Tips for Preventing Avoidable Data Loss
The biggest mistake that any company could make is assuming that the threat of data loss does not apply to them. The fact is that the possibility is very real, and if you are not prepared, your business could fall victim.
Whether it is due to a damaged server, a natural disaster, or a computer hacker, there are countless ways that you could lose valuable data. However, there are many methods that you can employ that will improve your chances of keeping your valuable data safe and secure.
Avoid the Possibility of Data Loss in the First Place
Any amount of data loss is bad for business, regardless of if it is a few files or a large-scale hack job, so you want to do everything you can to avoid this negative situation. A great first step is to create a disaster recovery plan for every possible scenario from a data breach to a terrorist attack. This plan should have a course of action for any potential situation along with specific procedures that employees must carry out after a particular incident.
Once you have all potential scenarios in mind, rank them from lowest to highest in probability, along with the specific impact that such an occurrence will make. In the end, securing data and mitigating losses is the primary objective. Recovery options could include isolating infected machines, disclosing the breach to necessary parties, and securing the servers.
To avoid data loss, make sure that your backup servers are up to snuff. Regularly test your recovery process to verify that if an incident does happen, you can access the backup data, because you don’t want to lose that information. You may also want to ensure that your backup servers are write-protected and “read-only” so valuable data cannot be overwritten.
New Technologies Can Help
Now that you know what you need to do in the case of a data emergency, be proactive and implement tools that can keep your business from facing those unfortunate scenarios. To start, many businesses are turning to loss prevention software, such as those from Symantec and McAfee, that monitor your systems for suspicious activity while recommending safeguards. You can’t see everything, so having recovery software working in the background can provide the extra protection that you need.
Though cloud computing has been around for a while, many businesses are starting to see the benefits of data storage using this technology. As far as data security goes, cloud technology has made major strides with the implementation of digital firewalls and constantly evolving anti-virus software that is always on the lookout for new cybersecurity threats and malware attacks, so your data is better protected. Plus, if you have a data breach on your premises, the data in the cloud is stored separately and remains secure.
Along with the bitcoin revolution came the advent of blockchain, which is drastically changing how data is secured. A blockchain is a chain of blocks that house information that is secured by cryptography that utilizes complicated keys of which only the intended user has possession. At this point, hackers have yet to be able to crack the code on blockchain, and because of this increased security, the tech is used everywhere from banks to voting booths.
It is important to note that no matter how far technology advances, human intervention should never be completely replaced. When systems break down, you should have well-trained people ready to step in and retain systematic integrity.
Protect Against Data Loss Via Hackers
In the end, one of the biggest sources of data loss is due to hackers, as some studies report that close to 60% of small businesses have been hacked at some point in their existence. The key is to be aware of the many ways that hackers gain access to our systems and have a trained workforce that knows how to be proactive when it comes to security threats. One of the most important steps is having adequate passwords that are not easy to guess and include a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
It is also essential to be aware of the threat of phishing scams. Phishing is often put into motion when a hacker sends an email that looks like a valid communication but really has a link or attachment included, that, when clicked, unloads a virus or opens a door that hackers can get through to access your data. It is important that employees are aware of the signs associated with phishing emails, including:
- Email addresses that look real but are off by a letter or two.
- Emails containing many misspelled words.
- Unexpected emails asking for private information.
- Unexpected emails offering free stuff.
All computer users should be aware that malicious hackers can take action in many ways, so productive antivirus software is required, and it must be updated regularly. For the most important data, encryption is necessary, and two-way authentication using a password followed by an additional piece of information will provide extra security. Finally, as an administrator, you may want to specify access levels so that only certain employees can access the most high-profile data.
Technology has grown by leaps and bounds, but that doesn’t mean that we are not susceptible to errors and data issues. Be proactive in preventing loss and save yourself and your company a heap of trouble.