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Introduction to Excel Data Security

All modern businesses rely on watertight cyber security measures to protect their digital assets

Data security challenges have evolved significantly over the past decade due to the mass influx of laptops, smartphones, tablets and other IoT devices into the workplace. As the number of connections within a digital infrastructure grows, so too does the need to safeguard them from every potential threat.

The shift towards Cloud-based file storage systems and mobile technology has also had a discernible impact. While this offers a convenient way for colleagues to collaborate remotely from different locations, it offers more entry points for unwarranted access and cyber attacks. This means it is no longer enough to ensure the security of a single centralised computer network; data security processes must account for home and mobile networks too.

Left unchecked, sharing unprotected files, spreadsheets or workbooks can easily lead to sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. This can prove to be very costly for the business responsible for the security of this data, particularly if it compromises the confidentiality of clients.

4 Steps to Securing Data

If your business is looking to establish a holistic approach to data security, it’s essential to bear in mind the following steps:

Password and encryption protocol:

Weak passwords abound in the workplace, and it’s surprising how many businesses do not implement a company-wide protocol to mitigate the risks they cause. For staff that work remotely, this must also apply to the devices they use on other networks outside the office. In the case of Excel, all spreadsheets containing sensitive data should be given an appropriate level of protection – whether that’s Read-Only access or file-level encryption – before they are shared.

Regular staff training:

As cyber attacks that threaten company data continue to evolve, staff must remain up to date with any major developments, particularly if they are responsible for collecting, organising or reporting data. They must also be reminded of IT security best practice at all times, such as regularly updating their system software. This is a simple yet effective way of staving off as many threats as possible.

Safeguarding the Cloud:

Organisations that store important company data in a third party data centre must establish a Cloud security policy that covers confidentiality, access and integrity of data. It’s also important to ensure that sensitive files are not saved outside of the designated Cloud system on an unprotected network.

Schedule regular antivirus scans: 

While most computer systems these days have some form of antivirus software installed, it’s important to update and use the system scan function on a regular basis. This can be scheduled to run while a computer is not being used to avoid unnecessary downtime, perhaps during a staff meeting or lunch break.

If your business is looking for more information on data security, or you wish to find out more about the services that Bespoke Excel provide, get in touch with our team of expert Excel consultants today on 0161 883 2655.

Updated on April 24, 2018

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