SECURITY MEASURES TO AVOID DATA DISASTERS
By Dianne Mariz
SECURITY MEASURES TO AVOID DATA DISASTERS
Data is defined as the collection of facts such as observations, words, numbers, measurement and a lot more. These facts are interpreted into something that can only be processed by computers and new technology.
Nowadays that almost all of the businesses depend on technology, it is only important to make sure to have data security measures and back-up plans ready in case of an emergency. It is a must to not forget that these technologies are vulnerable too. Different digital trends and discoveries are truly wonderful but if we failed on not getting the facts straight, our highly-digitalized world can crumble down to pieces with just one wrong move.
For businesses, your data is at risk every single day. It is a must to remember that these data are not just simply data. Every business owners need to know how much important every single bit of these files are to their business. Data loss is expensive more than you can even imagine. Business owners should seriously imprint in on their minds that if they want to make sure that their business will be successful if they only have effective data security and back-up plan whatever may happen.
UNDERSTANDING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DATA TO YOUR BUSINESS
We live in a very fast-changing world and every business owners should definitely stay up to date. Whatever field your business may be in, for sure, you will need to create data. These things have been changing our world in different manners. It has a big impact on us and we only just fail to realize it. At times, it helps in curing a disease, boosting business’ revenue, save a life and a lot more than we can imagine. Data is literally just another term for information but for computers, it refers to something that only they can understand. Thus, as much as we use and create data without even understanding its concept, we should at least know how to take care of them for our own good. But before all of that, here are some questions for a business owner like you.
- Do you know what business information is and how it works?
If you answer “No” to this one, you might be in for some big trouble or you might already be in one. As a business owner, you should definitely make sure that you will only know your business’ effectiveness if you know about this fact. With consistent data collection, a business will be able to track the improvement and the future of the business.
- What Databases are for?
In the simplest form, databases are the collection of all the information collected that can be easily accessed, work into, managed and updated. The information or data that can be collected ranges from the company profile, marketing strategies and activity, customer profiles, product inventory, sales transactions and even future plans of the business. Databases are known for making a business more powerful, effective and productive, especially on creating profits for the company. As a business owner databases it one of the most critical parts of your business you must be aware of because it literally transcribes to how your business process works.
- How Crucial is Input Database Systems?
With the invention of the computer, input data base systems have been a vital process in every business. Using varieties of computer software such as Office Excel, Office Word, Google Drive and a lot more to produce and save certain information is already part of every existing business. As the business grows it becomes more and more complex, but it does not matter how big it is, the amount of risk about your information will always be the same as every bit of your data is so much important.
- Do you know how much Sensitive Your Data is?
Every bit of data can create a big impact on your business. Thus, it is really important for you to know how much it is sensitive. Your business will be nothing without its core information. Suffering from any kind of data breach or data loss will surely create a serious impact on your management and business processes. As a business owner, you need to be aware of the risks lurking around your business information.
As technology continues to improve and lead different industries to success, you can only imagine how much data there is all around the world. As a business owner, threats and risks to your data and information get also higher and higher. Information technology enthusiasts have come up with the term ‘data risk’. This term often involves several failures in computer systems such as security, transmission, use and in storage.
These risks are known as mainly compliance risks, data breach, data loss, data rot, deanonymization, dark data risk, data corruption, data remanence, data sovereignty, regulatory risk, privacy, and security. However, aside from this, there are also physical risks that you can definitely avoid through simple acts.
SIMPLE DATA SECURITY MEASURES
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance’s board member, Roland Coutier, these are some of the things every startups and business owners must simply do to provide security for their business.
Using A Heavy Password
The simplest thing you can do as a business owner is to make sure that you are using a heavy password to any of your personal accounts. A heavy password is a mix of numbers, symbols, upper case, and lower case letters and has to be 8 characters and above. The most common mistakes that people do according to Microsoft is using your surname and birth date as the password or using characters close to each other in the keyboard.
Choosing a Strong Firewall
Along with technology, another thing that also plays a vital role in the business is the internet. But as much as it is helpful, there are just many dangers involving it. Thus, if you wanted a secure and protected network, choosing a strong firewall is definitely a must.
Installing An Antivirus Software
Another fundamental thing that not just every business owner but every gadget enthusiast must do, install antivirus software. It has become a basic thing but you should definitely take it in a serious note. Choose an effective antimalware and make sure that it will really help your device work well.
Upgrading Your Laptop
Although PCs are much preferable at work, there are just times that laptops are more preferable especially when you have to work at different places. However, because of this quality, they are more prone to risks. Thus, it is very essential to level up your laptop security to ensure that your files are safe. The simplest thing to do is to encrypt your phone. Encryption software will help you secure your files by putting a password in the hard drive and without it, it can never be accessed.
Leveling Up Your Programs
Another necessary thing to remember in securing your laptop or your personal computer is ensuring that all of your device’s software is up to date. Most software continues to upgrade their system, thus you must not miss the chance to explore it at its best.
Reducing the Risks in Your Mobile Phones
As smartphones continue to upgrade and level-up, most people nowadays rely on them so much. With the computer applications being available on these phones too, even business often use their phones than their personal computers to manage their businesses. Thus, securing them is also absolutely a must. Aside from ensuring a strong password is activated, they should also be encrypted.
