2019 was a big year for data breaches, as if the problem couldn’t get any worse. Nearly 4,000 data breaches exposed more than 4 billion data records in one year alone. Do you have a plan in case your data is compromised?

Data breaches compromise businesses and customers alike. Consumers’ lose faith in the brands and businesses they once trusted, and companies lose control over their sensitive business data. Meanwhile, hackers reap the benefits.

Fortunately, not all is lost when your data is compromised. In the age of big data, IT experts and cybersecurity specialists have been working overtime to improve data recovery solutions for businesses.

Breaches are just one part of the data protection battle. Sensitive data can be accidentally destroyed with the click of a button, leaving company operations in turmoil.

What’s clear is that you need a plan of action before (and after) your data is compromised. Read on to discover solutions for preventing and recovering sensitive data.

Draft a Business Data Policy

The smallest mistake can lead to a data disaster.

Imagine an employee befriends a stranger on social media, but that stranger asks your employee about sensitive company information. The employee divulges the data, and within minutes your company’s data is compromised. That stranger has access to consumer data, passwords, financial records, credit card numbers, and more.

A simple social media exchange can be a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, it’s happened before. You don’t want to live to tell the tale.

You can prevent employees from blabbing sensitive company information by implementing a strict company data policy. In your rules, you should set clear policies for social media use.

Regulate Social Media Use

First, set social media boundaries for employees. Remember, employees are still ambassadors for the company, even during their off-hours. You can prohibit employees from exchanging sensitive business data with other social media users.

Restrict internet use during work hours. Ask your IT department to restrict specific websites. In fact, you can restrict social media use altogether during business hours.

Obviously, you can’t dictate how your employees use the internet in their off-time, except when it involves your company.

Badmouthing the company should be banned, as it can attract potential bad actors who want to extract sensitive data. Employees should also be prohibited from sharing the company’s financial records, complaints, unreleased products, and propriety information online.

Include social media policies in your employee contracts. Create a separate social media policy booklet and keep an extra copy in your company lounges and breakrooms.

Don’t Press That Button!

You have the social media part out of the way, but your business data policy isn’t complete. Next, tackle careless mistakes that can lead to disastrous outcomes.

Just one click of a button can wipe out years’ worth of data. That’s why setting strict permissions and admin roles are essential. If an employee doesn’t have access to a treasure trove of data, then they can’t wipe it out.

All managers should be held accountable for their admin roles and assigning admin roles. Ideally, your IT department should have primary admin duties because of their expertise. If you run a small company, the manager with the most IT experience should oversee roles and permissions.

Your data policy should prohibit the downloading of new applications without admin approval. It’s even worse when apps aren’t scanned for viruses first. Compromised apps can unleash a fury of data destruction.

The sharing of passwords should be prohibited. Don’t even share passwords on slack. If a password is compromised, it should be changed immediately without fail.

Protect Your Enterprise Mobility Strategy

Companies with enterprise mobility strategies are particularly vulnerable to breaches and data loss. Password prevention is essential. Plus, if an employee’s mobile device is compromised, there should be a reporting protocol in place.

Under an enterprise mobility strategy, an employee should report when their device is lost, broken, or replaced with a new model. Former employees’ devices should be wiped clean immediately.

Backup Your Data

Whatever you do, always back up your data! This practice can’t be emphasized enough.

Back up your data whenever you change a digital file, whether it’s your website or a consumer database. There are several ways to back up data. There are dedicated server options, network-attached storage, USB drives, external hard drives, and cloud solutions.

Find an automatic backup solution, so you don’t forget to back up your data. This is a critical factor to look for when shopping for a content management system, managed IT, or a cybersecurity solution.

One of the most overlooked data loss threats is the weather. A significant weather event could sweep through your city and destroy your servers. This is why data backup is so essential.

If your equipment is destroyed, hope is not lost. Find out more about IT specialists who can recover your data from damaged equipment.

Stay Updated on Cyber Threats

You don’t want to be that person who gets a virus from clicking on an email link. Unfortunately, this careless mistake is still a major problem for businesses. It should also be addressed in your company data policy.

Email providers are much better at separating potentially malicious emails from the rest of your inbox. Bad links still slip through, however. As a rule of thumb, never open an email link unless it’s from a fellow employee in the same company network.

Viruses disguise themselves as legitimate programs. After clicking the wrong link, an employee may see a pop up claiming their Windows program is corrupted. Before you know it, your employee has inputted the company credit card to “fix” the problem.

All employees should be educated on common cyber threats. Include likely risks in your data policy, and ask your IT department to give a presentation. Cyber threats are sneaky, and they’re often disguised to dupe unsuspected employees.

Protect Your Data Moving Forward

It’s 2020, and a new chance to get your data protection right. Remember these tips as you draft an airtight business data policy. Have a recovery plan in place, so you can recover your data as quickly as possible.

You need the latest solutions for 21st-century problems. Check out the blog to discover more tips for surviving this modern life.

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