Data Security Best Practices for Small Businesses

Learn about data security best practices to help keep your small business safe, secure, and productive.

Data Security Best Practices Key Takeaways

  • Data security technologies, like data encryption, hardware-based security, endpoint security, and more, help you level up security and keep hackers at bay.

  • Best practices such as “zero trust” help shut down a common way hackers sneak into systems: stealing password credentials.

  • Intel vPro® platform gives you innovative, hardware-based security that helps protect against leading security threats.



Cybercriminals are constantly creating new and sophisticated ways to slip into systems undetected and access your information. Data security best practices help you identify and fix vulnerabilities to keep criminals out of your systems.

What Is Data Security?

As a small business, you know that being “small” won’t keep you off the radar of cyber thieves. Small businesses are three times more likely to be the target of cybercrime compared to larger companies.1 So, how do you protect yourself against threats?

Data security leverages best practices and technologies, such as encryption, multifactor authentication, hardware-based security, and more, to help close vulnerabilities and keep hackers safely away from your data.

Why Is Data Security Important?

You work hard to create new ideas, concepts, and products and build stronger customer relationships. So, when a hacker enters your system undetected, everything you’ve worked so hard for is quickly put at risk. Data security is important because it helps you protect your data, intellectual property, and valuable customer relationships.

Data Security Best Practices

You likely have safeguards to protect data, but hackers never stop creating new threats, and best practices help you keep up. Addressing security concerns from all angles, everything from software to hardware, remote working, and more, helps you reduce vulnerabilities and keep your data out of the grips of unauthorized users. Here are a few things to consider.

Maintaining Security When Remote

Hackers designed new threats to target on-the-go devices as more of your employees went remote. Unfortunately, staying ahead of these threats requires ongoing device maintenance and security updates, which is challenging when devices aren’t always in the same place.

Mobile device management helps you stay on top of updates, regardless of device location. Additionally, tools that support security and collaboration, such as the Intel vPro® Platform, help remote employees get work done faster but more securely.

Educating Your Employees

Employees are your biggest weakness.2 And it’s not because workers are participating in “risky” activities on purpose, it’s because they don’t always know what those risks are or how to avoid them. Clicking on an unknown attachment or link, for example, might seem innocent but can quickly open up data risk.

Educating your employees about what risk looks like and what to do when spotting suspicious activity can help protect your small business more effectively.

Improving Email Security and File Security

Some of the most common threats your employees will face are those that target email and file security. You can help shut down these threats by encouraging your team to avoid email or file access on public Wi-Fi and to use a VPN to access company data. Implementing stronger authentication tools, such as multifactor authentication, can also help improve safety.

Updating Employees’ Systems

Devices that lack regular updates are a hacker’s dream because of potential vulnerabilities. Remote work can create this scenario if there isn’t a plan or technology to manage timely, on-the-go device updates.

Desktop management helps keep all your small business devices working smoothly – whether at the office or on the go. That means you can get all the updates done, including essential security patches, and those updates can happen during off hours.

Restricting Access to Sensitive Information

You can protect data regardless of where employees work, with a “zero trust” approach. This practice requires users to verify their identity every time they log in to the system.

Multifactor authentication, for example, is a tool that achieves “zero trust” by requiring users to provide something they know (user credentials) with something they have (code sent to a cell phone) with something they are (like a fingerprint).

The goal is to close down one of the largest ways hackers enter your systems: through stolen user credentials.

Data Security Technologies

Best practices give you the strategies to help improve data security, and technologies give you the tools required to implement those practices. Here are a few to consider.

Data Encryption

Data encryption helps stop hackers from reading your sensitive data. It uses an algorithm to encode data into formats that require a key for decryption, keeping your information safely out of view of unauthorized users. The latest technologies leverage data encryption but without causing slowdowns that adversely impact worker productivity.

Hardware-Based Security

As hackers get smarter, so do their tactics, and that’s why you need to protect data at every layer of your IT infrastructure – not only the software level. Intel’s hardware-enabled security capabilities help keep your hardware, firmware, and operating system safe and secure.

Data Backup and Recovery

A tested backup strategy is an essential part of protecting your data. That’s because data loss can be costly and impact productivity. Backups can be local or through a service provider. But regardless of what option you select, the solution should keep your data safe while supporting a reliable data recovery process.

Endpoint Security

Every device that connects to your network is an endpoint. And with so many workers on the go, protecting a growing number of endpoints is critical to data security.

Hardware-enabled endpoint security features, such as those with Intel vPro® Essentials, help you monitor attacks and protect against risk. In addition, Intel® Hardware Shield gives you additional protection, helping to safeguard against attacks at the firmware level.

Intel Security Technology

Predicting the next significant security threat isn’t always possible, but what is possible is using technologies that help you get prepared for whatever comes next.

The Intel vPro® platform gives you innovative, hardware-based security that helps protect against leading security threats.

No IT support? Look into Intel vPro® Essentials. It delivers out-of-the-box hardware-based security and includes the Intel® Hardware Shield, which protects against attacks below the operating system.


Frequently Asked Questions

Data security technologies, such as encryption, multifactor authentication, hardware-based security, and more, combined with best practices – like employee education – help small businesses protect data more effectively.

Data security is vital for small businesses because it helps reduce risk and protect data integrity, intellectual property, customer data, and more.

Data security best practices include educating employees about potential threats, rethinking user authentication, and leveling up processes and tools that support remote work.

Product and Performance Information