For organizations relying on computer systems, data loss prevention (or DLP for short) is about keeping important information safe from loss and deletion, and retrievable in the event that the worst cannot be prevented. Misplaced, stolen or damaged information often leads to unwanted and unnecessary consequences for both customers and the company, making it critical that all organization that rely on data to operate take the appropriate DLP security measures.
Keeping a copy of documents at a safe online backup facility offering cloud storage and reliable information recovery is one of the best ways to keep data safe and recoverable, despite any data loss event. From natural disaster to viruses and human error, cloud backup is the best and most comprehensive tool for preventing data loss and making backed up data retrievable and restorable if a data loss event should ever occur.
However, there are other steps you can take as well to further prevent data loss events from occurring. Below we discuss additional ideas you can use to enhance your organization’s DLP security measures.
1. Make backup copies of essential business and personal information on a regular basis (store these backup copies in a different building in a water and fireproof container).
2. Spread out your assets and backups. Never store all data in one device and don’t limit backups to physical storage devices alone. A combination of cloud backup and physical device backups is best.
3. Set up an IT security department with someone appointed to constantly monitor for data loss events and imminent security threats.
4. Obtain and use the latest copy of state-of-the-art anti-virus software appropriate for your computer systems (talk to other professionals in your industry about the software they use). Install updates as soon as they become available.
5. Make sure your computer systems are protected by a strong firewall to help keep unsafe network traffic out.
6. Update and patch all computer systems on your business network to keep security current.
7. Limit access to important data by implementing a system of strong passwords with at least eight characters, including numbers, with both lower and upper case letters (don’t make the critical mistake of using a common word spelled in reverse, personal numbers, or adjacent letters on the keyboard.) Change passwords every three months.
8. Always use write-protected disks to prevent accidental loss of important data due to deletion.
9. Educate company employees, of all access levels, on a regular basis so they’re aware of best practices. A slip up from any employee could have ripple effects on your entire organization, especially when shared storage is involved.
10. Encrypt information so that it will be unreadable to anybody accessing it without authorization.
11. Encrypt all company laptops, as devices that leave your office are at even greater risk.
12. Company and personal cell phones are also a DLP security threat (implement all of the measures suggested with company laptops, plus protect sensitive data using passwords, and implement remote wiping of information).
While each of these measures can help you prevent and eliminate data loss, the only true way to defeat data loss for good is by using a reliable cloud backup service. You should also note that the cloud backup provider you select is just as critical as using cloud backup to begin with. To ensure total data loss prevention and protection, make sure your chosen provider offers:
- Automatic, continuous cloud backup (so no file or file change is missed)
- Military grade security with 256-bit AES encryption
- The ability to restore files, from anywhere, to any new or old device (helpful if you need to replace a device and want your data organized as it was previously)
- Unlimited device backup (so all of your organization’s work will be protected)
- Unlimited previous file version histories (so you can restore any previous version of a file — especially critical in preventing data loss due to ransomware)