It's Time to Get Serious About Data Security
We’ve seen credit cards go through an evolution over the past decades. Companies are constantly innovating to protect consumers, through pin numbers, chips, contactless pay, card-free ATMs, and phone apps that allow you to freeze a card the moment you realize it’s missing.
Why are they continually innovating? Because the security threats are innovating, too.
Your business data is no different. Are you still running stock anti-virus software that may or may not be updated and may or may not provide comprehensive protection? Have you taken steps to analyze your systems and assess potential weaknesses? Or, like many business owners, especially with employees working remotely, have you just been struggling to keep everything running?
Saying “I’ll get to it later” or “It’ll never happen to me” is not only naive but negligent. The risk and impact of a data breach have never been greater. Between that risk, hardware failure, natural disasters, or even a laptop battery dying with unsaved data, there are a lot of vulnerabilities in any data system.
You are vigilant about protecting your credit card information, why not do the same for your business data?
1 - Assess Your Current Setup
This involves creating a detailed list of all your devices, programs, hard drives, and current security services.
Where are the weak spots? Are all of your devices in working order and properly cared for and/or stored? Is your software up to date for the latest built-in security and streamlined cross-platform functionality?
2 - Backup Your Data, then Backup the Backup
Device failure is a constant and unpredictable threat. Going to recover information from an old backup hard drive only to find it no longer works can be devastating. Having a redundant drive to copy that backup adds another layer of safety. In addition, cloud-based options like Dropbox take away the risk of hard drive failure and any other physical damage caused by electrical surges or natural disasters.
3 - Plan for the Best
Now that your data is backed up and you have assessed your needs, it’s time to optimize.
Consolidating all of your employee operations onto a single platform such as Microsoft 365 provides tons of benefits for ease of communication and sharing of files within the business. In addition, such consolidation minimizes the security risks of moving data between different platforms.
4 - Prepare for the Worst
With your entire system streamlined and optimized, creating a business continuity plan is the next essential step. Even with all of your data secure, how quickly after an unforeseen event can you get your business up and running again? Does everyone know what steps to take, the order to take them in, and who is responsible for what?
A comprehensive plan will anticipate various possibilities, give detailed protocol, assign responsibilities, be practiced regularly, and be updated as personnel and needs change.
5 - Go Above and Beyond
While everything you’ve done so far has certainly increased your data security and protected against myriad threats, there will always be room and need to do more.
Managed IT Solutions are the best way to ensure every facet of your data storage and use remains optimized and secure.