When discussing cybersecurity, one aspect that often goes overlooked is the security of the actual data behind a company’s IT systems. The majority of cybersecurity breaches today involve the encryption of corporate data. Governments worldwide are tightening legislation on data protection, as seen with the introduction of GDPR in Europe. Regardless of your location, if you have clients in Europe, these regulations apply to you too.
Understanding where your company data is stored, how it is secured, and if it’s backed up is essential. Here are the most common locations for company data:
- Cloud Services:
Cloud computing has become prevalent, and cloud-based email services are now the primary location for storing company data. This includes sensitive information such as HR data and client details. Ensuring the security of this data is crucial to avoid severe fines.
- Desktop and Laptop Computers:
Your employees’ desktops and laptops are obvious data storage locations. Implementing encryption on these devices minimizes the risk of data exposure in case of loss or theft.
- USBs, Portable Storage, and Memory Cards:
The use of USB drives and portable storage devices poses a significant risk for data breaches. Restricting their use or implementing an all-out ban can mitigate this threat.
- On-Premises Servers:
Despite using cloud services, many businesses still have on-premises servers handling basic functions. It’s essential to evaluate physical access to these servers, ensuring they are locked securely and access is restricted to authorized personnel.
- 3rd Party Suppliers, Contractors, and Consultants:
Large businesses often work with various external parties, resulting in data transfers. Having a company policy, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and IT-reviewed questionnaires in place helps ensure the security of data shared with third parties.
As breaches become more frequent, asking these critical questions is necessary. While not meant to cause fear, being proactive in securing data is essential to protect your company and maintain compliance with data protection regulations. Regularly assessing your data security measures can help mitigate risks and protect sensitive information, providing peace of mind for both your business and your clients.