Regularly Backing-up Files
Another thing to avoid data loss is securing a regular back-up schedule for your devices. It can really cause you a headache if you happen to lose an important file. Thus, the best thing to do is to keep another file in hardware or in a type of cloud storage. However, there is an important note you need to remember. Complete backing up of files should be at least weekly while incremental backups should be done every time you are done for the day. Compromising your data is a big no. If a sudden data loss happens, your business might end up facing a lot of problems.
Installing a Data-leakage Prevention Software
This is one of the simplest steps to secure data and yet, people always happen to forget and miss this step. If you want your data to be well-monitored, awesome data-leakage prevention software is absolutely needed to be installed on your personal computer. And as Chief Security Officer for ADP, Roland Coutier, says, «All this great technology […] is no good unless you actually use it. You have to have someone be accountable for it,»
Be a Smart internet User
Do not let all of your efforts all went to waste. The internet is absolutely helpful in many ways but it can bring a lot of dangers too, most especially on your personal files. It is not a shocking scene anymore that some of your employees would accidentally download a file not knowing that the whole thing is nothing but some kind of malware. The best thing to take note of is that, never ever click a link that you are never expecting or you do not even recognize. According to the Senior Director of the Vulnerability Research Team in a cybersecurity company, Matt Watchinski, «[You] should take every «warning box» that appears on [your] screen seriously and understand that every new piece of software comes with its own set of security vulnerabilities.».
It’s Not Just You but the Whole Company
As the head and the leader of your company, you should definitely be educated about all of this stuff. However, it must not be only you; you should also make it a point to educate your employees. It is crucial that everyone in your company is aware of the risk of data security and how it can be prevented. Wattchinski reminds that «Educating them about what they are doing and why it is dangerous is a more effective strategy than expecting your IT security staff to constantly react to end users’ bad decisions,»
This is the basic list in preventing higher-data risks for your business in terms of your computer systems and software. However, data risks do not end there. There are also physical risks that you can definitely prevent if you have the right knowledge.
AVOIDING DATA DISASTERS 101
Aside from protecting your data in your devices internally, it is also important to remember about the external risks that everyday life brings. Whether you are a dedicated entrepreneur or a free-lancer, you would not know what could possibly happen, from natural disasters up to accidents. Thus, your data should always be safe and secured no matter what. You do not want to put all of your hard work into waste, right?
- Ensuring that Your Computer is Fully Equipped
Natural disasters like thunderstorms and heavy rains often cause sudden power loss. And of course, it is harmful to your computer, more importantly if you are currently working on a project. Thus, you should definitely invest in equipping your computer with necessary apparatus such as UPS or uninterruptible power supply. This small apparatus can keep your computer running for quite sometime before the power is completely gone. It will give you a little time to save your files and properly shut down your computer.
- Using Another Hard Drive
Regular computer users often satisfy themselves on the hard drive installed on their computer. However, it has always been suggested to use and install a second hard drive. With tow hard drives on your computer, you can use the first one for installing all of the software, and the second one will serve as the place for your data. With this, you can even remove it again and install it on another computer if you happen to encounter a problem with it.
- The Basics of Removing a Hard Drive
If you happen to follow the step above, then it is only a must for you to know the basics of properly removing a hard drive, most especially when a natural disaster strikes and you need to quickly get all of your files. Because more likely, if you do not know how to, you would have to bring your whole CPU, which sounds pretty hard to do.
- Lifting Your Computer Up a Little
If you happen to be in a place where floods are common and inevitable, you should definitely consider on putting your computer on a much higher ground than the normal. If you have a room upstairs, it would be better to place it there so you won’t really have to worry about it that much all the time.
- Securing Offsite Backups
Probably one of the best things to prevent data loss is to have offsite data backups. This means that other than backing it up on another hard drive, you should definitely put it on different location away from your computer. With that, you can ensure that even if your computer suffers from any kind of accident or disaster, it will still be safe.
- Copying it to Cloud
Another trick that would surely work as an effective data loss prevention step is to copy all of your data to the cloud. The most basic application you can use to store your data online is Google Drive. Just remember to keep it safe by using a strong password to your email account to prevent hackers or your competitor from stealing all of your business data.
- An Always Ready Emergency Plan
Although this step is highly neglected, this is still probably the most significant of all especially if you have a large database to keep safe. An always ready emergency plan will surely help you minimize any kind of damage from accident or disaster and will help you recover all of your files without effort.
With all of these being said, we could only hope that your data will always be safe and secured with the help of this internal and external security measures. However, as much as these accidents are inevitable, rest assured that if you happen to lose your files, there are professional data recovery specialists that can help you.
Although you might probably be busy in improving and planning for the betterment of your business, you should never forget to treat every bit of your files just as important. Understanding the importance of your business data and database is one of the most significant things to make sure that your business is on the right path. It is the central part of each business and losing it in whatever way will surely cause some trouble. Making sure that it is always safe rather than being problematic in the future sounds more right. But no matter what happens, if you could not really help it, expect that there’s always a group of data specialist that can provide a solution for your data loss.