
1. Regularly update and patch software and browsers across all company devices.
According to Verizon’s 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report, software vulnerabilities are one of the three primary ways hackers access an organization. Implementing a patch management program, therefore, can dramatically reduce your chances of a data breach. Patch management programs that span all company devices are critical to the program’s success — even better if you can find a means to secure and update employees’ browsers as well. JumpCloud, for example, offers cross-OS patch management that includes browser patching.
2. Enforce good password hygiene.
Eighty percent of breaches are tied to passwords. Passwords are a common entry point for attackers — and this is often because they aren’t compliant with best practices. There are a couple key elements that go into good password hygiene:
- Strong passwords. While password requirements may vary from service to service, uniqueness and length are the most important factors in a strong password. Learn more about password best practices in our blog.
- Effective password management. In addition to keeping passwords strong, they should be rotated regularly, kept secret, and never shared. A password manager can be hugely helpful here: they help avoid the human error associated with requiring users to memorize their passwords without compromising password length, uniqueness or complexity. They can also generate stronger passwords than typical user-created ones. Some tools, like JumpCloud Password Manager, can also span multiple devices, facilitate secure password sharing, and input TOTP tokens for MFA.
3. Choose passwordless where possible.
Because passwords are inherently vulnerable and often easy to compromise, passwordless authentication is a more secure alternative. It uses secure authentication alternatives to the password — like biometrics on a trusted device — to facilitate a secure login. Passwordless authentication streamlines the user login flow, protects against phishing, and secures the authentication process. JumpCloud Go, for example, allows users to verify their identity seamlessly using device authenticators with biometrics like Apple Touch ID and Windows Hello.
4. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) everywhere.
MFA is another way to improve the security of the username-password combination by adding another verification layer before granting authentication. Tools like single sign-on (SSO) help with implementing MFA in more places by using one secure, MFA-enhanced username-password combination to grant access to the bulk of a user’s resources.
5. Conduct periodic security checks.
Develop a system for periodically checking in on your organization’s security practices. For example, you might start by auditing access and permissions for employees and third-parties on a quarterly basis. Having clear visibility into all your users and their access can help ensure you’re conducting thorough and effective audits.
6. Conduct regular security awareness training.
Users are often the weakest link in your security chain: the human element is involved in 74% of all breaches. Conduct regular security awareness training to ensure your users follow your company’s best practices. Some companies, like KnowBe4, offer pre-packaged security training so you can ramp up a program quickly without having to build it yourself.
Secure Your Users and Data with JumpCloud
JumpCloud is an open directory platform that allows users to access all the resources they need with any trusted device and one set of secure credentials.
JumpCloud helps IT admins ensure data privacy in their organization by offering patch management, a password manager, phishing-resistant passwordless authentication, MFA, SSO, and robust reporting that unifies all user and device data into a single-pane-of-glass. Securing your organization with JumpCloud is easy — get started with a free trial.