Data is essential to any business. It allows it to function efficiently and profitably. Businesses must strike a balance between the need to collect a lot of data and the need to safeguard and preserve private customer data. The GDPR in Europe and California’s CCPA are driving this issue along with long-standing law such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Securities and Exchange Commission rules which protect financial information of shareholders and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

To ensure data protection, the first step is to categorize all your data and secure it. This includes identifying, classifying and determining the access levels for data based on its sensitiveness. It is also crucial to implement a policy that ensures data protection, regardless of whether it is in motion or in rest. Utilizing a solution to monitor and detect activity in your files and spot anomalous patterns will help you spot suspicious activity and quickly detect weaknesses that could be a result of outdated or unconfigured software.

A complete plan for recovery and backup that includes physical storage media is essential. Lastly, it’s important to enforce meaningful security measures, from background checks on potential hires and periodic training for employees who are already employed to firing employees who do not require access to the critical systems. Additionally, it’s important to develop a disaster-recovery plan to ensure that your data is protected in the event of a natural or man-made catastrophe.