More than anything else, data drives business in America. Some business data is proprietary such as customer lists, patents in progress, the recipe for the secret sauce, and the like. If this data is lost, stolen or destroyed it can cause great damage to the company. While many businesses carry data protection insurance, the cash payout to a pharmacy company cannot replace years of research and the recording of irrecoverable data.
Other sensitive information attaches to your clients and customer records. This information has data such as: Employer Tax ID numbers, Social Security Numbers, banking information, credit card information, patient medical records and more. Compromising this data leads to nothing good, at best your customers and clients are upset with your company, at worst you face either multiple lawsuits or a class action lawsuit. Again, there is insurance that covers you for these types of mishaps, but do nothing to save your business’s reputation and regain your client and customer trust.
Finally, with the advent of Internet connections to workplace data, the problems about safe data storage grow exponentially. Some portable devices are keys to your data, or worse have confidential company or customer information on them, including medical records.
Seven Steps for Data Safekeeping
Every computer or mobile device that accesses your company data is the first line of defense in protecting the company data. Every device and computer must have anti-malware software to guard your system from invaders and hacking.
Spyware and dangerous viruses are easy to attach to legitimate looking files. These malicious files compromise computer and server performance, corrupt files or destroy data. Run proper antivirus and anti-spyware safety software on every computer and device.
Firewalls are an important part of the software team that protects computers from unwanted and dangerous viruses, programs, or spyware that breach your computer. There are a number of software firewalls available, but the best protection is from hardware-based firewalls.
Educate employees to never open attachments from unknown senders and never open attachments from senders that are not among contacts.
Never allow employees to use business computers to visit sites that are for adults over 21 only. The sites tend to harbor launch software for mischief-making programs such as spyware.
When critical security updates arrive from Microsoft or Apple install them. This keeps your operating system protected from recently discovered security gaps that are a hacker’s dream to exploit.
Establish a policy that laptops and tablets have all protective software, have no stored usernames or passwords for accessing the company data. Another policy is for devices that leave the premises be locked in car trunks and removed from the car when the employee gets home.
Resources (cash and time) are limited. Involve IT professionals in choosing the hardware and software used to make sure it addresses critical problems.