A company’s data is one of the most important assets they will have. It is not only vital to the on-going health of the business but it is also important that it is properly looked after. Data takes many forms, in most cases it will be documents, spread sheets, emails and in some cases it will be classified as application data. In other words it is keyed into and maintained by a third party application such as accounts, payroll, case management or similar type systems. In the past a company’s data was stored solely on their central server which was located in a server room or a secure area in the office. This server would have been backed up daily to tape and the tape would have been kept offsite (most of the time anyway).
With the introduction of mobile computing, smart phones and remote access etc. the world of business computing has become more flexible. More and more users have mobile devices that hold company data and the old concept of data storage in one central location no longer holds true. It would have been an inconvenience in the past if you lost your mobile phone as you may have lost your contacts, now however most people have a smart phone that contains email, files, photos etc. which may relate to the business and in most cases with emails it will relate to your customers.
There have been a number of high profile cases lately which highlight the need to strengthen security, only last week Phoenix Ireland announced they had lost a backup tape containing the details of 62,000 customers and in a separate case in the NHS in England a Doctor lost a memory stick on a train containing details of patients.
The key message that I wish to bring to you today is that you need to be extra vigilant on protecting your company’s data and also your customer’s data. Loss of data cannot only cause problems in limiting business opportunities but if the data you are storing / using is information about your customers then you have an even greater responsibility to ensure that it is securely managed. If for instance your data is stored on a cloud based application that is managed in India then you are in beach of the Data Protection Act. There are other countries that would fall in to this category. As you can imagine a lot of thought needs to go into the whole area of what data you hold, where it resides and how secure is it. Apart from the compliance requirements there is the whole issue of the reputation of your business if customer’s data stored by you was lost and discovered by a third party.
There are many questions that may need more detailed answers so if you would like to discuss any aspect of this topic in more detail or need a particular scenario researched, call me on (01) 293 0363. Alternatively email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would also recommend linking to our website www.gctech.ie/downloads to download our free eBooks to improve your computing experience.