Now more than ever, data is absolutely critical to a business. Whether it’s company payroll, client information, or anything else, it is extremely valuable, and the loss of significant data can have severe impacts on any business. As a result, it is imperative that any and all businesses take all of the necessary steps to ensure their information is safe. Let’s take a look at the most important considerations to make when safeguarding both digital and physical data or information.
While paper documents are becoming less common, they are nonetheless still widely used in business, and have their own special requirements when it comes to safety. Keeping things locked away in filing cabinets is the first rule, especially when there are often legal requirements for the privacy of certain pieces of information (particularly in relation to HR). Many offices will have a dedicated room which is looked after by a particular member of staff – entry is forbidden unless supervised.
Disposal of documents is also very serious; you cannot simply throw out sensitive items. Companies such as Datashred are widely used as they shred any items before disposing of them, ensuring that they cannot be read or used afterwards. Bear in mind that this is often a legal requirement, and there can be severe penalties for not complying.
These days, the vast majority of your data will be stored digitally, which means that this is the most important aspect to think about. There are many different ways of looking after it, and it generally boils down to making sure that you have several backup copies in the event data is lost. This can be on things like multiple hard drives and computers, but also in the cloud, where it is a company’s job to keep your data safe. There’s a great guide to safe cloud storage here (it’s not as simple as throwing your files onto just any provider’s servers).
Never allow yourself to have just a single copy of anything important – you don’t know when you could lose it.
The other side of security is also making sure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. This means setting up a framework of permissions, allowing only those who need the data to access it. Ensuring people do not have this access when they leave the business is also essential to prevent compromises.