One of the most significant areas of any business is the security and integrity of business data, and how you protect your company data.
If your data has been damaged, stolen or encrypted with ransomware then businesses can close their doors and call it a day. You might think this is harsh but it’s a reality that affects UK businesses every year.
Malware and Cyber Attacks are on the increase and we all need to play our part in protecting and securing company data
The UK government have been working hard to deliver a robust system which enables business owners to think more about data security and to take more of a hands-on approach to hardening their internal systems by using a program called Cyber Essentials (Department for Business, 2015). This is a strategy designed to look at a business’s internal security infrastructure, it works by mapping out a business’s internal network and identifies vulnerabilities. This test classifies weaknesses within a company’s security IT infrastructure and offers a simple system of pass or fail.
There is a limited number of companies in the UK that can offer this type of service to businesses.
Just by tightening up your internal security systems you can prevent a data breach or Malware attack on your business. One secure way to protect your business data is to have an up-to-date data backup and an archived backup in case your backups become infected.
When backing up and securing data it’s essential to go through a series of processes to make sure you’re backing your data up correctly and testing the integrity of your data. This solution is not focused just on large companies; we all need to play our part. Small business owners and medium-sized business owners need to look at securing their data from the ground up.
I can’t stress enough about the importance of data security, and it all starts with identifying vulnerabilities within your internal IT infrastructure. Once you have identified a security vulnerability you can take action and further harden your internal system. It only takes a moment to infect a system and it can take hours, days or weeks to rebuild your system. Just ask yourself… what impact would this have on your business if your system went down for 1 hour, a full day or a week?
Should we be concerned about company data?
It’s a matter of perspective, understanding and taking responsibility when it comes to company data. With the best will in the world, people become complacent with systems and don’t check and cross check work they do. This can create a very serious vulnerability within a company, and that’s why it’s important to take the lead at times and look for vulnerabilities within a business network as this can prevent a headache further down the line.
So what’s the solution?
There are many processes we could look at in relation to internal network security protection, and each system is unique to each company. However, we should always have a base system to work towards. I have put together a basic 6-point checklist, why a six-point checklist? See below.
Creating a guided list enables you to work through a basic process which can be modified and tailored to your securing your business data right away and it’s a good place to start, consider the following:
- Create a backup plan and map all folders and drives you want to backup.
- Get an idea of your folder sizes you want to backup.
- Work out whether you are going to use an onsite or offsite backup solution. Or both.
- Create a scheduled backup of your data.
- Reinstate your data frequently, as this helps make sure your data is consistent.
- Create an archived backup in case you need to revert back to an earlier time.
After you have gone through this checklist, enforce this process as company policy with your Team Leaders, and Managers. This backup solution should be given to your in-house IT staff, get them to create a robust backup system and check their work daily or weekly.
This process will help to save jobs, company data and gives you piece of mind knowing your data is safe and more secure than it was yesterday.
Data security is not a perfect science, I use data security and data security checks only to enforce the stability of company data and network resources. The loss of data can be detrimental to any company as the backlash can result in a loss of jobs.
By Keith Griffiths
Department for Business, E. &. (2015, February 3). Cyber essentials scheme. Retrieved from https://www.google.co.uk/#q=uk+goverment+cyber+essentials