Times could not be trickier on the digital front for companies. Everyone is being encouraged to transfer their business data onto digital and cloud platforms. While it is true that the migration from paper to digital storage is saving trees, saving time and creating jobs, it is also creating new types of crimes. Cybercrimes that involve hacking and collapsing systems are only going to increase. Needless to say, data protection and backup have become increasingly important at the passing of each day.
Here are some reasons to further encourage business owners and managers to become more mindful of their current protection of data and backup strategies.
What are the Risks?
Hackers have always existed. In the past, they were individuals who would pick locks and other electronic devices. Today, and since the inception of the internet, they have found numerous ways to expose security gaps in computer networking systems. Hackers are not always individuals with nefarious intentions. Some take pride in finding those unknown alleyways into computer networking systems and believe they are helping other IT professionals. Then there are the hackers who hold systems hostage and demand a ransom. With the value of digital currency rising, so have the types of ransom being demanded and the sums involved.
It is the Law
A few years ago, when it was discovered that a major retail store brand had a huge hack occur during their Black Friday sale, several government agencies got involved. It was discovered that customers who shopped at those stores throughout the country and used a credit card as their payment were exposed. It paved the way for the chips that are now included in all newly issued credit and debit cards. Protecting customer data, therefore, is the law. If the private information of your customers is hacked because appropriate data protection methods were not setup, your company is liable to prosecution.
What is the First Step to Protecting Data?
The first step to protecting data is to encrypt all company communications as well as the data itself. If a hacker manages to make his way into your system, at least the information is protected. While it is true that a hacker will be able to crack the code eventually, at least there is a delay. The hope is that the delay will give the IT department enough time to stop the leak and retrieve as much information as possible. Plus, it gives them time to patch up whatever hole the hackers found. Next, IT professionals are advised to establish a security policy. Then, it is time to complete a backup.
What is a Backup?
A backup is basically a copy of a current system, especially its most important components. When the sales team or marketing department is working on a presentation, sales pitch or packet of information, they are encouraged to continually Backup their work in case the machine they are working on fails or if the power goes out and they have to move to a different workstation. It is the same idea for backing up a company’s system. If the power goes out or if the machines fail, there is a second copy.
Why is a Backup Necessary?
If something catastrophic did occur, that backup is going to come in handy. It will allow you to restore the company system without needing to rebuild it from scratch. Starting from a copy is much more efficient than starting from scratch. So, if hackers bring the system down, it will not be offline too long. A backup comes in handy when an update is rolled out and it causes too many glitches to fix efficiently. In that case, it would simply be easier to start from the system before the update was rolled out. Keep in mind that backing up a system for a company requires a lot of equipment and digital storage space. The IT department will be able to handle this task.
How Can My Company Protect Data?
By taking several small steps, your company protects both its data and the data of customers. The best way to approach this effort is to think of it as taking preventative steps. The IT department should consist of a group of technology aficionados who understand aspects of the world of hacking. They should, therefore, be able to come up with strategies that best fit the company’s industry, potential threats, and other vulnerabilities. The expectation is that they will have the ability to think like hackers. As they install new systems, migrate information and roll out updates, the team is actively thinking about how potential intruders can get around the new security features, firewalls, and encryption.
There are several benefits to switching your company’s processes to online platforms. Just ensure that the IT department is monitoring and securing your customer’s data as well as creating backups on a regular basis.