Data loss can have a devastating impact on a business, affecting all areas and potentially damaging its profits and reputation. There are a number of steps businesses can take in order to protect their data and minimise the potential for data loss such as;
- Avoiding storing important documents on the same server as your operating system. Most business networks are set for users to store documents within the ‘My Documents’ folder automatically. However, this leaves the documents vulnerable to common problems such as viruses and software malfunctions. In a worst case scenario, a particularly bad virus or malfunction could mean that a computer’s drive needs to be reformatted and the operating software reinstalled. If this happens the documents stored within the ‘My Documents’ folder could be loss.
- To circumnavigate this potential problem, businesses should store valuable documents on a secondary hard drive within the computer, an external hard drive or even on a cloud based system so that they can be easily recovered.
- Regularly backing-up important documents will also help to prevent loss of valuable data. If a business includes a regular back-up policy as part of its day-to-day running procedures then this guarantees access to the latest versions of these documents in the event of a malfunction or virus.
- Be attachment-savvy. Often harmful viruses and malware are sent via email attachment in the form of spam emails. It is important to educate your employees on the risks of opening email attachments that may have harmful contents.
- Protect equipment storing valuable data. Keep computers and hard drives in safe, low traffic areas to minimise the risk of damage to the hardware. Also keep in mind that newer technology can be vulnerable to static electricity which can erase data or damage components. Depending on how large the corporation, or how important the data, you might want to take further precautions.
- Create a disaster recovery plan. Having a robust data recovery plan in place means that if your business does experience any problems your employees are aware of the correct steps to take in order to minimise damage and the risk of data loss. Start by thinking about potential threats to your business data such as human error, viruses and natural disaster and then work out how you can protect this data from each of these threats. Ensure that you regularly test your disaster recovery plan to highlight any potential pitfalls or missing components.
- Ensure data is properly encrypted. To protect important and sensitive data it should be correctly encrypted preventing unauthorised exposure and minimising its exposure to various threats.