Four Common Mistakes That Put Your Company’s Data at Risk

Today’s companies and corporations—from multinationals to mom-and-pop virtual storefronts—are driven to always keep an eye on expenses. And when it comes to IT departments (which often account for a significant share of operating costs) it’s tempting to scrimp and save, on both time and money, wherever possible. But is doing so putting your company’s data at severe risk for loss and theft?

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According to a recent study from the University of Texas, 43 percent of companies that suffer from catastrophic data loss close and never reopen, and 51 percent close within two years. Scary stats indeed, but there are measures every CEO and CFO, department head and do-it-yourselfer can take to prevent the worst-case scenario.

1. Don’t Ignore Hardware Failures
It’s vital to always be sure hardware designed to back up company data and systems are optimized and working properly. Keeping in mind that certain backup systems have high failure rates (tape, SAN and NAS to name a few), consider regularly moving data from your primary storage medium to a completely separate storage device via disk-to-disk backup.

2. Be Sure Employees are Following Proper Procedures
Humans are fallible, so consider automatic backup execution programs, which will eliminate the very human trait of forgetfulness. And of course, have a clear and concise set of policies and procedures and be strict in ensuring they’re followed.

3. Never Underestimate the Hacker Threat
Cybercriminals are becoming very good at breaking through traditional data defenses such as firewalls and anti-virus software. As such, IT professionals should be constantly vigilant in identifying areas of vulnerability and implementing solutions to prevent theft. Businesses should have web-monitoring software for safe Internet usage and should operate backup and disaster-recovery solutions on a non-Windows operating system, which is a favorite target of hackers.

4. Have a Disaster-Recovery Plan in Place and Test it Often
Your plan should focus on people, infrastructure and processes and should clearly outline not only how each is affected in a data-loss situation but also who’s responsible for what, so the company can get back up and running quickly. And of course, a disaster-recovery plan is useless if it’s never tested, so keep a consistent schedule as part of standard business practices.

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