How to keep your data safe
How To & Tips

How to keep your data safe

On any given day, the amounts of data zooming through computers and cables in the office is off the charts. From the backlog of emails awaiting your attention after a week off, to the thousands upon thousands of rows and columns of information stored within the servers’ spreadsheets, each byte of information needs to be handled as safely and securely as possible.

This is especially true if your office deals in sensitive confidential information – including anything from credit card details to medical records.

With a recent government report indicating that 93% of UK large organisations and 87% of small businesses suffered data breaches in 2013, plus ever-increasing numbers of high-profile attacks like the Carphone Warehouse breach, not to mention Sony, the time has already passed to ensure your data is protected against outside elements. However, the following can help you get up to speed:

Anti-virus software

As the internet came of age, anti-virus software was first developed to stop the spread of computer viruses – man-made programs designed to corrupt or delete data. The first successful anti-virus software was developed in the late 1980s. In later years, as data storage grew more sophisticated and could more easily handle banking, medical and other sensitive information, the nefarious ways to obtain this data grew along with it.

Anti-virus software is an absolutely essential part of the online office. Along with the ability to scan computers and diagnose any malware, Real Time Protection systems can prevent users from accessing programs and websites which could potentially harm their operating systems.

Data encryption

Anyone who uses online banking – and in some cases, even online gaming – is aware of the rigmarole they must go through in order to access their information. Passwords, ID checks and code generators are all part of the process.

Data encryption adds another layer of security to your company’s most sensitive information. Even if by hook or by crook you were to end up having data stolen, it would be useless to the perpetrator unless they had access to the ciphers and codes used to encrypt and decrypt it.

Some USB drives and memory sticks are now designed with a built-in encryption feature, ensuring that your most valuable data are safe when you’re on the go.

Real-world security

It isn’t just the virtual world where you could be vulnerable – all the top tech in the world won’t help matters much if your office is the victim of a break-in. Fortunately, there are plenty of options on hand in the real world.

Alarm systems and CCTV are effective ways of monitoring the situation, and security firms can be hired to keep an eye on the place, using automated warning systems to contact you in case of emergency.

Inside the office, locking anything away that’s not nailed down can be very beneficial, as can investing in lockable filing cabinets and cupboards for private documentation.

Safes and cash boxes are also designed to prevent infiltration, for valuables and money – retail firms would benefit the most from investing in these.

Whether online or offline, companies must do their bit to prevent valuable data and possessions from falling into the wrong hands. As the top companies begin to invest more into breaking down the walls of cybercrime, you should be prepared to keep fighting for your company’s best interests and keep employees, customers and clients satisfied that you can protect their own.