Imagine if you lost all your data from your work computer or, worse still, from your company server. What would you lose? Well, probably your accounts and financial history; customer information; internal data (such as employees’ records and HR data); important analytics; and more.
How do you even begin trying to rebuild something that’s taken years to create? Could you even operate as business if this happened?
It’s a terrible thought. But this is the reality that many business owners face. So what can you do?
Know Your Enemy
Firstly, it’s crucial that you understand what poses a threat to your data, and how to avoid them.
- Viruses are probably the most feared and reported data threat, with “ransomware” – which threatens to delete your files unless you pay a ransom – and other malicious software responsible for breaches at big companies such as Target, Home Depot, and Sony. If you’re a small to medium sized business, a standard data security plan will be enough to accomplish your data needs. Though bigger organisations may need a more powerful and tailored solution.
- Corruption is another significant threat. Files can become corrupt due to faulty disks, faulty disk drives, bad programming, and power failures. A database backup can mitigate some of this damage, but since they’re usually only carried out every 24 hours, important changes and recently inputted information can still be lost.
- Deletion, either accidental or malicious, is also a threat. You and your staff probably access and modify important data every day. But it only takes a couple of wrong clicks and entire databases can be lost. Staff may even intentionally delete data as an act of revenge or to make money. To avoid this, it’s important to limit access to data, back data up regularly, and store backups safely and securely.
- Hacking also poses a threat, since unsecure data is at risk from unauthorised individuals who may wish to steal, delete, or alter your data. There are lots of things you can do to avoid being hacked, but the best hackers are often one step ahead of even the most advanced security techniques.
There are some easy things you can do to minimise the risk of significant data loss.
- Conduct a security audit – this will show you what parts of your business are vulnerable and which data needs to be protected.
- Inform Staff of Their Role – this will keep your staff vigilant and on the lookout for human error (a big cause of security breaches),
- Use Strong Passwords – to prevent hackers using “dictionary attacks” to break into your network.
- Encrypt Your Data – to make sure that, if you’re data is stolen, those responsible won’t be able to read it.
- Back up – to make sure you’re able to restore your data as it was before was compromised.
- Have Security Polices – this will make sure that everybody is reading from the same page, and that there’s less opportunity for people to go wrong.
- Implement a Multiple-Security-Technology solution – since having multiple layers of security is the best defence against hackers and viruses.
Are you worried about data loss? Have you every experience it? Let me know with a comment below.