Data protection is highly relevant among businesses, especially in the growing digital marketplace. Data protection is viewed to include data privacy and security. It involves the collection and use of data and its accessibility for various users within the organizational network. Data protection systems are applied in every data storage infrastructure of organizations to ensure that data can be retrieved without the risk of losing them when the system crashes occur. There are different aspects of your data storage that need protection and small businesses need to identify the loopholes in their data safety and privacy protection system. This data protection guide can help businesses secure their data, whether they are stored within their internal data storage network or in the cloud.
Access controls on your network
Data are stored in different locations. Some businesses use laptops, computers and their own data storage center for keeping business information. Controlling who can access them is a basic security measure that business owners can do in order to protect their data. Once you know which data resides where, you can determine the extent of accessibility to be available within your system. The data may take different forms. It may be private company information, sensitive data involving trade secrets, customer profiles and other data collected needed for business operations. Each of them requires a different level of data protection and access. To limit data security breach within your internal structure, it is prudent to limit its access to authorized personnel only.
Use an automated backup system
Most small businesses manage their data backup center manually. However, higher volume of data floods their storage center and this will entail more backup efforts and time in performing backing up data centers. It is wise to automate the process to ensure that all data stored are protected, especially when disasters occur, such as system crashes and downtime issues. Cloud backups are getting more popular these days which help business owners eliminate the redundancy of performing manual backups of data. This is most useful to small businesses without enough cash flows to buy their own IT data infrastructure to collect, store and protect data.
Arm your data storage center with a protective suit
Backing up data is not sufficient to keep data safe. Business owners understand the risks of cyber breach and it is the most prudent step to insulate their data server against cyber attack, malware and viruses. Safeguarding data with reliable antivirus programs provides another security layer to all of your incoming and outgoing data. Establish a strong firewall between your internet and data storage center in order to block potential intrusions within the data network.
Identify the potential risk of data breach from bring-your-own-device (BYOD)
The integration of BYOD as part of an organization’s IT initiative to promote business productivity and cost efficiency may be beneficial but may also be a source of data security breach. Identifying the BYOD risks will help you address potential sources of data breach to help enforce more specific security measures. The use of BYOD can increase data security issue when it involves a geographic deployment of data access to mobile devices outside your internal organizational environment. Among the security measures that organizations can take to protect data include the following:
Invest in mobile device management (MDM) system that will allow the enforcement of data protection policy for employees’ mobile device with the ability to monitor data access from it.Evaluate the risks by investigating on the current data access system using devices within your organization and take measures to mitigate the risk based on the potential breach scenario.Use a data encryption process and industry standard data protection system, such as using PIN code access, remotely wiping data in case of intrusions, and data protection measure against a number of failed log in attemptsSet up a security baseline to limit data access of employees.Identify between secured and unsecured mobile devices before grant of data access.Implement a stringent authentication process, especially in accessing critical business applications.Use a mobile anti-virus program to counteract malware prone BYOD mobile operating systems data breach.
Employ reliable IT support
As your business begins to grow, you should expect a more data influx that makes the manual data protection processes and monitoring no longer viable. Hiring reliable IT professionals can help you expedite the implementation of your data protection and security policy. This will help you to focus on your business data value and translating them productively to your business operation with less worry on data security breach. However, make sure to hire reliable IT personnel because in-house data theft remains to be a big issue in most companies.
Consider the implications for cloud computing security
Cloud computing offers marketers a more cost efficient data storage option and it helps promote organizational efficiency with the ability to access data remotely in the cloud. However, this innovative technology comes with some security risk issues that businesses need to recognize and address. Among the concerns of transitioning from an in-house data storage center to the cloud is the major decision of transferring data security and protection responsibility to a third party – the cloud data storage provider. Among the considerations you need to take prior to embracing the cloud computing technology for data storage include weighing privacy issues, data access and control and security features of third party providers.
To secure data within the cloud environment, businesses can take the following measures to protect data privacy and security:
1. Implement governance and compliance processes against risks
The security environment in the cloud is similar to an in-house IT infrastructure, however, the potential risk on data privacy and security is far reaching because the storage center is moved to an external environment, the internet. A viable solution is to ensure that your cloud hosted applications and data are secured in accordance with your security agreement and verify compliance of the cloud data center provider.
2. Employee management on data access
Cloud computing provides an avenue for a more efficient collaboration of employees in sharing and accessing company data. Bigger companies probably have more than a dozen employees accessing their data center in the cloud. To prevent unnecessary access to data, implement a secure provisioning of identifying devices and employees that access to your data center and limit the extent of the accessibility of data only pertinent to their job functions.
3. Observe regular audit trails on data security compliance
This is a protective measure that you can implement regularly to monitor the high standard of IT security systems that operate within your company. This provides managers the ability to control and monitor the cloud environment that setups their data storage center and identify security agreement breach at the earliest stage.