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5 Ways To Prevent Data Loss

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Surprisingly, 75% of businesses do not have confidence in their backup and disaster recovery strategy. This leaves crucial information like invoices, confidential customer accounts and contracts at the mercy of the next power outage, security breach or human error. This strategy is often overlooked, which is why stats like '90% of businesses fail within 24 months of a disaster' exist!


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Between 2011 and 2016, over 500 NHS patients documents were lost - according to a report from The Guardian.

The data contained important test results that was essential for GP's to access and The Guardian are now looking into the blunder potential causing or contributing to deaths of patients. The NHS Shared Business Services (SBS) were storing the 500,000 records of customers' data in a warehouse, rather than the appropriate GP surgeries.

Even if The Guardian's report shows that no harm was done, and the fault led to no further damage, it's important to consider the terrible PR this had for the NHS.

Data is also big business for criminals. Over 500 million identities were stolen or exposed in 2015 according to a report from Symantec and the BBC. The gangs behind the attacks are becoming more professional and appear like software companies to the public.

Arguably, it's more important than any insurance policy to have a 'prevent business data loss' strategy in place, not only are normal operations halted, but businesses affected reported it to be 'very damaging' for reputation. Here are 5 ways to reassure you that, if the worst happens, one of your most precious corporate assets (your data) can be safe.

1. Regularly Schedule 'Fire Drills' To Restore Data From Backups

It sounds simple, but a lot can go wrong in the chain of events to restoring the most recent backup. When the replication process is fragile, it becomes prone to error, recovering only a small percentage of data.

In a successfully maintained 'fire drill', you can assure yourself files have been fully backed up and will restore the entire organisation's data. Most companies will not regularly fire drill and never know if the backup strategy really works. Every time you have added a new tool to your IT environment or a new server, your fire drill process may have changed. To take in to account frequent changes, you must consider how often you are testing the system. A fire drill is as simple as practicing the restoration process weekly. It's much easier to sleep at night when you know you've done everything you can to cover your bases.

The 'fire drill' within the company should be seen as not just an essential part of the IT function and processes, but of the larger business compliance strategy.

2. Use A Menu Of Security Features - Not Just Elements

With rigorous security and backup measures in place, it's possible to be 99.99% safe, even with the pandemic threat of ransomware. It's important that web filtering, email security, antivirus, disk encryption and mobile device management are deployed coherently. Security needs to be able to filter out the malicious emails and viruses that are constantly targeting businesses around the globe.

Norse Corporation a technology company based out of Foster City, California have a visual representation of live cyber attacks from around the world.

For more information on preventing ransomware, please read our blog: How to prevent Ransomware 2017

3. Contact An Expert IT Partner Specialising In Backup And Disaster Recovery

A good IT partner will offer a bespoke solution to match budget and business requirements. IT partners are made up of specialist departments and offer consultative advice for best practice in your sector. Historically, IT companies were essentially VAR's (Value Added Resellers) but now there are consultative options - which is how Silverbug operates in the UK.

Working with an IT partner means you can look at the overall strategy of your environment and look at the vulnerabilities and potential threat areas. You can lean on their expertise and specialism with backup and disaster recovery technologies to find the one that is best and most cost-effective. IT partners are masters of wrapping a solution and support system around technology to help you deploy and use it at full efficiency. This stops wastage of resource and time to get started. Often, an IT partner will start with an IT audit to look at ways to prevent data loss and achieve a stable, continuous environment.

4. Train Users To Reduce Human Errors

One of the most effective ways to prevent data loss is to train users on the responsibility of passwords, opening email attachments and correct backup procedure. Employees that keep their passwords secure and understand the dangers of weak passwords are far less likely to have their user profile corrupted and risk their career.

Malicious malware such as ransomware usually gains access to a business's data through a user opening an email and clicking on a harmful link. Training users on a process for dealing with suspicious emails is important to prevent data loss.

In daily work life, most users are so focused on their jobs and the workload being put in front of them that they miss backing up their work. Instant software or hardware failure can totally decimate work, whether it's a day, week or even a month's worth of work lost instantly. This is one of the most basic causes of data loss and it happens everyday in every business when there is no training or emphasis on how to backup content regularly.

5. Implement Mobile Device Security

In 2015's Cyberthreat Defense Report, corporations perceived mobile and social media as IT security's weakest link.

In the age of flexible working and the continuous demand for technology to become more connected with the IoT (Internet of Things), it's important for security strategies to keep pace with mobile business devices. Phones, tablets and laptops are amongst the most vulnerable as employees will frequently login to unsecured Wi-Fi networks all over the world. Unlike a desktop computer in a locked office, mobile devices will also be at the mercy of the user, who may not have the appropriate training on security best practices.

Mobile devices are an easy way for malevolent forces to steal, change or delete corporate data. An employee loses a phone on the London underground, suddenly your website has been defaced, or the company credit card details have been stolen.

The way we are usually nonchalant with our own personal devices is exactly how we can be with company property. It's essential there are steps taken to stop misplaced devices being accessed by people outside the business.

An internal password policy is the simplest way to ensure that all users understand what constitutes a strong password and the severity of not having one.

Secondly, it's important to look at getting a mobile device management tool in place so that devices can be wiped of data from the head office. If a device is stolen and gained access to, you can easily prevent someone from reaching the good stuff. Often with a mobile device management tool, you'll be able to perform a couple of different levels of wipes. A corporate wipe that removes just the corporate data and a full wipe restores the phone to company settings.


How We Help Our Customers

Silverbug have made large steps recently to combat ransomware by creating a compliance department to make sure we are above and beyond the requirements to prevent data loss for all our customers.

We want our customers to be the most securely supported businesses in the UK, and to make sure their international offices are also under our compliance scrutiny. Our goal is to make work easier for IT Managers and those responsible for operations and data.

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