Your business’s data is probably one of the most important elements of your whole company; if your financial information, marketing materials and customer’s contact and bank details were lost or stolen the repercussions for your company would be catastrophic.
Therefore, protecting your data effectively is surely one of the most valuable things your company could be doing. Here are our top tips for making sure your data is safe.
- Establish where and what data you store
In a lot of businesses different data may be stored in various locations and systems, so it’s really important that a clear and up to date record of this is kept somewhere safe. Also make sure you include information shared outside your business – for instance if your website is held on a server owned by a third-party. Once you know exactly what data is stored and where it’s a lot easier to keep track of.
- Consider who should have access to your data
It is important to know exactly who has access to your data, and consider increasing security here. Staff could change or delete data, either maliciously or by mistake, plus they could steal and sell it, or take contacts to a new job with them.
You should only give staff access to the data they absolutely need, and give them individual usernames and passwords to access it. Some programmes, such as MS Windows, allow you to set different levels of access depending on the user.
- Become aware of what could go wrong
There are many threats to your company’s data, but of course you must be aware of what they are before you can safeguard against them effectively.
Human error is one possible danger, so look for software with undo functions to reduce the risk of this happening. Physical threats, such as fire, flood, theft or a broken hard disk are also a concern, so make sure data is backed up in anticipation of this.
Online threats include computer viruses, hackers and malware like Trojans and spyware. The best precaution to take against this is to make sure you use security software and follow best online security practise.
- Guarding against data loss
It is important that everybody in your business is educated in the risk data loss would pose to your business, so you can work together to prevent it from happening. The fewer the amount of places your data is saved the safer it will be, so make sure your employees don’t save data on memory sticks or desktops. You should back up data regularly and have clear procedures in place for things like transferring data.
Although you can never guarantee that your data won’t be lost, the more you do to guard it the better position your business will be in.
Emily Bradbury is writing on behalf of BTI Computers, who support and maintain business-critical IT systems. Visit them for server room control systems and more.