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8 Best Practices To Protect Your Team From Data Loss

By: Mina Klein

 

a business owner upset over lost data

As important as data is, sometimes it can be lost, corrupted, or inaccessible. When data is lost, whether through accidental deletion, hardware error, technical malfunction, power loss, or natural disaster, it can have serious repercussions. You risk losing a significant amount of time and money trying to recover the data or fixing the problem that caused the data loss to happen in the first place.

Prevention is always better than a cure. If you’re proactive and keep your data safe and secure, you’ll reduce the likelihood of data loss occurring.

Here are five of the best ways to prevent data loss in your organization.

Identify and classify your data

Identifying the types and locations of your company’s data is the first step toward better data loss prevention.

Establishing a system for classifying both unstructured and structured data is a prerequisite to developing and implementing your company’s data loss prevention policies and procedures.

Metadata, such as the data’s sensitivity, file type, author, governing regulations, and creation date, are injected into the data throughout the categorization process.

Your company can benefit from classifying data in a variety of ways, including in connection to compliance rules and risk, which in turn helps it prioritize where to place its monitoring and data protection efforts.

Create rules and policies on how to deal with data

With your data organized, you may create guidelines for how your staff members must treat it moving forward. These rules can include anything from how data can be accessed and modified to who has access to it and what security protocols must be followed. 

For example, you should require employees to get permission from their supervisors before modifying or deleting data. You should also limit access to sensitive data to key personnel.

Keep multiple copies of critical information

One of the most essential preventative measures is to back up data. By keeping multiple copies of your data, you have multiple opportunities to retrieve it in the case of data loss.

As part of your process of recovering from a disaster, you should have a well-defined backup and recovery strategy. In addition, you must monitor and test your backup system to verify it is functioning properly.

Implement strong encryption 

If your organization collects, stores, or transmits sensitive data, it’s critical that you protect it with strong encryption. When data is encrypted, it can only be accessed by authorized parties.

Encryption prevents individuals from being able to view, modify, or delete the data by scrambling it so that it becomes unreadable.

That way, data encryption keeps your data secure from cyber attacks. In addition, it allows your company to comply with regulations. 

Only collect the information you absolutely need

The more information your corporation stores, the more vulnerable it is. Collecting unnecessary data only increases the odds that it will be lost, corrupted, or inaccessible, so it’s best to implement the data minimization principle.

Before you collect a piece of data, consider what purpose it will serve. How will it be used? Will the data be relevant to your operations? Will it have any impact on your customers or clients?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can determine whether or not the piece of data you’re collecting is necessary.

Archive data you no longer need 

By archiving data you no longer need, you reduce the amount of storage your company needs. In turn, this also limits your exposure to data loss. 

Data archiving involves moving data that is rarely accessed to a separate storage medium. This frees up more space on your hard drive, but it also makes retrieving information faster. Cloud archiving software can automate this process, making the data archiving efficient.

In addition, this data can be encrypted and password protected, which safeguards it from unauthorized access.

Educate your staff

The effectiveness of a company’s data loss prevention plan depends on the workers’ level of familiarity with, and buy-in to, the strategy.

Data loss and data leaks might still occur if teams don’t adhere to the DLP strategy’s policies and processes. That’s why it’s so important to invest in teaching and training your staff.

In order to guarantee that your staff is adhering to the DLP best practices and policies established by your company, it is important to provide them with frequent training and best practice workshops.

Define the steps needed to recover lost data

Any company that stores customer information must have a backup strategy in place in the event of a data breach. Data backup and encryption procedures, device-specific security guidelines, and breach response procedures should all be part of these guidelines.

Not only should there be a strategy for recovering from data loss, but there should also be precautions in place for when that improbable day comes.

Conclusion 

Even the best prevention tactics can’t guarantee your company won’t suffer from a data breach or data loss. However, data loss prevention is your best defense against losing sensitive data. 

By following the best practices listed above, you’ll help mitigate the risks associated with data loss.

Published: October 17, 2022
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Mina Klein

Mina Klein is an SEO & content consultant for Jatheon Technologies. Mina is a passionate tech and business blogger, interested in topics that cover data regulation, compliance, business communication, digital marketing, and social media.

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