The data that a business holds is central to its operation. Data encompasses all information, from customer files and account folders to business applications and client information. It’s imperative, then, that organizations of all shapes and sizes have a plan in place to protect that data in the event of a disaster, accident, cyberattack, or power outage. On top of that, you need to review your data protection plan to keep it relevant, up-to-date, and fit for purpose. Here’s what you need to know about data protection strategies and how to tell when it’s time to review them.
What is a data protection plan?
Data protection strategies encompass data availability and data management. In other words, it’s the means by which a business stores, backs-up, moves, and protects its data and makes it available to relevant personnel in order to comply with the law.
Data privacy laws and regulations vary from country to country and even from state to state. Not being compliant can mean steep fines and other penalties and could even mean that you have to stop doing business in the country or region in which the law or regulation is breached.
A data protection plan will ensure that:
- No data is lost in the event of a disaster, accident, or cyberattack.
- Data is protected from corruption, compromise, manipulation, malware, and loss.
- Data can be restored quickly in the event of any damage, corruption, or loss.
- Data is available to users at all times, whatever the circumstances.
- Data is kept private and can only be accessed by authorized personnel.
A data protection plan is essential to secure compliance with the law, safeguard information and records, and save a business from downtime and lost productivity that could prove disastrous.
Do you need one?
CNBC.com reported that 40 percent of small businesses never recover from a disaster.
When hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or fires destroy customer records, invoices, contracts, tax returns, insurance policies, and so on, they lose customers, and the damage is irreparable.
Despite this, The Global State of Information Security Survey 2018 (GSISS) found that 33 percent of respondents do not have an IoT security strategy in place. Tech & Innovation reports that many organizations do not have sufficient plans in place to protect their data. Forty-four percent of respondents did not have an overall information security strategy, 48 percent did not have a security awareness training program for their employees, and 54 percent do not have an incident-response process in place.
Determining if it’s time to update your data protection plan
How often you update your data protection plan will depend on the nature of your business, the data that you hold, how many people have access to it, and the means by which they access and use it, both inside and outside the work environment. For example, you might need to review your data protection plan with staff changes and when new devices, such as laptops, are obtained.
For data that must be kept private, you need to maintain strict control over who can access your data. A breach of privacy can lead to data security issues. Your employees must be fully trained in the nuances of data privacy and security to avoid any violations, and you need to keep firm control of BYOD devices and devices used outside the office environment.
Remember to review:
- The security of passwords
- The reporting of violations
- Where rules are posted and who can and should read them
- How data, files, paperwork, and printouts are destroyed when they are no longer needed
- How data is transmitted and shared between staff
Also, assess whether you are you using your data in the most effective way for reporting, analytics, test and development enablement, and other purposes. If you’d like to know more about data protection plans or our suite of services for businesses in the New York Tri-State area, please get in touch with us.