Data has always been important for businesses. Customer names and contact details allow businesses to market to people who’ve already bought their products.
Data Protection Strategies: Secure Your Most Important Business Asset
In the digital age, this often includes multiple means by which to contact customers, including cell phone numbers and social media accounts that provide demographic details such as age, sex, education, and much more. Along with this consumer data, there are the sales figures, tax information, and other business-related data that help CEOs and other business leaders run companies.
People generally view their individual personal data is particularly important, and data businesses collect on customers and prospects needs to be stored securely, otherwise, you’re likely to lose customers to competitors that take security more seriously. And it’s not just important to protect customer data against hackers, but in cases where systems crash, especially when there’s a physical threat to data, such as from a natural disaster.
Deciding whether to store your company’s data in your own secure server or in the cloud is just one of the decisions businesses need to consider. Storing data has undergone significant changes over the years, from physical file cabinets to files stored in the cloud. In many ways, the Internet age has made data breaches much more dangerous with cybercriminals hacking into systems. With malware and spyware, they can gain access to truly immense amounts of information, which can be used to open lines of credit, create false identities, or commit other forms of fraud.
According to Wavestone US – an IT consultancy – new regulations by the New York’s Department of Financial Services, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, California’s Consumer Privacy Act, along with increasing numbers of attacks in recent times, indicate businesses should focus more on data protection; They suggest businesses innovate and use the power of machine learning to protect data, including through:
- Access control for networks
- Anticipating new trends in data protection
- Applying data protection controls, including various forms of encryption technology
- Making policies surrounding data protection and data cleansing
- Outlining strategies that take into account risks, specific commercial hurdles, and administrative influences
- Recognizing weaknesses in business processes and applications
- Regulating procedures that label data as sensitive
Particularly concerning is who has access to data, which is why it’s so important that employees with access understand and implement your company’s protocols. Automated backups to ensure that when a disaster occurs, your business can bounce quickly, making disasters more like minor inconveniences. Cloud backups help both in cases to recover data.
Yet backing up data doesn’t keep it safe from hacking activities. Servers need reliable protection against computer viruses, malware, and other malevolent online assaults. Erecting a strong firewall serves to prevent unwanted intrusions. Many companies keep employees from accessing their own devices on company networks, not just to discourage them from spending time on social media during working hours, but because that’s how hackers too often gain access.
The risks surrounding data breaches are greater than what many realize. Your employees very well may be your weakest link when it comes to data security, so investing in a mobile device management system allows you to police data access and evaluate risks. Here are a few things you should do to prevent employees’ devices from becoming problematic:
- Use data encryption and industry-standard data protection systems
- Limit access to employees
- Only allow secured mobile devices to access data
- Rigorously apply authentication processes for those accessing essential company applications
- Utilize anti-virus programs specific to mobile devices
Employing reliable IT support to implement new security procedures and monitoring also makes a difference. This needn’t be in-house, either. Cloud computing provides cost-efficient data storage, and most providers are on top of data security issues. Though you may be leery of third parties having control over your important data, ensuring specific access control and security features your cloud provider has in place can alleviate concerns.
Addressing potential concerns in cloud servers can also help reduce risks concerning data privacy and security. These three rules are important:
- Implement processes to protect against risks
- Manage how and which employees can access data
- Regularly audit data security to ensure compliance
In-house IT infrastructure offers much the same security environment like the cloud. However, since the storage facility is external, all-access happens through the Internet, so you need to ensure that your cloud provider follows agreed-upon security practices.
Employees will use your cloud computing potential to access company data, in order to collaborate with each other. This is as it should be, though preventing unnecessary access includes making provisions to protect data from being compromised, and making certain access only happens that relates to their job functions.
You should audit usage, along with these other protective measures, and monitor access to maintain high-security standards. In this way, you’ll be able to identify and mitigate security breaches if they occur.
HussaiN is a full-time professional blogger from India. He is passionate about content writing, Tech enthusiast & computer technologies. Apart from content writing on the internet, he likes reading various tech magazines and several other blogs on the internet.