Data is slowly but surely becoming one of the most valuable resources, leading some to even call it “the new oil”.
For businesses, data is the driving force behind improvements, innovation, and productivity, but it doesn’t come without challenges. As data continues to pile up, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep it safely stored and protected.
From cyberattacks and physical theft of devices to accidental data deletion and hardware failure, there are many risks that can cause data loss. Here’s how to avoid them and keep control over your data.
Backup important data
By now, everyone knows that backups are one of the most essential practices when it comes to data loss prevention.
However, be careful not to go overboard. Although digital storage solutions nowadays allow us to store enormous amounts of data, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to keep and back up every little piece of information.
The key to keeping your data organized and safe is making an efficient classification system and focusing your efforts on backing up and protecting only the most sensitive and the most important information.
Automate email archiving
As one of the most important channels of business communication, the email contains a lot of sensitive information that needs to be protected, from private customer information to intellectual property and corporate data.
However, emails can get deleted, by accident or with malicious intentions, and you risk losing sensitive data.
Emails containing valuable information are not only essential for your business operations, but they can also be crucial evidence if any legal issues occur.
Implementing proper email archiving allows you to keep your emails safely kept in a repository, and easily access them whenever needed, whether it’s just simply searching for practical information, scanning for suspicious communication patterns, or eDiscovery.
Use anti-malware software and firewalls
Viruses and malware are some of the most malicious cybersecurity threats. They can lead to irreparable system failure and cause data loss. Moreover, they can expose your sensitive data to hackers and lead to data breaches that can seriously hurt your brand reputation.
By using anti-malware software, you can prevent attackers from compromising sensitive systems, and a firewall can block unauthorized parties from accessing your system and your sensitive data.
Educate your employees
Unfortunately, firewalls and antimalware can’t protect you against all forms of cyberattacks. Social engineering is becoming increasingly popular lately, so it’s essential to educate your employees about these threats.
By raising awareness, you’ll lower the chances of your employees being manipulated by hackers and potentially exposing your data and leading to its loss.
Define User Roles
Not every employee needs to have access to every type of information within the organization. An efficient data loss prevention program should clearly define the user roles and limit access to information based on their job position.
This will not only make the workflow easier but it will also prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.
Protect your devices
Cyberattacks are not the only threat to data loss. Your devices, along with your sensitive data, can also get stolen IRL, so it’s important to physically protect your devices as well.
While you can fairly easily secure on-premise devices, more and more employees are working from home and using their own devices, making it extremely challenging to ensure the security of those devices.
Additionally, your devices are not without an expiration date and they can stop working for numerous reasons, from overheating, dust buildup, and natural disasters to simply being too old and outdated.
If you’ve been paying attention, you remember that backing up your data is the first and essential step to every good DLP strategy, so you won’t suffer too much damage even if your hardware fails you, but you should take precautionary measures to protect your devices nonetheless and update your hardware (and not just your software) regularly.
Preventing data loss is all about thinking ahead and taking preventative measures. Unfortunately, data loss and data breaches can’t always be stopped, so it’s important to have a disaster recovery plan as well, just in case.
To minimize this risk you need to be proactive and continuously work on data loss prevention. Don’t just treat it as a one-time project. You need to constantly monitor your efforts and make necessary tweaks if circumstances change and new challenges arise. That way you can make sure that all the weak spots are patched up and your data is safe.