Hurricane Dorian is just one event that can potentially affect a business’s access to its data and reemphasizes the importance of having a data protection plan in place. Other events can have the same effect—cyclones, earthquakes, and hurricanes–suspending business operations for days or weeks.  Even a brief power outage can put your company at risk, not to mention the threat of cyberattacks. Read on to learn more about keeping your business’ data safe and accessible. 

Reasons to Safeguard Your Data

Data can be considered the lifeblood of your business, enabling transactions as well as access to customer or patient records, and containing a company’s intellectual property. Loss or compromise due to corruption by malware and viruses, or even a brief outage, can result in costly downtime. Not only that, a company can suffer a loss of revenue and even reputation. If subject to industry regulations, a business can incur fines for revealing personal information. These consequences can be prevented with a solid data protection strategy. 

Assess Data Protection Needs to Develop Your Plan

A data protection strategy starts with assessing your business’ needs. Consider first which data and applications are mission-critical for keeping the business running—for example, phone communications, Internet, and email. Depending on your business type you may need to comply with certain regulations—HIPAA, for example. Consider natural hazards common to your area, and whether you want your data to reside on-premises, or in a cloud data center. With your data in the cloud, it can be accessed remotely and without interruption. If using the cloud, decide which environment is best, whether public or private.  

Test Your Plan and Involve Your Staff

Once your data protection plan is in place, test it regularly to make sure it works. An added benefit is that a test can show any gaps or potential problems, giving you a chance to correct them. It can serve as a good “dry run” for a real disaster. Educate your employees about what practices to follow to protect company data, including how to recognize and report phishing attempts. 

While data protection incorporates numerous practices and procedures, its bottom-line purpose is preserving your company’s revenue and reputation. For help developing your data-protection plan, contact your trusted technology advisor today.

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