If your business lost all of its data today, would it be able to recover from it? It is a question that will terrify business owners, but an important one that you need to answer.
Unfortunately, for most business owners, the answer is no. 40% of businesses never reopen after a natural disaster. A natural disaster, or other accident that destroys a firm’s data, can bring the company to its knees and puts it in a situation that is difficult to recover from.
A business relies on its data. It depends on it for operations, but also, its reputation depends on how securely it protects its data. Data leaks damage a firm’s reputation. Your customers trust you to keep their data safe.
It is your responsibility to protect your data, both for your, and your customers, protection. In the event of a natural disaster, theft, cyber attack, or data tampering, you need a robust mechanism that preserves essential data and securely holds customer details. Here are 4 ways to protect your data.
Collect Only What You Need
Protecting your data starts with data collection. Scale down your data collection and only record the information you need. Unless you have a business reason, don’t store sensitive information like credit card details or social security numbers. That way should the worst-case scenario happen, and your data security is compromised, you don’t have sensitive data to steal.
Keep an Inventory
Generate an inventory of all the personal data you have on file. The inventory should have details of all the information, the file location, and the server location. You should also document all the employees, including the computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones that have access to the data.
If anything is destroyed or tampered with, a master list of business data could help you spot irregularities and identify the source of a security breach.
Backup Your Data Off-Site
Backing up your data is your company’s insurance policy. If things go badly wrong, it is a safety net to prevent massive data loss. Therefore, not only is it imperative that you regularly back up your business data, it is important you have at least two back up methods situated in different locations. If one method is destroyed in a natural disaster, you will have a second backup ready to provide business continuity and recover your data.
Most companies have one backup method located on site and one off-site. Off-site locations should be in reliable and redundant data centers. These centres should be well-protected, with round-the-clock security and fire protection measures.
Use Encryption to Protect Your Data
Any sensitive data should be encrypted with certificate-based encryption to ensure only those with clearance to access the information can do so. Disk encryption is also available for data stored on a physical disk. The disk is automatically encrypted when it is written and is decrypted prior to being loaded into memory.
You can’t stop a natural disaster from occurring. But you can take measures to mitigate the damage. For businesses storing sensitive data, protecting your data from natural disasters, theft, cyber crime, and tampering should be a priority. It is not just an insurance policy, it is investing in the future survival of your business.