How to Keep Company Data Safe from Data Loss

by | Aug 26, 2013 | Business Continuity

Do you have a system to keep company data safe?

Taking the necessary steps to avoid data loss should be a major part of every business’s IT strategy. Losing data can result in all kinds of problems – from breaches of confidentiality to financial loss for companies, and a shocking 70% of UK companies that experience data loss go out of business as a result within an 18 month time period.

Data loss prevention is any solution that can identify important and confidential data and prevent its unauthorized disclosure. It is important to protect intellectual property, corporate data and customer data for the privacy of both you and your customers.

In what circumstances can data be lost?

• Data on portable devices: This can cause a lot of issues – for instance data on a USB stick or phone can easily be stolen from the work place or lost in public places by employees
• Sensitive information being printed, and as a result ending up in the wrong hands
• Dishonest employees may sell data to criminals or business competitors
• Sales staff may take customer information onto their next role with them when they leave the company
• Data being sent via email or uploaded to a website is another way it could be seen by the wrong people
• Data being removed from the system via CD or DVD could also result in it being lost or passed on to someone it shouldn’t

Steps to protect your data:

• Begin by deciding your strategy and exact requirements before you make any purchases or investments. Carrying out a risk analysis, where you consider what information is stored on your network, who can access it and what would happen should it be lost, is the best way to do this.
• Classify your documents to establish their confidentiality category
• Increase security of data access.  Set access levels so you can decide exactly who can access what data.
• Disable USB ports and ban portable devices. If they are strictly necessary for certain team members, make sure you monitor their use.
• Introduce your employees to policies regarding what they are permitted to do with important and  confidential business information
• Mobile devices are an important consideration, as they interact with sensitive corporate data. You must create data loss prevention policies and procedures to cater for these.
• Consider the purchase of a commercial Data Loss Prevention solution if you feel that these approaches might not be exhaustive enough for the nature of your business.

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Undertaking these steps should provide you with peace of mind, and ensure that your company’s and customers’ important data is kept as safe as possible.

Emily Bradbury is a guestblogger writing on behalf of BTI Computers, the UK provider of monitoring equipment and cameras for server rooms.

If you want more information on how to keep company data safe, please contact us. As consultants who specialize in data protection services, we can offer you total protection solutions.

Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.