In today’s world of ever-advancing technology, it is understandable that businesses need to use the latest gadgets along with data harvesting and storing solutions. These tools are essential for the efficient and speedy functioning of the company operations. At the same time, both small and large organizations need to remain alert to the possibility of data breaches that can occur in the absence of secure data storage options.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), the year 2017 saw a total of 1,293 data breaches in which 174 million records were compromised. This figure is a disturbing 45% increase in the number of breaches since the previous year, 2016. To assist businesses in understanding how to protect themselves, the Federal Trade Commission has laid down several guidelines that companies must follow when managing the data they store and use.
In accordance with these guidelines, companies must follow a systematic secure data storage method that includes 5 basic elements. These include:
- Dispose of the unwanted records securely
- Save only essential data
- Develop a clear understanding of the data you have
- Use advanced methods to prevent the information leaking and falling in the wrong hands
- Have a detailed protocol in place for responding to security leaks and containing the breach
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Dispose of Unwanted Records Securely
As you can see from the federal guidelines, one of the key elements for secure data storage is to save information only as long as you absolutely need it. This information can include credit card details from customers and vendors, and Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for paying wages and filing tax returns. Health organizations may hold records of patients’ medical histories and other details necessary for providing the proper healthcare. You may also have an extensive database stored in hard copies, files, and documents.
Like the experts at All Green Electronics Recycling explain, the biggest threat to the information you store is in the form of the old and redundant electronic equipment that you discard. Any storage media contained in old devices such as Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) and Solid State Drives (SSDs) can find their way into the hands of potential hackers and cyber criminals. To protect your company from losses resulting from compensations, fines, and lawsuits, you may want to hire the services of secure data destruction companies. These agencies use certified and eco-friendly equipment disposal methods to safeguard the interests of your company.
Secure Storage Media that Can Help in More Ways than One
Yet another of the federal guideline includes safeguarding the information you store to ensure the proper running of business operations. Accordingly, you need secure data storage. Here’s why:
- Protecting your intellectual property from the threat of data breaches
- Creating backups in case you lose equipment or devices get damaged and cannot be repaired
- Preparing for the threat of ransomware where hackers lock down your systems using encryptions and demand ransom to allow normal operations
Read this article on the Entrepreneur and you’ll learn that one of the best methods to secure your business is to save the important information you need on removable media and delete the data from the devices. Here are some of the media you can use:
External Hard Drives
Suitable for large files that need more memory, you can store information on external hard drives. Connect these devices to your PC or laptop and transfer all data securely. All that remains is keeping this hard drive safe and making it available to authorized personnel only. Given that such secure data storage devices are portable, you can lock them away and bring to locations where they are absolutely needed. Thus, they are ideal for protecting business secrets.
Flash Memory Thumb Drives (USBs)
Small enough to fit on a keychain or the back of an actual pen, the flash memory drive is perfect for saving small amounts of data and files. You can conveniently use it to carry information or work when traveling. Some of the more advanced thumb drives also provide the facility of encryption. In case you were to lose the device, the finder will be unable to access the information stored in it. In case you cannot carry a working device with you, bring the USB and continue working on a borrowed laptop or PC.
Eliminate the need for sending and receiving large files with sensitive information by storing them on the cloud. By using passwords and multi-step authentication, you can allow only specific people to access the data. Since all the files are stored on the cloud, you can access them from any location using any device. This feature lets you avoid having to carry around the storage media and risk losing it.
If you own a small or medium-sized company, you could consider opting for the Network-Attached Storage (NAS) system. This form of secure data storage allows the various employees in your company to use the data that is stored on hard drives that include an ethernet port along with Wi-Fi capabilities. You can also add a system of Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAIDs) where any data you save on your hard drive is automatically saved on the backup drive.
Optical Storage Disks
Using Blu-rays or the Ultra Density Optical (UDO) are other alternatives you can consider for saving the data you need. Check out this page on IBM for a complete view of the versatility of this storage option and how you can use it for your company. Choose from options like write-once read-many (WORM) cartridges, Removable Mass Storage (RMS) media, erasable optical cartridges, and various others.
Whatever may be the secure data storage media you use, make sure to dispose of them responsibly once you have no more use for them. This you can do by hiring the services of expert data and device destruction services and safeguarding your company and its operations from the hazards of the world of technology.