Data breaches have become a regular occurrence in the digital world, and they are only getting worse. According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, by 2022, the cost of a data breach is expected to reach $2 trillion.
Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, you should take steps to protect your company’s confidential information and data. A data breach can put you at a serious disadvantage, not only financially but also in terms of customer trust. The best way to prevent a data breach is to plan ahead and implement a data protection plan. This five-step checklist can help you recover from a data recovery service.
Step 1: Identify Your Company’s Risk
The first step in the data protection plan is to identify the risks to your company. Every organization has a different risk profile, so identifying and understanding your particular risk is the best way to determine how to protect it.
To do this, you need to take stock of what information your company is holding. What are you doing with that information? How will you store it? How long will you keep it? Identifying these things will help you understand what kind of security measures need to be implemented for each type of information, which we’ll cover in Step 2.
Step 2: Establish a Data Protection Plan
A data protection plan is a set of procedures and protocols put in place to protect your company’s confidential information. This includes business-specific data such as banking information, customer lists, and product specifications. Your company should already have a Data Protection Plan in place, but if not you should include it on your list of things to do. Create a clear policy document with an outline of what is considered confidential information, where the data will be stored, how often backups will take place, and who has access to the data.
Step 3: Implement the Plan
The first step in recovering from a data breach is to identify the type of data compromised and take steps to protect it. The second step is to create a plan for what needs to happen if there is a data breach, including roles and responsibilities. The third step is to implement the plan by setting up systems that will enable your company’s security team to detect breaches or suspicious activity as soon as possible, and the ability to respond quickly.
The fourth step is training employees on the importance of cybersecurity and how they can help protect themselves and their company. Finally, you need to test your plan. You can do this by simulating an attack on your system or taking part in annual drills with other companies. Take time each year during an annual drill with other businesses in your field to test your disaster recovery plans so that you are prepared for any eventuality when it actually happens.
Step 4: Automate as Many Backups as Possible
It can be tempting to try and do all of the work yourself, but it is not always possible. You might not have the necessary skills or expertise to recover your data alone. The best way to avoid this is by automating as many backups as possible. Automated backup software will back up your data every day, and most importantly, you won’t need to worry about remembering to do it.
Automated backup software will also allow you to back up your data in different locations so if one set of backup copies gets lost or destroyed, there are more backups available for recovery. Restoring data from a backup copy is also much faster when automated since the software will know what needs to be done and will have all of the files available.
Even with a plan in place, there are still some things that cannot be predicted such as natural disasters or human error. To prepare for these situations, make sure that you have at least two sets of manual backups by using external hard drives or cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Step 5: Educate Your Employees
If your employees are not well versed in data protection, they might inadvertently cause a data breach. Educating your employees is the best way to reduce the risk of a data breach. Employees should be aware of how to handle sensitive information and how to avoid common security risks like phishing attacks. Training new employees on the importance of data protection is crucial.
Selecting persons you can trust to handle sensitive company information is vital too. Be careful about who you hire, as well as who you give access to company information.
Finally, make sure your employees regularly update their passwords, social media profiles and personal email accounts—especially if they have access to any sensitive company information.
When it comes to data protection, you need to be proactive, not reactive. Evaluate your company’s data and identify which risks are the most important in order to establish a data protection plan. Next, be sure to implement the plan and automate as many backups as possible for peace of mind. Lastly, make sure you educate your employees about the importance of being mindful of data protection.
It’s important that you proactively protect your business and any sensitive information because when it comes to data, the only thing that’s a fail-safe is prevention.