As more businesses rely on technology to work efficiently, it’s essential to take the appropriate steps to ensure your company doesn’t suffer a critical data loss. Depending on the nature of your work, your company could deal with data like customer information, including credit cards and addresses, employee logs, market analytics, and more. All this data can help you succeed, and you need to ensure you’re taking proper precautions to protect your assets. This includes steps to prevent any loss of data whatsoever, as well as contingency plans for worst-case scenarios.
Before discussing the steps one can take to prevent data loss, it’s imperative to understand how one designs their data loss strategy. As a business owner, you have two choices: an in-house IT team or outsourcing to an IT company.
If you keep a dedicated team in-house, they can develop a protection and recovery plan suited precisely to your business model. Moreover, this team would be available around the clock to deal with any issues. An in-house team is not distracted by other clients. So they would be able to focus on developing strategies and predicting any emerging threats against your company’s technological infrastructure. If you plan to bring resources on board, be sure to hire people with the appropriate qualifications. People holding a Data Analytics MBA Degree, cybersecurity degree, or systems engineering degree are good choices for an in-house IT team.
Outsourcing IT work
Outsourcing IT work can be comparatively cheaper than hiring a full-time team. If you’re in the early stages of your new business, we recommend that you outsource your IT needs. By working with an external company, you can obtain a comparable level of technical support without investing in your own IT infrastructure. You would need to research the company and Better Business Bureau. But as long as the company you hire has a good reputation and a solid understanding of your needs, your business is sure to prosper.
Safeguarding your company
In 2020, over 1000 companies suffered data breaches. Any form of data loss can cause considerable financial loss to your company. This guide will provide you with a few key steps you can take to avoid data loss incidents.
Prevent storage failures
Whether you’re a hospital storing patient records or a website keeping track of users’ preferences, most companies store their crucial data on hard drives. While hard drives are an economical way of keeping your long-term data, they are prone to malfunction and failure. One statistic reports that 140,000 hard drive failures occur every week in the US. These failures can be due to water or dust damage, overheating, power surges, impact from drops, or software corruption.
The solution is to have backups of all your data and diversify your backups. The 3-2-1 rule is beneficial when designing a backup strategy. This means that you should have at least three different backups in 2 different formats, such as both hard drives and cloud backups. One of the backups should be off-site in case anything happens to your office. This way, you’d have your data even in the case of natural disasters like an earthquake or an office fire.
Prevent accidental deletions
Human error accounted for about 90% of data breaches in 2019. People tend to make mistakes, such as deleting a file of a network server, which does not have a recycling bin option. The error could be as simple as using the Shift + Delete shortcut, which permanently deletes a file. To prevent this, you need to have good recovery software running beforehand. You can use various tools to recover files, emails, and more.
Another way to prevent human error is simply by restricting the administrative privileges of your employees’ workstations. This sandbox approach not only ensures employees cannot accidentally delete crucial files on the network but also reduces the harm from cyberattacks as well. Your IT personnel will be able to design access privileges best suited to your company’s needs.
Preparing for cyberattacks
As your data is valuable to you, some cyber-criminals would attempt to steal it for ransom. In most cases, the attack will inject malicious software to encrypt your data, and cybercriminals would charge millions for the key to unlock it. These cyberattacks can include phishing, email attacks, viruses, worms, malware, and ransomware.
Prevention is better than cure, so it’s essential to educate employees about these sorts of attacks and how to avoid being scammed or hacked on company hardware. You can utilize robust antivirus software, but that software may not work against newly designed threats. Instead, a good IT team has a higher chance of decrypting the data and removing the malware. Moreover, if you have a recent backup, you can restore your system to a state before the attack without losing too much data.
Plan for hardware theft
Not all attacks occur virtually. Laptop theft is one of the most common forms of data loss. The theft could be a simple smash and grab from someone trying to sell the machine for a few hundred dollars or a robbery from someone attempting to access your data.
The first thing you can do to prevent laptop theft is to ensure you do not leave it unattended. If you need to run out of the office, lock the door behind you. Carry the laptop in a bag instead of in your hand while moving about the city. Furthermore, you should fully encrypt your disc to ensure the thief can’t access your data. Most modern laptops allow for a remote wipe so you can format the stolen machine’s hard drive as soon as the thief connects it to the internet. Keeping a backup of your data to restore onto a new laptop means you’d only face a loss of a few thousand dollars instead of hundreds of thousands.
Data loss can be a troubling incident for any company, but it is preventable. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure the security of your company’s digital assets. Whether you’re dealing with malicious attacks, theft, or human error, a good IT team can help you design a strategy to prevent data loss.