As a small business owner, you have plenty to think about. You need to be all things at all times, at least at the start, and this can mean that some important elements of running a business don’t get the attention they should. Data loss prevention is often one of these elements. However, once you realize just why you need to have a data loss prevention plan in place, you will probably start work on it right away – it could save your business from complete disaster. Read on to find out why such a plan is essential.
What Is Data Loss Prevention?
Nowadays, most businesses utilize data loss prevention, often known as DLP, within their policies and systems. DLP refers to a collection of tools and best practices that are aimed to secure an organization’s data against loss, corruption, or illegal access by workers or anybody outside the network.
Data loss prevention systems are also used to monitor system access and activity, such as email or instant messaging. By doing so, companies reduce the danger of sensitive data being exposed inadvertently or intentionally outside of approved channels. When a leak or breach is identified, the DLP system uses pre-defined procedures to encrypt, isolate, and secure firm data even after it has left the system. So why is this so important?
No one is perfect, and it takes just one click or the slip of a finger on the wrong key to accidentally delete extremely important data. Even the simple act of shutting down a computer without saving the documents you had open – or forgetting you had them open in the first place – can be catastrophic, depending on what the document or file might have been.
One of the important elements of a data loss prevention plan is training. If everyone working in your company is aware of the mistakes that can be made and how to avoid them, and if they know the most efficient ways to use the specific programs they need to use to do their work, the capacity for human error can be reduced significantly.
It’s an unfortunate fact that some data loss occurs deliberately. Cybercriminals choose vulnerable systems to hack into, and they take the data they deem to be profitable – banking details and customer IDs for ID theft, for example. If they can’t take anything, they may well decide to corrupt the files, or at the very least leave a trojan program on your system that will reach out to your contacts, giving the cybercriminal access to many other networks.
As part of your overall cybersecurity plan, you should include a data loss prevention plan. The plan would entail:
- Cyber security awareness training
- How to notice if something is wrong with the system
- How your organization would handle the attack
- How you could recover your data
- How you could limit any downtime to prevent additional loss of revenue
No matter how well trained your team might be and no matter what excellent precautions you have in place when it comes to your cybersecurity, you still need a data loss prevention plan because, although you will hope it will never happen, hardware can fail. When it does, if you have no data loss prevention strategy to fall back on, you could lose everything.
One of the best ways to implement a data loss prevention plan is to ensure you backup your information regularly. When you do this, even if you suffer any kind of hardware failure, you can still access your information, and you can still run your business. Without a backup, it might be very costly to try to retrieve the lost information, and in some cases, if the hard drive is corrupted, for example, it will be impossible. A good strategy that ensures all eventualities are covered is vital.
It’s a disaster to lose both the machine and the data at the same time, but this is exactly what would happen if your laptop were to be stolen, for example. Burglars getting into your house or office and stealing electrical gadgets is always a risk. You can leave your laptop unattended when traveling, or you might misplace it at an airport, conference center, coffee shop, or other public location. Yes, new computers are costly, but the data stored on hard drives is sometimes far more valuable.
If you utilize a comprehensive data backup method and store data in secure storage, losing a computer will be less distressing and more of an inconvenience than anything else. If you take care and have the right elements in place, you can retrieve your data even if you no longer have access to your computer.