Like a Lock On a Door: Fundamental Business Data Security
Even with the increasing number of reports relating to identity and data theft, many business owners and managers have become strangely complacent regarding their data protection measures. After all, it seems to be working for most of them. So far.
It is difficult to really know if your data protection methods are as bulletproof as you think they are. Unfortunately, many businesses only find out about the vulnerabilities in their systems after a breach occurs and they find out that their valuable data is in the hands of others. A vast majority of data theft goes undetected, and it’s very difficult to prove or prosecute. Unlike with the theft of physical property, the stolen data usually still exists on the system. There’s no faded patch on the wall or safe door left ajar to clue you in that something is amiss. Often, it’s difficult to know that the system has been breached and that there is anything missing, because there isn’t anything missing.
There are steps you can take to help protect your information and keep your data secure. The most important element is to recognize that this is a requirement in the business, and attention needs to be paid on a regular basis.
Information and data theft is often a “crime of opportunity”, and whether it’s an expensive camera or a box of important financial documents in the back seat of your car, somebody’s going to pick it up if it’s just laying there. Passwords on post-it notes, sessions and applications left open on empty workstations, credentials cached on the machine, and clicking on every email with the subject line “YOU Are A Winner!” are all ways to inadvertently provide 3rd parties with unauthorized access to information.
There are people out there who may not like you, or don’t know about you but want want you have. There are also people out there that want to get to what you have just to prove they can. Firewalls, passwords and data encryption are the first lines of defense against this threat. Like a lock on a door, these protections are fundamentals of security and should never be overlooked. And those backup tapes stacked on the shelf above the server? Yeah, you should put those someplace more secure.
There are people in your own organization who may not have your best interests at heart, whether by design or by accident. Protecting the business in this area often relies upon clear system use policies, regularly tested security procedures, and attention to attitudes and activities of all personnel.
The world of business technology is getting more complicated, even as it becomes easier to access and use. Behind the scenes , while the bad guys lurk in the shadows, there are a lot of good folks working to protect your business from the variety of threats along the information superhighway.
Adopting cloud computing approaches and outsourced IT management solutions can help you leverage the experience and expertise of those who are focused on covering your assets 🙂 and keeping your information safe, but you still have to handle some of the basics yourself.
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