Your company’s data are its lifeblood. Protected and stored safely, they are the key to success in the marketplace. But what happens when they’re not? Disaster can strike in a number of ways, from natural disasters to hacking incidents. Your business could be forced to close its doors within days if your data are lost or compromised.
That’s why it’s so important to take steps to ensure your company data are protected and stored safely. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Protect the servers
Protecting your information storage servers should be your top priority. If they are hacked, or wiped clean by an unforeseen disaster, all of your company data could be lost—collateral damage in the case of a fire or other natural disaster. You can protect these servers through remote backups and keep them off-premises if at all possible. Your server room must be locked at all times. It should also have a raised floor to protect your servers from groundwater damage. Water or ice can infiltrate through the concrete base of your building, which often happens during fire suppression. Air conditioning and climate control must be handled carefully as well. Installing a heat pump instead of central air will save money over time by cutting down on energy costs needed for cooling due to its more efficient technology.
Another way of protecting your data is by having a reliable and secure off-site storage services. With this type of service, you pay a monthly fee and your information is available at all times through an online interface. Documents are protected by encryption so they are safe from hackers, even if they were to break into your system. You will have to decide which online storage system to use based on the level of security you feel comfortable with and the price. There are many services, but be sure you get references before committing.
Maintaining proper records
Finally, you should ensure that everyone in your company understands how important it is to maintain accurate records. With the advances in technology, you can link your computerized files to your accounting software so that when an invoice is entered into the system, it automatically updates itself online. All employees should have job descriptions with responsibilities clearly spelled out. These records are not just for business owners; they also protect employees by showing them what their roles and responsibilities are at the company.
Increase the security of devices connected to the internet
If you must keep the information on-site, there are things you can do to reduce the chances of losing the data. You should have security protection on all systems that are connected to the Internet. This will keep many amateur hackers from being able to access them, but won’t stop a skilled professional who knows what he or she is doing. A better solution would be putting routers in front of the servers that are not connected to the public Internet. You can then access these systems securely without exposing them to any outside world.
Protect your information on mobile devices
The first and second most valuable repositories of company data outside of the servers themselves are laptops and other mobile devices like phones and tablets. They contain a wealth of valuable information: contact lists that include clients, account managers, important contacts from other businesses, passwords to business accounts—the list goes on and on. When considering what kind of security measures to take for mobile devices, you should look at the hardware itself—the phone or tablet itself. The best policies are policies that can be implemented with certain types of equipment in mind, so it helps if you stick to one manufacturer’s line instead of mixing and matching different models from different companies.
Your data is not secure unless it’s encrypted
Hackers can easily steal information if it isn’t encrypted. While you might have the best firewalls and antivirus software available to protect your company network, without the proper encryption, hackers can still access your information. For example, you could have malware installed on your system that allows hackers to capture keystrokes as users type in passwords and other sensitive data. This is one of the most insidious types of computer viruses because it’s difficult to detect after it’s been installed. There are programs available that will encrypt your data so that it is unreadable to unauthorized users, even if they have the decryption key.
All in all, protecting your company’s data from being stolen or corrupted is no longer an option. Even the best computer systems can’t keep a skilled hacker out once a vulnerability has been found in your system. Your security must be proactive and able to respond at any time that a threat appears on your network. It should also protect against both internal and external threats. Businesses of all sizes must ensure that their stored files are kept safe and secure so they can be used with confidence by employees, managers, business partners, and customers.