Ensuring the security of your organisation’s data is imperative to ensure that you prevent data loss and security breaches. And in order to be certain, you need to embrace the best practices for data protection.
Before you create a data protection strategy and put it into action, here are three steps to consider.
- To begin with, your organisation should determine its data protection requirements before it starts seeking solutions. Advisory and testing teams should be formed to assess these needs. And since the front-line employees handle the data for the greater part, they should be in charge of protecting it.
- Next, understand which data requires protection. Most organisations not only experience rapid data growth but also witness a change and increase in the variety of information. Once aware of the different data types you will have a better idea on how to address it to meet compliance and other regulations.
- You need to test and find out if the strategy you are considering will support large workloads. You also need to be certain of the long term scalability. Given that the data that your organisation is producing is ever growing, you will need to plan ahead so that this is supported and protected going forward.
Once you have grasped these steps and prepared a data protection strategy, below are a few steps which will assist with the smooth roll out and on-going data protection strategy:
- Train employees: In organisations of all sizes, data protection is everyone’s job. So, all employees must be trained in the secure handling and storing of data.
- Secure data: While electronic data breaches are common, paper files might also get stolen. So, it is important to establish the guidelines of where confidential and personal data is stored.
- A need-to-know-basis: Not only should you keep the data password-protected, but it should be accessible only by those employees who actually need it. And highly confidential data should be managed by police cleared employees only.
- Unwanted data: Your organisation should follow an effective “IT asset disposition policy” which will ensure systematic and regular destruction of all the unwanted e-waste.
- Firewall: Secure your network by building a firewall around it. This will prevent hackers from accessing your data.
- Portable policies: Employees with a smart phone, tablet or laptop pose a great threat to your organisation’s data. Your IT team should be involved in ensuring that guidance and procedures are put in place secure mobile access without compromising security.
- Codes and encryptions: Develop codes and use them strategically. Don’t just encrypt every file. This will slow down the entire process. Instead, analyse all the data and establish which data requires encryption.
- Backup: You should have a multifaceted backup strategy. It should be inclusive of onsite and offsite backups. With offsite tape backup, uncorrupted information can be accessed no matter what the condition of the network. Also, choose a trustworthy “third party offsite tape storage partner” or service provider to take care of data stored in the form of tapes.
- Review your policy regularly: Organisation requirements, technology, processes and legislation change. Don’t forget to review your security policies frequently.
Follow these guidelines and you will be off to a good start in protecting your organisation’s confidential information.