How to Protect your Small Business Data

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Protecting your small business data should always be your first priority. If you don’t then you may find that your customers suffer as a result and that you also open up your company to hackers as well. This can cause you major problems, but there are a few things that you can do to try and help yourself.

Use Email Encryption

Email encryption will help you to make sure that your emails and even your vital business information only gets delivered to your intended recipient. Hackers are working hard to try and develop much more sophisticated attacks, and they are also working to steal information that is far more valuable than customer data. For this reason, it is important that you evaluate your model and that you prioritize your security as much as possible. Modern email encryption software is very easy to use and it is a great way for you to stop any unwanted threats from accessing your data.

Analyze your Security Policy

If you want to protect your data then you need to have a good understanding of its value. You also need to strengthen your policy on a regular basis, so that you can account for your system, partners and customers too. If you use the cloud then you have to make sure that you conduct assessments, and that you protect your critical access points. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the strategies that you have, because this will really help you in the future.

Always backup Your Data

If you haven’t implemented any kind of backup for your business data yet, then now is most certainly the time for you to do that. When your server is attacked by hackers, there is a high chance that your data will be compromised, and you may even need to find a way to re-install it all again to your system. A cloud storage network will help you to do this.  Of course, it helps to look into HIPAA compliance too if you work in the healthcare industry. If you want to take things that next step further, then you need to make sure that your files are backed up on a few physical storage devices too. You do however need to make sure that you disconnect these drives when you are finished using them however because if you don’t then hackers will have access to those as well.

Stay Up to Date as Much as Possible

When your computer tells you that there is an update available, it is so important that you don’t ignore it. You need to download it there and then. Hackers are often able to target older systems much easier than new ones because of the security flaws. Updates are essentially additional walls that you can put up to try and protect your company, so it is well worth looking into them. Of course, the same applies to any other technology that you have, whether it is your employee phones or even laptops and servers.

Avoiding Document Storage Disaster

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The importance of effective document archiving cannot be overlooked at any business. You need to ensure that your files are stored in an organized manner so that you have easy access to them, while security is also important to ensure that confidential documents are protected. With that being said, continue reading to discover some mistakes you need to avoid to ensure document storage disaster does not occur.

  • Failing to keep up to date with the latest legislation – There are new regulations all of the time regarding data storage and data breaches. It is important to keep up to date with this; otherwise you could find that you are on the wrong side of the law without even realizing it. If you do not keep up to date with recent regulations, you may fail to achieve compliance, and this can result in huge fines.
  • Keeping records on-site – When it comes to document security, storing all of your vital records on-site can be a risky approach. The vast majority of businesses are not built with the adequate level of security in place to protect their sensitive documents. Moreover, if someone is going to target your business, the first place they are going to start is your business location. If you keep your records in an off-site facility, you will benefit from a greater level of protection, as these facilities are designed to be secure.
  • Not having a document retention schedule – When it comes to archiving documents, dealing with excess records is just as important as storing your documents effectively. You can end up with an abundance of information that should have been destroyed if you do not have a document retention schedule in place. Not only will these documents take up unnecessary storage space, but you can also have other issues. These files could prove to be a large liability. What if someone gets their hands on them? You could end up with a competitor or a hacker having your confidential company information, which could have severe consequences for your business. All of this could have been avoided if your documents were destroyed to begin with.
  • Taking a casual approach to security measures – This is undoubtedly one of the biggest mistakes that company owners make. A lot of business owners just view document archiving as a means of being organized. However, security is imperative. You need to have an effective security plan in place. One of the biggest mistakes is granting employees access to documents that do not need it. Or, using generic or vendor supplied passwords for those who do need access. You need to use the likes of federated authentication and other security measures, as well as restricting physical access to files on-site too.
  • Failing to test back-ups – Last but not least, you need to ensure you test your back-ups. You do not want to experience the nightmare scenario where you go to attempt to recover your data after experiencing a loss, only to find that the tapes are blank and/or corrupted. This can happen if you do not test your back-ups on a regular basis to ensure that everything is working properly.


Getting to Grips With Data and Data Storage

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As a small business owner, you’re going to deal with a whole lot of data. It’s an inevitable part of running a company! But you really do need to remember the importance of storing data correctly. Hopefully, the following information will help you to get to grips with everything you need to know on the subject!

Understanding Data

So, what actually is data? Well, it’s essentially “information”. Data can be a word, a number, a fact, a figure, a measurement, or an observation that can be noted down. When you run a small business, the type of data that you will generally deal with includes customer names and addresses for shipping purposes, payment details, email addresses for mailing lists, and occasionally phone numbers. If you are an employee and have members of staff working for you, you are also likely to hold a lot of their data too! From a copy of their passport (to prove their right to work) to bank details for payment, and their phone number or email address to contact them.

Storing Data

In the past, small businesses stored their data in paper files. But nowadays, small business owners tend to store their data on a tech device such as computer, a laptop, a tablet, or maybe even a smartphone. Now, it is extremely important that you store any data that your business takes securely and in accordance with data protection law. Data protection law is mainly concerned with protecting your customers’ data and personal information. If you were to leak this data or the wrong person were to get their hands on this data, your customers could find themselves victims of theft and identity theft. Perhaps the most effective and safest way to store your data properly is to hire someone to take care of it on your behalf. Just take a look into Data Storage recruitment to find the right person for the job. They will know the ins and outs of data storage and data protection law and can lift the weight of responsibility from your shoulders.

Disposing of Data

If you have any printed data, make sure that you dispose of it by placing it through a shredder. This will prevent people from picking anything out of the trash, as they would have to reassemble multiple pieces to find anything legible.

Keeping Up to Date

Data protection law is constantly being updated and improved upon. So, make sure to keep up with any changes that are made to ensure that you are following the right rules! Generally speaking, these new rules are made very clear and well publicized, so this shouldn’t be an issue!

While there are other ins and outs to data and data storage, these basics should help you to manage yours as effectively as possible! Incorporate all of this information into your business as soon as possible!