Feb 19, 2014

Feb 19, 2014

Who can access your data where you store it? - Data Security

Data security is a key concern for companies and individuals. Not only would any stolen or lost data result in lost time and expense, it would also be potentially highly embarrassing and could expose your company to lawsuits.

There are a number of things to consider when speaking of data security. First of all, you must locate your data. This seems obvious, but it is not. You need to know where your data resides and who exactly has access to it, be it your IT employees, sales staff, management, outsourced experts and so on. Secondly, you need to ensure that not all  data is treated in the same way. Not all data is sensitive and needs to be encrypted, so make sure you know what different kinds of data you have.

Dual Control

Dual control is a highly recommended method of ensuring that you are protected against internal sabotage or insider attacks.  Implementing dual control means that you have a fallback position for every key resource, for example if one technician is responsible for configuring your Web and SMTP servers, the login credentials for those servers are known and available to another person with technical background..

Being a ‘dynamic’ and ‘proactive’  company does not mean that you can afford to allow for lack of contingency planning. Make sure you have a solid Business Continuity Plan, Disaster Recovery Plan, Intrusion Response Policy, and most importantly, an up-to-date backup system (best if located off-site) from which you can actually restore. If you do not plan ahead, the smallest of issues can quickly snowball into severe data outages.

So what can, and should you do?

First of all, perform a vulnerability audit. Have your IT department put their evil hats on, or hire an outside expert to help out.

Once the audit is carried out, get experts to help you in the development of sound information assurance methodologies.

Do not settle for anything less than real security. Always ensure that you model your policies and processes at least at par with the best practices of the most secure organisations in your industry, rather than with those used by just anyone else. Strive for excellence as this will surely pay off in the case of any adverse events.

Finally, the best way to ensure that your data is secure from threats that come from either inside or outside of your company is to partner with an IT provider with expertise in security and secure premises. Only such a partner can truly give valuable help in putting together the right mix of solutions according to your current requirements while keeping in mind your company’s long term objectives.

Rather than building your own solutions, hiring your own staff and purchasing expensive set ups, you should leave this task in the hands of experts whose bread and butter consists of making sure your data is secure. It is much simpler and more cost effective to start off correctly right away, in the right mentality, rather than trying to change everything around later on when substantial investments have been made in systems and procedures, or worse, reacting after you have been bitten with a data outage or malicious attack.

Secure your data today!

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