Proactive Action Against Data Loss
For any business, data loss can cause major disruption to your ability to work as well as your financial health. We don’t often think about what would happen if some, or all, of our data were lost. It is essential to make sure you know what data loss risks you face, what recovery looks like, and what preventative measures you can take to protect your business and your data.
There are lots of ways you can lose individual files or whole sets of data. Accidental deletion, viruses, physical damage, and malicious hacking attempts can all damage critical files you need to continue operations.
When Data is Lost
When the worst happens, and important data is lost, it can be very stressful to handle. The first thing you should do is contact your IT team to see if the data can be recovered. Make sure you know how the data was lost: were files accidentally deleted? Was there damage to your device? Do you think you were the victim of a cyberattack? This information will help your IT department determine first steps in data recovery.
If you have backups in place, restoring from your backed-up data will likely be the easiest step to take after loss occurs. This is also why having multiple versions of your data, stored locally and off-site, is so important. If physical damage happened to your machines or servers, you should still be able to access data backups that were stored offsite or in the cloud.
If you don’t have backups to rely on, there are some alternatives like disk recovery that will require special software and the support of a professional to perform. In these situations, your recovery depends on the files still existing and not having been damaged or encrypted. If your device itself was lost, you’ll need to rely on backups for data recovery and may need to wipe your device remotely (if possible) to ensure important files aren’t accessed by those outside your organization.
Data recovery can be time-consuming and costly, the best way to avoid stressful data recovery scenarios is to work on data loss prevention.
There are many things you can do to help prevent data loss. These include:
Use of firewalls and antivirus
Firewalls and antivirus solutions are your first line of defense against malware, viruses, and other cyberattacks. They can help identify malicious attempts before they get to your users, protecting you from a variety of attacks to your network.
Training your staff
As harsh as it sounds, human error or malice are the biggest threats to your data security. By properly training your staff on recognizing and avoiding phishing attempts, correct data storage methods, and restricting user access to important files, you can help lessen the risk of data loss.
Ensuring you have proper backups in place
Regularly backing up your data is the best thing you can do to prevent data loss. You should have more than one version of your backup available, and store one off-site so that damage to your physical office doesn’t impact the integrity of your backup data. This can be done in a variety of ways, but utilizing cloud-based storage is a great option for managing costs and keeping data secure.
Protect your hardware
Hardware maintenance is another thing that can pay off in the long run. Protecting from power surges, and keeping devices clean, dry, and cool, and updating your hardware on a regular schedule can all prevent physical damage to your devices and data.
Work with IT professionals
IT professionals bring years of expertise with them, which will help your data security plan run effectively. Not only will they be able to help with the above recommendations, but they can also perform regular monitoring and testing to find any gaps in your organization’s overall security and help find solutions.
The good and bad thing about data loss is that the best response is proactive planning. Taking the time now to create strong security policies and backup plans will save you a lot of time, money, and stress in the future.