Nothing kills productivity like a lost strategy document, a leaked memo or a stolen financial statement. Unfortunately, far too few businesses actually take the time to make themselves aware of the threats facing their most secure files, both in terms of cyber-crime, and more traditional forms of theft.
Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to be one of the unlucky victims: mitigating the overwhelming majority of data security problems is surprisingly easy as long as you’re sensible, and protecting even the most privileged information from harm isn’t too difficult, as long as you take the time to properly identify the biggest threats to your businesses data, and then implement the processes that are needed to properly shore up any weaknesses in your company’s overall data protection strategy.
Where do you start? Most data protection experts recommend that you begin this process by identifying the most striking (and exploitable) weaknesses in your current strategy first. If you’re relying on digital facilities like cloud storage or solid-state servers then this might be your login credentials and passwords. If you’re a more traditional, paper-based business, it’s probably more likely to be your waste disposal system that’s most likely to be exposing you though, particularly if you’re regularly discarding sensitive invoices.
Once you’ve completed this simple thought-exercise, you’ll then need to take a look at what steps you could take to shore up these areas of weakness, by:
- Investing in reliable malware protection, which can prevent a lot of low-level cyber attacks from ever actually reaching your server
- Controlling access to removal media, and scanning all hard drives and USBs before they are plugged into company machines to ensure that employees don’t accidently install malicious software on your network
- Managing access privileges for your network to ensure that people don’t have the power to remotely access sensitive data
- Ensure that all on-paper documents are destroyed in a sensible and safe manner – using a powerful shredding machine or hiring a company like Datashred.
After you’ve made sure that you’re doing everything that you can to mitigate data theft, all you really need to do is make sure that you have the right processes in place on a business level – informing your staff of the risks involved in data theft is a very important first step, and making sure that you have a proper incident reporting process is also very useful when it comes to mitigating damages, and making sure that you can properly deal with repeat attacks in future.