Don’t Regret it Later, Protect Your Data

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Protect Your Data

Data protection is one the most important aspects of your business. Data helps protect your business’s data, such as customer details, financial information and sales etc. Good business protection defends your valuable information, as well as make sure you comply with relevant data protection rules and legislation.

You should think about business data protection with your backup options to make sure your data is safe, in case you suffer a data protection breach or the loss or breakdown of your IT system.What would a data protection breach cost you?

Problems with data could cost your company. There have been many large organisations that have had a breach in data protection. This has resulted in a damaged reputation because the customer data was leaked to another company. Some companies have lost their customer database which has led to them unable to carry out sales. In some cases, the failure to stand by data protection rules can result in legal action and a fine. Due to the reasons, you need to make sure you have safety measures, policies and systems in place to stop a data protection breach.

According to UK's ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office), their recent studies have shown a 278% increase in cyber incidents the health sector and 71% in the general business sector.

Practicing good business data protection

The first step is to check where all the data is stored. It is likely that company data can be held outside your main IT system - on cloud services. It's important you keep data accurate and up to date. Having outdated records can be as bad as having no data at all, make sure you are regularly reviewing and updating records.

Having duplicate records can be a problem too. You may end up accidentally emailing customers twice, or be unable to build up a picture of people's purchasing history. Many database systems allow you to identify duplicates automatically.

If you store data about people - like customers or employees - let them view the information you keep and indicate how they'll allow you to use it. Many businesses do this by establishing an area on their website where customers can log in, update their details and indicate their email marketing preferences, this is normally in their settings.

Realize the dangers

You could lose or damage your data through human error. This is an easy mistake to make when someone changes or erases data accidentally. A staff member could delete a crucial list of customers by mistake. Check for an undo or rollback function to minimize the risks posed by human error.

There are physical threats out there that can harm your business like failed hardware, a broken hard disk, can result in the loss of crucial files. A natural disaster could destroy the server holding your key business information. For example, a fire or flood in your business premises.

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You could suffer a data breach online, which is recently becoming a common problem. Hackers all the time try to break into computers over the internet. This is a serious risk, particularly for companies that hold sensitive data. Some computer viruses can even erase files. These usually infect company systems through the internet, via a downloaded file or email. Other malware (malicious software) like Trojans and spyware read your data and transmit it across the internet, or wipe it completely. Ransomware is also now a common threat, where hackers steal vital data and issue a ransom for its safe return.

It is important to follow good online security practice and use security software. You could become a victim of malicious action by an individual. Anyone with access to your data could copy or delete it. It has happened before when a disgruntled employee sold its customer database to a competitor.

Data protection rules

The Data Protection Act 1998 very important as it links together business stores and the usage of data. It applies to any sort of personal information stored about individuals and there are a number of steps you must take to comply with the data protection rules:

  • Make sure the Information Commissioner's Office know that you process data.
  • Tell people how you use the data you store and its availability to view.
  • Have an opt-out option of having their data used by you.
  • Keep the data secure and up to date.
  • Only keep the information for as long as you need it.

If you want to know more in-depth about the data protection act you can follow this link to the ICO - Information Commissioners Office.

Good business data protection

You should put systems, procedures and policies in place to reduce the chance of a data protection breach. You'll want to ensure that sensitive data is best protected:

  • Store data securely. Control user access levels so only people who need access to that data can view and edit it. This prevents people who are not at the trust level to access it in case anything goes wrong.
  • Don't release data to the wrong people. For instance, run a security check before talking to customers about their accounts. This is very important, as people can try to steal identities to access their information. Make sure it is the right person you are talking too.
  • Be very wary when copying or transferring data. Encrypt data before sending it outside your business. Cyber-attacks can happen at any moment and if there is a breach it can seriously mess up yours or your customer’s data. 
  • Don't store important data where it can be easily stolen or lost. For example, don't store a list of customer addresses on your laptop. Customer’s data is vital to your business –like gold dust- so you should check your security levels and store it in a safe place. 

You want to make sure your company is known for responsibility and ensuring strong business data protection. This doesn't mean just writing or asking your staff to do this. It means offering guidance and training so they understand why data protection matters.

By  33rd SquareEmbed

Author Bio - 

Arabella Rose is a Content Marketer at Certa Hosting. She found a new passion after graduating University in the changing world of technology.


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