5 Ways Your Business Can Avoid Data Loss
- October 26, 2016
- Category: Business
With data breaches becoming larger and happening more often, every single business owner should be turning their attention to strengthening security and prevention measures. Data breaches are far from a rare occurrence, and whether it happens by malicious or accidental means, the threat of data loss is very real.
The results of data loss are disastrous. In addition to financial repercussions and loss of credibility, you can expect to see significant damage to your business’ reputation. Your customers trust you to keep their information safe, and once that trust is broken, their opinion of you is forever tainted. Recovering from such an occurrence is incredibly hard.
To prevent your business from becoming a victim of data loss, you’ll need to work with your team to both anticipate and counter any possible security risks. Here are six ways to do just that.
Develop a Backup Plan
It’s absolutely critical to have a backup plan in case confidential data is damaged, lost, or compromised; it’s a key component of a strong business data protection strategy.
Keep a backup of all data stored in a safe, offsite location that is separate from your network. This will protect it should your office fall victim to a natural disaster or burglary. In addition to an offsite backup, it’s not a bad idea to have a third backup somewhere else. You can never be too careful.
It’s strongly recommended to update your data frequently. This can be done daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly — it all depends on your operational needs.
Should the worst happen, you’ll need to partner with a data recovery service in order to retrieve what was lost or damaged. Look for a company with a good reputation, quick turnaround, and the ability to work with the data storage system you employ.
Create Data Policy and Access Levels
Though businesses are always at risk of outside attacks, it’s often the actions of employees that lead to data being lost or stolen.
To prevent such a situation, create a formal confidentiality policy that covers data protection, and provide training so that employees are educated in how to prevent data loss. Ensure that the policy restricts their usage of company data and prohibits them from sharing it with outsiders. Have employees sign the agreement at the outset of their employment; and inform them of the consequences of breaking the policy.
Furthermore, have your IT team set data access levels defining which employees can access what data on your network.
Install Virus & Malware Protection
Viruses and malware can lurk in your network completely unnoticed — sometimes for years. That’s why it’s imperative that you install powerful, up-to-date virus/malware protection across your network. Since it only takes one infected device to poison your entire network, all devices — desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones — should have the same level of security. It may seem insignificant, but this basic level of defense will do much to prevent unauthorised access to your data.
Encrypt Your Data
All devices used in and for your business should be protected with data encryption — again, this includes computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets. Encrypted data is only accessible by it those who have been given specific authorization to do so. This can be done with over-the-air encryption, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which protects company data that is in motion between desktop or mobile devices and the company server.
Change Passwords Regularly
Though password protection is often underrated, it can do a world of good. However, passwords only work to secure your data when you use them on all computers and smartphones in your network. Since passwords become less effective the longer they remain unchanged, they’ll need to be changed every two to three months — and passwords that protect highly sensitive data should be changed more often than that.
Living in the technological age means that we’ll always have to deal with the threat of data loss. However, there are proven ways to safeguard your business, and as long as you take advantage of them, you’ll lessen the risk of falling victim to a data breach.
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