Data is the lifeblood of any modern business, so protecting sensitive files and other important information from internal and external threats should be the number one priority. A study by EMC shows that data loss costs enterprises in the US $1.7 trillion a year, while nine out of ten companies that suffer an extended period of data downtime serve a winding up order within a year.

There have been a plethora of high-profile cases of data breaches during the last five years, and the costs of these targeted attacks and failures are rising significantly. The impact isn’t only financial though, as a Ponemon Institute study found that a third of respondents ended their relationship with an organisation following a data security incident. It is almost impossible to eliminate all data risks, but a robust strategy can help to plug the gaps and minimise the impact.

Robust data security measures

Enterprises must take practical steps to prevent data loss, such as establishing a culture focused on safe data usage and installing firewalls and other cyber security software. Employees should be trained effectively so that they have a clear understanding on the importance of data, what their responsibilities are, and how they are accountable. Poor password procedures can also put a business at risk, so opt for complex words with a mix of characters, numbers and upper and lower case letters, and change them regularly to resist “brute force” hacks and attacks.

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Outsource data management

Outsourcing data management to a third party will enable you to get expert help with your day-to-day data requirements. The process of securing data effectively can be overwhelming, and you may not have the time or resources to do so effectively. Data specialists such as Fields Data Recovery offer services including data recovery to get data back from a range of devices such as SSDs, hard drives and computers. Their data security and digital forensic services can also lay the foundation for businesses to boost their data efficiency and performance.

Upgrade hardware

Local machines and servers still store huge masses of data for large corporations. While on-site hardware may be safer from digital attacks, it still poses a separate set of risks such as theft, vandalism, fire, floods and failures, which can all cost enterprises significant amounts of time and money through downtime and other data loss-related disasters. Upgrading hardware regularly and installing a backup power supply and mechanisms that safeguard against common threats will ensure business continuity and prevent data loss.

Data backups

Modern business is defunct without data, so it is crucial to make backups and establish disaster recovery procedures. Physical and cloud-based storage solutions are inexpensive, especially when weighed against the costs of losing data. An automated data backup process is recommended as it takes choice and human input out of the equation. Cloud backups are particularly handy in the digital age due to the prevalence of bring-your-own-device schemes. Employees will still be able to access data on laptops, tablets and smartphones, but the fact that they won’t act as storage points will reduce risk.

Steps to prevent data loss

Enterprises need to introduce a security and information policy, set up passwords for company devices, back up data offsite, establish a fail-safe, track the digital footprint and trace any changes and updates to software, and review the situation regularly. All of these steps will help you to minimise the risk, liability and loss of reputation associated with data loss.

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