Solving the problems of IT service policy: data protection

Policy in the office can take various forms, from the very high level to the greatly detailed. When it comes to developing a policy and best practices for your business IT operations it’s essential that you have something comprehensive but clear. All organisations have legal and regulatory responsibilities to ensure that customer data is safeguarded. Not everyone is as conscious of the potential ways in which data can be lost, damaged and even stolen and even fewer understand the implications of these events.

Data security is not just good practice; it’s essential to any organisation. Unfortunately, data is a sought after commodity – being sold and bought by criminals. So what can be done to ensure organisations – particularly small businesses – remain aware of the relevant issues? Creating an IT service policy that focuses on best practice will not only identify these issues but it will make sure that employees, managers and owners are all on the same page and that data protection continues to be enforced.

There are many areas that could be addressed. We find

  1. Physical and non-physical security – A network firewall will only do so much to prevent unwanted access to yours and your customers' data. You also need to make sure that the right people have access to the appropriate system areas. A network monitoring system will help you stay on top of performance and also allow you to log user access.
  2. Taking data offsite – Many organisations, especially SMEs, prefer their staff to work from home. Personal computers are a necessary part of this system. But they, along with external storage devices, can be lost and stolen and if they contain sensitive data that isn’t appropriately encrypted it could spell trouble.
  3. Backing up data – using a reliable backup solution for your devices that contain sensitive (or any) data is a must. Lost or damaged information can be as disastrous to an organisation as stolen data. By implementing well-organised backup and disaster recovery procedures you can avoid all of the principal data loss scenarios.
  4. Data disposal – Data is not always held in electronic format. It can also be stored on paper. Both electronic storage devices and their hard copy equivalents should be completely destroyed. Unwanted hard drives should be wiped first.
  5. Trusting third parties – Many companies use third party suppliers to store data, some or all of which could contain customer information. It’s important to know who your data storage service provider is, where and how they store your data and to review their data security policies.

At help4it we offer solutions that cover these and more data security scenarios. We offer services such as cloud file backup but we also apply our years of knowledge and experience to the prevention of loss damage and theft of sensitive company information. It may take weeks to create and implement an appropriate procedure but it takes seconds to slip up and potentially cause you and your customers grief.

For more information about how Help4IT can help your business, go to: http://www.help4it.co.uk/

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