No one wants to expect the worst, but you should always plan for it. Your company’s data is no exception to this rule.

Data has become increasingly important for all businesses. Whether you suffer from a security breach or a careless mistake, data loss can be devastating for businesses. Here are ten ways you can prevent data loss in your company.

1.  Always Back Up Your Data

Prevention is the best protection. Create a structured backup strategy and consistently back up your files. Your backup plan should include the different levels of data you maintain in your company and the schedule for their backups. Some data is so critical that it may require you back it up every week.  Also, be sure you periodically test your backups to make sure that your data is being backed up and stored properly and accessibly.

2. Diversify Your Backups

You always want more than one backup system. The general rule is 3-2-1: You should have 3 backups of anything that’s very important. They should be backed up in at least two different formats, such as in the cloud and on a hard drive. Finally, for the best data loss prevention, there should always be an off-site backup in the event that there is damage to your physical office.

3. Encrypt Sensitive Data

Data is not always encrypted even when it’s saved as a secure backup. Invest in a backup system or service that automatically encrypts all backups to ensure that if an unauthorized user ever gets their hands on your data, they cannot access it.

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4. Address Device Security

Mobile devices are powerful business tools, but they can leave your data vulnerable. Ensure your devices can be wiped if they are lost with a remote device management system, and use hardware or mobile device systems that encrypt data.

5. Use Anti-Virus and Email Security

Email threats such as hacking, phishing, and ransomeware can be some of the biggest threats to data. Use a thorough anti-virus and email filtering system to prevent malicious emails from getting through to your company.

6. Trust the Professionals

Data is too valuable to be left alone. If you do lose it, do not try to recover it by using DIY diagnostic tools. You don’t want to cause further damage by trying to fix the situation on your own. Instead, work with a trusted backup and data recovery expert to ensure your data is safe. An experienced IT consulting company will be able to help you have the best chance of fully recovering your data without damaging it.

7. Make Employees a Part of Your Security Plan

Software and security systems can only go so far; there will always be an element of human risk that should be accounted for in your security plan. In fact, studies show that human error is the cause of 88% of data breach incidents.

You can reduce the likelihood of human error by implementing employee training that teaches warning signs for phishing scams, instructs team members on secure practices to use, and tests your team’s ability to retain and put that knowledge into practice. You can turn your team from a security liability into an asset by equipping them with the right security awareness training.

8. Keep Your Software Up to Date

Vulnerabilities caused by out-of-date software cause a big threat to your data security. Create a strict policy of updating software and implementing patches as soon as they are rolled out. You can retain even more control over this aspect of your security by automatically rolling out updates across devices in a centralized manner.

9. Utilize Company-Wide Policies

It’s one thing to teach employees secure practices, but another to enforce those trainings by implementing policies backed up by real-life tools. You can turn suggestions into practice and enhance your data loss prevention strategy by enforcing policies for passwords, enforcing access controls by limiting who is authorized to use non-essential systems, and making security a part of your company’s culture.

10. Protect Your Hardware

Hardware security is often overlooked, but damaged, lost, or stolen hardware is a risk that businesses need to be prepared for. Physical security measures can help protect and guard the expensive equipment your employees use every day to keep your business running.

Prepare for the Worst Today

Most businesses don’t plan to lose data, but that doesn’t mean they are immune. Remember that when it comes to data loss prevention, the best defense is a good offense. If you keep your data security a high priority at all times, you will be protected in the case of any data loss.

Contact GXA to learn more about how we can manage your data backups and protect your data!