Data, Risks and How to Avoid Them

Reading through all the blog posts about new technology such as big data, sky technology, smartphones and so on, and the advantages these brings, it made me think. What will be potential risks of these technologies?

In recent time, businesses are increasingly taking advantage of the power of the data they possess. By using analytics and software organizational they are able to utilize their big data in a more efficient way. However, numerous organizations are afraid to engage in such data schemes out of fear of increasing the chances of a data leak. They may set their reputation on stake, and there are also great fines at risk, in addition to a risk of lost revenue and lost production.

So why are not businesses protecting themselves? One can think of three reasons for why businesses are not reacting appropriately. Firstly, business managers may have lack of knowledge about the risks. If they don’t know about the coming disaster, it is difficult to prepare for it. Some managers may be aware of the risk, they do however not know how to respond, and hence end up doing nothing. Secondly, many businesses have no plan or strategy to protect data. They don’t know how they would respond if their data was stolen or other breaches occurred. Lastly, there is often lack of resources to handle this challenge. Especially for small companies, the resource constraint can be significant, both in terms of finances and managerial time.

So what can an organization do to avoid this risk? For a business that wishes to prepare, there are some means that can be used. You don’t necessarily need a full team of security experts in order to succeed, but it takes both time and effort to secure the business.

Firstly, managers should spend time on getting educated on the subject. By seeking out information about the latest data security incidents and how to protect against them, it is possible to try to learn how to avoid such attacks. Furthermore, managers should be clear on what data the company has, and where it is stored. This is not only sensitive customer information, but also unstructured data, such as emails and documents. Not knowing about such information may pose a threat to the company. However, especially sensitive information should be safeguarded. Software can block sensitive information being sent through emails, and encrypting it should safeguard confidential business information.

This is why companies should put in place systems to minimize risk and to protect ideas. Policies for data protection and clear communication of these to employees, strategic partners and customers may help. Furthermore, companies should use layered security, meaning different tools and techniques. The first layer is typically anti-virus, before following up with firewall. Software and patches should always be kept up-to-date. Extra protection may include physical securing the data and keeping a regular back up of all files.

Lastly, the company should have an incident response plan in place in case they are breached. This will allow them to respond faster and more effectively, and they may be able to keep the cost down. Summing up the ideas mentioned above, the company should in general try to be prepared. Don’t wait until disaster is a fact and the breach has happened. This way, they would be able to keep data, utilize it without being afraid of the consequences, and storing it more safely.



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