Data Security Best Practices for SMBs: Keeping Data Safe from Loss

With the wide array of internal and external threats to data within a business environment, keeping records safe poses more challenges today than ever before. Luckily, for all of the new technological threats that are created, there are a number of data loss prevention tools and solutions that businesses can rely on to keep their data protected and safe from permanent loss.

If your small business is concerned about keeping your data safe from loss, follow these data backup and data security best practices.

Threats to data

Before we get into the best practices your business should follow to keep its data protected and retrievable, it’s important to understand the need for them.

More and more businesses are transitioning away from physical storage and into digital storage spaces, and with that movement comes an increased risk for errors and losses. Businesses can come face to face with data loss due to natural disasters, technological failures, physical device damage, malicious intent, human error and more every day.

While many businesses recognize the reality of these threats, not all of them are prepared to handle them when they arise. “Cyberattacks” and “Data Fraud or Theft” are listed as the two highest areas of concern for businesses in the U.S., according to The Global Risks Report 2016, ranking above terrorist attacks, fiscal crises, asset bubble and a number of other risks.

There are however, ways to keep your data safe from loss and recoverable to you should your data become inaccessible or deleted.

Data Security Best Practices

By far, the best way to keep data safe in any business is through preventative measures. With the right security and backup measures in place, you can keep your data safe from digital threats and have the data recovery tools you need on hand, should your data ever get deleted.

Distribute data management processes and procedures

To prevent data breaches and leaks, make sure your employees are informed and up to date on how to handle data securely. They should be aware of which data in your organization is classified, as well as which members within, and outside of, your organization are considered ‘authorized’ to view data. There may be different levels of access control you need to consider, as is the case with medical offices handling PHI.

Be sure to outline these considerations so that everyone in your office is on the same page about whom can receive information, and what information they are privy to. Also be sure to distinguish how data should be shared, destroyed, archived, and saved for later use.

Without clear instructions for this, it’s possible for an employee to improperly dispose of a document, leaking private information. Additionally, they could accidentally delete a file that was intended to be saved.

Have a plan for how you manage data on all fronts, and you’ll be much less likely to have to deal with the repercussions of mishandling.

Keep network security up to date

Viruses are a common cause of data loss. Cryptoviruses are notorious for encrypting a user’s data, and only giving them the unlock key after a high dollar ransom amount has been paid. And small businesses are frequent targets, as they have more capital than an individual and have more holes in their network security than larger companies. To avoid them:

  • make sure your employees are internet-savvy (Do they know to identify and avoid suspicious emails and websites?)
  • install antivirus and antispyware software to alert you to threats early
  • prevent harmful information from getting through with a firewall

Backup all of your data

Taking steps to prevent the occurrence of risks like employee error and viruses is a good step toward eliminating data loss, however you also need a plan for when threats inevitably make their way past your security measures.

Backing up your data is the only way to recover it in the event of a data loss disaster — whether that disaster is by human error, physical device failure, theft, viruses, or some other threat.

Many businesses make the mistake of backing up their data to physical storage devices alone — especially when these devices are all housed within the same location, keeping them open to the same threats. Physical storage devices are vulnerable and should never be your business’s only backup plan. It’s important to back data up to at least 3 locations: your primary storage, secondary storage device, and most importantly a secure, off-site cloud backup.

Cloud backup is the most reliable form of data backup, keeping data protected and available at your fingertips, regardless of the loss scenario. It can be used to retrieve and restore healthy data after a malicious attack, restore correct versions of files after an employee error, or even reinstate all data to a repaired or new computer if the primary device crashes.

There are a variety of other features that make cloud backup the preferred storage method by businesses. Look for a cloud backup provider, like Nordic Backup, who offers:

  • Unlimited previous file version histories, keeping all past versions and changes restorable
  • Remote data recovery, allowing you to retrieve your data and restore it to a new or repaired device from anywhere with an internet connection
  • End-to-end encryption so that your data can’t be read or compromised, even during transit to the cloud
  • Either 256-bit encryption, AES encryption, Twofish, or Triple DES encryption — all commonly used by militaries, governments, financial institutions and other trusted internet service providers worldwide
  • Multiple levels of access control within its data centers (alarms, armed guards, video surveillance, etc)
  • Data centers equipped with uninterruptible power supplies, redundant cooling and multiple redundant gigabit internet connections so that your data will always be available when you need it, without downtime
  • NAS and network shared backup
  • A 90-day risk free cloud backup trial0-day risk free cloud backup trial so you can assess the service for yourself

Ultimately, cloud backup is the data security best practice that will keep your data safe from data loss arising from nearly any situation. If you want a guaranteed way to retrieve and restore your data, no matter what, cloud backup is the answer.

Secure your business data free, for 90 days with cloud backup, provided by Nordic Backup, and experience total peace of mind.

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