Keeping your business data under lock and key

By Susan Bradley

If you’re looking for a data-protection silver bullet, you won’t find it here — it doesn’t exist.

Protecting your business information is a multilayered process that combines technology, human awareness, and regular reviews of your policies and practices.

Many years ago, I got an unexpected call on an early Sunday morning. “We’ve had a break-in at the office.” So off I went to see what the damage was. The burglars broke the front door and grabbed a monitor and a desktop computer. Fortunately, no significant data was on the personal computer, but it made us take a closer look at the physical security of our office.

The event also prompted me to take another look at how we protected our data. Too often, we confine our worry about data to its transit of the Internet, the threat to it from outside hackers and cyber thieves, and its removal by criminals who target machines they can sell quickly for a little easy cash.

I want you to think about protecting your key business data from end to end: from local physical security to remote attacks to loss through accident and “acts of God.”

Protecting your business data from the inside

Before getting to the basics of protecting company data, you need to answer some important questions. What specific information do you need to secure? Where is it located? Is it data you currently use, or is it archived?

What constitutes sensitive data can be quite broad; it’s not limited to what government agencies require. It’s the key information needed to keep a business functioning. It could be an online catalog of your inventory, accounting records, customer lists, or even that secret formula for Coca-Cola.

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Susan Bradley

About Susan Bradley

Susan Bradley is a Small Business Server and Security MVP, a title awarded by Microsoft to independent experts who do not work for the company. She's also a partner in a California CPA firm.