It used to be that the most common storage need for businesses was for their inventory and supplies, with a few records thrown in as well. It required square footage, lighting, and security.
Now many businesses store more information than anything, and while their servers and Cloud systems don’t require much space or lighting, they certainly need good security, just as the boxes and cartons always have.
Today’s businesses store immense amounts of information about customer purchases, personnel, and product development. Keeping all of this data safe is critically important because there are so many threats out there that can cause huge problems. Everything from hacking of customer credit cards to loss of research through industrial espionage can damage your company.
Let’s review some of the common threats to data and how we can mitigate them.
We can’t forget that local storage is on a physical hard drive that is subject to all kinds of things that can damage it. According to Secure Data Recovery, Montreal data recovery experts, many files on damaged hard drives can be recovered if the device is taken to skilled technicians.
Temperatures, dust, and humidity can cause problems, but the most serious threats are power variations and physical impacts. Most computer users are aware of the threat of lightning, and they install surge protectors to keep excess electricity from entering the computer.
Equally dangerous, however, are brownouts and power “troughs,” during which the grid loses some power. Low power supplies can cause physical damage to hard drives, preventing proper booting and making it impossible for most users to recover files. In this case, a battery backup can be used with the power supply to fill the power gap left by the deficiency of the grid.
Risks During Movement
One serious threat to security during storage is the process of getting files into storage. When hard copies were moved from place to place, it was difficult to intercept them. Now that an incredible volume of documents are in electronic transit at all times, there are many opportunities for hackers to get access to them.
Protecting these files as they move from place to place is very important. Your systems need to be secured with passwords, file encryption, and firewalls so that movement from users to the Cloud or other users can’t be picked off by hackers.
It goes beyond equipment and procedures. Personnel should understand the risks of using public Wi-Fi networks and how to identify the fake ones run by hackers. A bulletproof system is worthless if employees don’t use it.
Risks During Storage
Unlike an item that is safely ensconced in a safe, files are vulnerable even when we think they are securely stored. The maintenance of good security for the ongoing maintenance of files is just as important as the security that escorted them to their resting place.
We again look at firewalls, which are critical to keeping hackers from accessing storage areas. File encryption can help render those files worthless in the event that a malicious user somehow breaks through.
And again, we deal with people. Your employees need to know how to select good passwords, how to secure them, and how often to change them. It’s best to have automatic password expiration every 90 days or so to force people to update.
With so much data about our products, our people, and our customers, computer systems in modern businesses are a gold mine for potential thieves. They should be protected as such, with every practical measure of security in place and enforced.