How can smart businesses prepare for flood, thief or fire? – Part 2.

Loss of business data may threaten your hard-earned competitive position, ruin your company’s reputation, or may lead to expensive litigation

In my article last month, I’ve introduced a few simple things you can do to ensure your data is safe. Here are a few more tips from me to help you minimise the risk of data loss:

1. Backup

Ensure that your data is properly backed up, monitor it and test the backup to ensure that your data can be recovered when you need it.

Business critical data must be backed-up offsite to protect against fire and flood.

Automated backups take the responsibility away from a member of staff remembering to change a hard drive every day.

Clive Catton, Technical Director at Octagon Technology said: ‘Selecting a reliable backup provider is a big decision. Automated off-site backup is a great solution in terms of computer or hardware failure, theft, fire, flood or site damage. Don’t go the easy way and certainly avoid placing data backup responsibilities into the hands of your employees. Have a policy in place – this is very important.’

2. Disaster recovery planning

Such disaster recovery or “business continuity” plans need to address how data would be recovered, what hardware would be used to run critical applications, and by whom.

3. Security policies

You must have a clear and simple policy in place for your employees to follow.

With increased flexibility and greater numbers of workers using their own devices, it is not difficult to see how breaches have become more frequent.

There are proven ways to control this; for example, by creating guidelines and a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy and inventory in place. In addition to a clear BYOD policy, there are several measures you can take at network level:

  • check how many devices are connected to the network at any one time
  • reduce the risk of rogue device connecting by having access control features in place
  • hide your wifi SSIDs
  • specify who is responsible for updating your security software.

4. Protect your mobile work force

Probably members of your team are using smartphones, tablets and working away from the office and the protection of your network security? This is a common practice this days because we live in a world where “information wants to be free” and in which people can access data whenever they want and on all their devices. This is when you need a BYOD policy.

Check that all the devices used to access your data:

  • Are password protected – some devices also use fingerprint and facial recognition. Check that staff do not turn off this feature.
  • Make sure the “time to lock” for these devices is short and that a password is required to use them again.
  • Encryption is used.

Then you will not have to worry if they leave your laptop in a taxi after the Staff Christmas Party!

If your team is opening emails and accessing your information on your customers’ networks or public networks at coffee shops then you should use VPN software to make these links secure.

Conclusion

Securing your business data is not easy task and it requires constant vigilance but as I have described, there are simple solutions available to businesses. A very important thing you can do is to have offsite automated and managed backup solution in place and educate your employees in security best practices. You can speak to us if you have any doubts or want to ask a question to clarify any of the tips I have spoken about.

We can help you ensure your data is safe at all times.

Kamila

 

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