Solution Finder 016 - protecting your data

Protecting Your Data

Protecting your data is fundamental to your business and remember, failure to protect it could lead to Company failure, Financial loss or ultimately even Personal Imprisonment if you fall foul of data protection legislation.

Safe Storage of Physical Data Media (External Hard Drives, DVDs & CDs, Memory Sticks, etc.)

Backing up Data from your computer systems is essential as we all know and the new generation of remote backup services has made it a viable option for SME's as well as larger companies.

When you use a remote backup service however, you should consider your vulnerability arising from your reliance on a third party. Technical problems could mean temporary (or even prolonged) loss of access to your data in the Cloud for instance - how would you cope?  If using a third party to store your data, what would happen if they failed as a business? would you be able to recover your data? and if so how quickly?

For peace of mind and to ensure business continuity therefore, most businesses also maintain some form of internal backup to physical storage media which would offer them some operational capability should the worst happen.

However you do your backups, safe and secure storage of physical backup media is equally crucial - so where do you store it?.

A "Data Safe" offers the ideal storage environment and is designed to protect against fire, moisture, dust and electro magnetic contamination as well as theft or unauthorised access.

A "Fire Safe", or "Burglary Safe" should not be used for data storage purpose as - THEY DO NOT OFFER ADEQUATE PROTECTION.

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Data Encryption

Basically scrambles your data on storage to prevent unauthorised access to it without the appropriate software key. Encryption can offer excellent protection and is a high tech solution much favoured by Government Departments, major corporate organisations, etc. It is however often expensive and often carries a significant admin & technical support overhead.

Secure Disposal of Data

Data protection legislation is very specific about the need to dispose of data safely. Throwing a data tape or CD in the waste bin is not safe, and in many cases may not even be legal.

Degaussing machines can be used to wipe data from magnetic media prior to disposal, whilst shredding equipment may offer an appropriate alternative. There are also a number of specialist companies who offer a secure disposal service.

It is also worth remembering that some Paper Records, Video Tapes, etc. are also embraced as data under the terms of Data Protection Legislation.

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Shredders

Whether the data is held in paper form, or on optical or magnetic media, a shredder could be the answer to its safe disposal when it is no longer required by the organisation..

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Protecting the Data stored on the Hard Drive of your computer

Preventing the physical removal (theft or unauthorised relocation) of computers in the office environment is an obvious precaution, and there are a variety of security products available to assist in this task.

Your Laptop computer(s) probably contains even more "Company Sensitive" or "Personal" data than office based computers which is why so many organisations are so concerned about protecting them.

The Data held on the hard drive of what in essence is your portable office, is often as valuable to the owner as the equipment, especially where such data is of a company sensitive or personal nature.

Imagine the potential consequences of your "Corporate Strategy Documents", "Price Quotes", etc. falling into the hands of your competitors, which could possibly happen if your laptop were stolen.

Various forms of hardware / software type access control system are available to help prevent unauthorised access to the data on your computer. These range from secure key type to biometric (fingerprint scanner) based systems. Data encryption is obviously a further consideration.

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Data Protection legislation imposes a duty of care on organisations in respect of restricting access to and the use of certain types of data, whilst safe care of company sensitive information is a commercial necessity. Whether the data is held in paper form, or on optical or magnetic media, a shredder could be the answer to its safe disposal when it is no longer required by the organisation.

 

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