With each passing day, organisations are depending more and more on online; transactions, storage and sourcing of information to carry on with their day to day business. This growing activity increases the risk of exposure to data as virtual networks are more susceptible to hackers and data theft. Therefore protecting your organisation’s data has become more than just another office chore; it has become a requirement. Improving the data protection aspect of your organisation is imperative.
What are some of the latest issues that are driving all the focus to data protection?
Today we have an increasingly mobile workforce. Thus a greater amount of critical information is going beyond the security of the office premises. Research points out that an average of 60% of total business data is maintained off the premises. Moreover, in this world of globalisation where the mantra is “anywhere access”, even secured resources are being accessed from public networks; for example, VPN via the internet.
The other thing you must be aware of is that it is mandatory, by law, to protect all sensitive data. In addition, organisations are encouraged to be transparent and disclose of any data breaches.
What should be the main components of an organisation-wide data protection approach?
The first thing to keep in mind while approaching the data protection policy of your organisation is your employees. You need to understand the whole scope of the data protection plan, define the roles and responsibilities of all the employees as well as your own, from an organisational point of view. Make certain that the right people are doing the right jobs.
After these initial steps, assess all the data you have gathered, identify all information that is critical and where it is stored. The next step should be to prepare a cost benefit and assess the risks if the data falls into the wrong hands. You need to give the right level of protection for each particular set of data.
Following this a customary set of protection guidelines should be established. And these guidelines should be inclusive of chain of custody, multi-layer approach and organising the data under specific levels of protection.
Simply planning a strategy is not enough; implementation should follow as soon as possible. In order for your strategy to be effective, you need to train employees based on the guidelines. Finally, you need to test and audit the plan you have prepared so that you can make changes according to business and technical requirements.
How to protect different types of data?
There are two types of data, centralised data and distributed data. Centralised data comprises of information at the data centre of the organisation where the primary storage server of the organisation as well as the management system resides. With this type of data, a backup procedure is recommended to protect your data. Specialist reputable storage providers store your data offsite where it will be protected in state-of-art facilities.
In addition to this, a chain of custody process with the usage of bar codes should be implemented to track the data both onsite and offsite.
On the other hand, distributed data consists of data that is stored outside the corporate repository of the organisation. To protect this type of data, it is important that the backup process happens automatically and regularly. After the initial set-up by the administrators, the data on desktop or laptop or remote servers should be automatic and regularly captured encrypted and safely transmitted offsite. This approach will remove the manual backup burden from IT employees.
Data loss and information breach is a serious business issue. Therefore, you need to work out a strong and efficient data protection strategy for your organisation. All stakeholders should have a clear idea understanding of the risks and their responsibilities. Keep this in mind while preparing your data protection strategy so that you can ensure a strong strategy that delivers complete data protection and peace of mind.