You grab your hot cuppa one morning, plop down in front of your computer and put it on while sipping on your coffee and anticipating your sales targets for the day.
Your computer does not respond, so you try again; nothing. You let out an irritated 'Tsk tsk' and check all the wiring just in case there is a loose connection.
This goes on for almost an hour until you finally realize you are now part of a worst case scenario …
Technical failures, server issues, malicious hijacking and stealing of data and natural disasters can strike at any given moment. To make sure your head is above the water, always do the following to secure your business information:
* Rule # 1- Back Up: This is pretty obvious, and yet many people are too lazy to back up and secure their data even weekly, if not daily. When you are managing your business, make sure updates to your database, accounts, emails and lists, orders, licenses, etc. They backed up as frequently and as regularly as you can. The future is uncertain, and although you may be mighty proud of your business you may well fall flat on your face even if something as minor as downtime affects your sales for the day.
Take your pick from external hard drives, online backup tools as well as programs geared to automatically update your business data every day, such as CA DLP, Acronis True Image, 2BrightSparks, EMC Retrospect and many more. Make sure copies of updated data backups are kept in secure, off-site locations, always.
* Rule # 2- Use Data Encryption: As the head of your business, there is sure to be some information out there that you deem confidential. Sensitive data needs to be encrypted so that it can go undetected by prying eyes and only a select few have the privileges to access it.
The best data encryption tool will serve its purpose only if data in stolen computers / laptops still can not be 'cracked' except by highly skilled individuals. Use encryption tools such as TrueCrypt, T3 Basic Security, DESlock +, PGP and FileLock to render your data truly secure and 'tamperproof'.
* Rule # 3- Build Safe Networks: Any self respecting entrepreneur will make sure that he or she has an individual or team in charge of network security policies which other employees are also expected to follow. Networks that are managed by passwords are still vulnerable to attacks by hackers and those with malicious intent. So ensure that really critical data is backed up, copies of which should be stored in separate locations so you will not become a dead man walking if something ever happens to one location.
* Rule # 4- Ensure and Maintain Wireless Security: Wireless networks can also be vulnerable to attacks from spies, hackers, and basically people with nothing better to do. Building a safe defense for your wireless network should be one of your top priorities, so use tools such as AirMagnet Inc. to encrypt your data from rogue wireless equipment and devices.
* Rule # 5- Use your head: While using your head in itself, you will not do much for securing your business information, doing so with regards to building valuable goldmines of data in other secret locations will help. The most secure business is one which does not have its most sensitive information stored only on networks, external devices and backup programs, but also in storage and safety vaults such as safe deposit boxes.
The latter is less likely to be broken open by thieves or dishonest people in your business and really is the safest bet. Also enforce security policies in your work environment and make sure all employees follow them to the T.
Too much security when it comes to safeguarding your business is never a bad thing. It takes up a lot of time and trouble doing frequent data backups, but it is still better than having you lose everything because of an unseen event.