Now that most businesses, big and small, use electronic systems like computers and for the day-to-day running of their businesses, data, its collection and it’s safe storage has become a major issue.
A lot of smaller businesses think that they don’t have to be too concerned about the data they collect and store, simply because they don’t have a huge volume of it to deal with, but they couldn’t be more wrong.
Any business of any size that deals with data needs to ensure that data collected is as safe and secure as it can possibly be.
Bottom line – Data is sensitive information regarding personal customer information, sensitive business and other information that if it were leaked and in the wrong hands, could be damaging to your business.
While that is the basic idea behind data security and it’s importance, I’ve broken it down into several reasons why it should be important to your business at any success level and some ways to protect yourself, your business, and your customers.
Why Is Data Security Important to Businesses Of All Sizes?
Data is a Major Asset
If you have collected customer data, you have collected a very valuable asset. That data can help you improve your business plans, tailor your products and services, and ultimately make more money. If you lose it, you could lose a lot of money and opportunities for your business to advance.
Your Reputation Could be Ruined
Businesses of any size, rely on their good reputation to make sales.
If your data were to leak because you chose to use an old method of sending information, rather than a very secure internet fax or because your system was hacked, for example, and the private information of your customers was to be compromised, your reputation would plummet.
Your customers’ trust in you would be gone and it would be really hard for you to rebuild. Sure, many big companies have weathered similar storms but they had the advantage of billions of dollars, top PR companies and an existing reputation to help them out, would your small business be so lucky?
Your Business Could Fail to Function
Depending on the kinds of data you store and what data is needed on a day to day basis, if you were to suffer a breach or lose our data completely, it could mean that your business would grind to a halt and if that happened, you would undoubtedly lose money.
It can take a very long time to restore lost data if it is possible to do so at all, so it could be completely devastating to your business.
What Can I Do to Protect My Data?
The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to protect your data from loss or theft. Here are some of the best solutions:
Back Up Data
You should backup all data on a regular basis if you do not want to lose it. Ideally, you should back up to the cloud and create a hard copy, just in case one method should fail, so that you can always get it back fast.
Firewalls and Virus Protection
If you are running a digital device within your business without a firewall and antivirus and antimalware protection, you are taking a huge risk. It would be very easy for someone with bad intentions to hack in and steal your data and that would be a disaster.
Last, but not least, you should teach your staff (if you have staff) best practices around data security, such as no sharing of passwords (and using good passwords), logging off when not using a device and never using outside devices to access secure information.
Keep your data safe and you will protect your business from disaster.