Data Loss Disasters: Are You Covered In An Emergency?

data loss preventionThe dreaded crash, the blue screen, or the security breach, brings on a familiar feeling of terror to every computer user. For small to medium sized businesses who are increasingly relying on software and cloud-based solutions to boost their company’s productivity, the stakes are much higher when this happens. The issue with the increase in IT solutions is that this also needs to be coupled with an increase in data security, particularly in the case of an emergency, and this doesn’t seem to be happening with SMBs. According to The National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, 43% of companies with no data recovery and business continuity plan actually go out of business following a major data loss.

While this covers all data loss, and not just internal threats such as accidental or malicious leaking, it is still a startling figure and one that can be easily addressed with a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) strategy. Any good plan should always incorporate an emergency scenario and that is what we will be discussing today, how to cover yourself in a data loss emergency.

Clear communication
This should be one of the most important features of any emergency response plan. When things go wrong people panic, people try to cover up and people inevitably do not take the most rational and responsible course of action. By ensuring that your emergency DLP plan is simple and succinct, and is clearly communicated to all staff in a way that they can easily action, you’ll help to ensure that employees take the right action.

Back it up
Knowing the risks is the first step to appreciating just how important data backup is. There are the ‘real life’ physical threats such as vandalism, fires and floods, and even power surges which affect thousands of computers every year. Then, of course, there are the not so physical threats such as cyberattacks and ransomware. With so many ways for an emergency data loss to occur, backing up files is crucial to prevent data loss in these situations, and always the easiest solution if it does occur.

Backup again. And again
Automate the backup to ensure that nothing goes to chance and that it occurs on a regular basis. Then find a separate server in an off-site location that will prevent data loss if your entire internal system is compromised. Again, it’s always easier to be able to recover the data from a backup, than from a crash.

Decent security
Your emergency response plan should employ or align with security professionals, largely to prevent the ever-present threat of cyberattack. Security professionals will be able to continually change multi-layer encryption and changing algorithms as part of their prevention plan, but they will also need to constantly update and review the emergency routine as part of this.

Given that most of us have experienced a computer crash in our lifetimes, we all know that emergencies happen. With the increasing threat of cyberattack, these emergencies are now much more widespread than ever before. By treating emergency data loss like it’s a reality, you’ll be able to create an environment where data is sufficiently backed up, and where an emergency response plan is as up to date and impenetrable as possible, and clearly communicated to staff so that it actually works.