An asset is anything that can serve as a valuable resource, including those that exist in a digital format. Today, digital assets can serve as the lifeline of an individual or organization. As such, it's only right that you do your best to protect that asset. Unfortunately, many people tend to fail in this regard, and for several reasons.
For one, due to the nature of the web, digital assets are quite easy to steal, particularly those uploaded on the internet. Moreover, people tend to take cyber threats too lightly.
So, to help you avoid these common mistakes in managing digital assets, below are six ways to protect critical digital assets from all sorts of threats, be it physical or digital:
1. Partner With A Managed IT Service Provider
Perhaps the easiest way to protect your digital assets is to hire a managed IT service provider.
For your reference, these are agencies that remotely manage your IT department or at least a part of it. These may include cybersecurity, software maintenance, and digital asset management.
Although partnering with managed IT service providers entails additional costs, you'll have to spend money to protect critical digital assets anyway. So, you might as well spend it on something that will make your job a lot easier. Moreover, this approach is generally cheaper. If you're situated around Washington and intend to find an agency, you might want to look into CloudSecureTech managed services providers in Seattle.
2. Keep Your Software Up-To-Date
Ever since the advent of the internet, there have been countless cases where a company suffered significant losses of digital assets due to software failure. For example, a well-known coding platform experienced a severe case of data loss simply because they couldn't prepare their software before a major operation. Therefore, you must keep your software up-to-date at all times.
As stated earlier, if you're already using your available resources or workforce for other tasks, you may consider delegating the task of keeping your software up-to-date to managed IT security services.
3. Create A Backup
The worst thing that could happen to your digital asset is permanent deletion. For instance, in the previous story regarding the coding platform, they permanently lost customer data due to a terrible yet avoidable mistake.
However, that was because they deleted all the directories that contained their files. In short, they didn't have any backup hidden somewhere else. Since you certainly don't want to lose your valuable resources, consider creating a backup of all your digital assets and storing them in another location, preferably separate from the main copy. That way, you don't have to worry about permanent deletion.
4. Implement Two-Factor Or Multi-Factor Authentication
If your digital assets are primarily stored in a platform or software that requires a login prompt, you should implement multi-factor authentication as soon as possible. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) refers to the practice of requiring not just one but multiple authentication factors from the user. These may include factors such as the following:
One-time password (OTP)
PIN from a mobile number
An answer to a personal question
Biometric data (e.g., fingerprint, face, voice, etc.)
By requiring multiple factors from you or your employees, you're essentially making it harder for malicious individuals to gain access to your system and exploit your digital assets.
5. Restrict Access To Digital Assets
If you're a business owner, your employees can pose a risk to your digital assets, albeit unintentionally. Hackers can perform social engineering tactics like phishing. And if they're lucky, they can hack into your system due to an employee's carelessness. Of course, it's not easy to educate your employees from the ground up on how to detect social engineering attempts. Therefore, your best bet is to simply restrict access to digital assets to only those that need them.
For example, instead of giving your employees access to all digital assets, you can set restrictions for the access to really sensitive data, such as the company's banking information.
6. Consider Having Your Employees Sign A Protective Agreement
Another reason your employees can become a liability is that they may intentionally exploit your company's digital assets. Unfortunately, this won’t be considered an illegal act unless you have your employees sign a protective agreement. Only then can you sue them if they ever misuse your critical digital assets.
They may simply be files, but digital assets can serve as your lifeline. So, it’s crucial that you invest in protecting them. After all, with the ever-increasing number of cyber threats nowadays, no amount of cybersecurity is too much. In that regard, keep these six ways to protect your critical digital assets in mind so can get closer to your goal.