Top tips to protect your data

17 September 2020 by Tilly Holland

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Ever since lockdown, I’ve got really “into” making lists. I’m not sure why – well actually maybe it’s something to do with not being able to leave the house for nearly three months! 

Anyway, I love lists – shopping lists, food lists, to-do lists, holiday lists. You name it. I’ve probably got a list for it! The most recent list I’ve written though is quite applicable to a lot of people (and organisations), it’s a ‘how to protect your data’ to-do list. 

I know data protection activities tend to get pushed aside when the life of data creation and data management is so crazy. Can you tell me when the last time you looked at your data centre in detail to make sure all of your checks and balances are in place? Maybe you’re a data protection pessimist – “it will never happen to me, so I don’t need anything in place!” Well, for almost 30 years we have been working with people who thought it would never happen to them. Now is the time to change! It’s not too late!

 The data protection list

Some of these may take more than a day, but you can get a good start on them or enlist help when needed.

1: Review your backup processes/practices

How often are you backing up critical data?

2: Check your backups to make sure they are working properly

3: Check your power protection devices to make sure they are functioning properly

Do you have enough Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS) in place?

Is there a backup generator for your data centre or the building it is in?

4:  Make sure you have surge protectors in place

5: Evaluate any offsite data centres for points 1 to 4

6: Review the contents of any off-site media storage

Do you know what is all there?

7: Catalogue any tape media that has “mystery data” on it

8:  Implement a secure erase process for end of life or repurposed media

9:  Validate your erase process to make sure it is 100% effective

10: Check your method for data encryption

Log the type of encryption and/or encryption software you use somewhere safe

Make sure you know all of your passwords

11:  Check any cloud or virtual storage

Re-evaluate your cloud provider’s protocol for data that is lost

12:  Put together a plan for data recovery should the worst of the worst happen to you. Check out our blog for some tips.

Add our contact data to your list of contacts outside of your PC – Do you still have that paper Rolodex? Just kidding! 😉

Protecting data is critical. The rise of cybercrime, especially, is proving that organisation’s need to protect their data more than ever before. Protecting data can be complex and needs to be taken seriously to ensure the right processes are in place at each stage of the data lifecycle.

Read more about the data lifecycle and how to ensure your data is safe throughout in our latest report.

Download report here. 

 

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