Hurricanes, tropical storms, and other natural disasters threaten both the physical and financial assets of businesses. As windows are shuttered and employees take cover, executives are often left to devise a last minute plan to avoid a data security disaster.
Proactive planning before a disaster is the most effective way to limit loss. Just as you would ensure flashlights had fresh batteries and your bottled water supply was intact at home, get your business ready.
Here are some tips for emergency preparedness for your business:
- Take inventory: It’s imperative to know what type and how much personal or sensitive data you have on site. If files are destroyed or lost in a disaster, you’ll know your loss and be prepared to move toward next steps. These next steps might include replacing data stores or alerting clients that their information was lost.
- Consider removal: If disaster is imminent, you may consider evacuating the most sensitive information with you. Electronic storage devices make this far more likely in short time frames versus moving many heavy boxes near a time of disaster.
- Consolidate: From the very entry point of data collection, use careful consideration in determining how much and what information is truly necessary. If there’s not a need to collect birth dates or Social Security numbers, don’t.
- Secure what you leave behind: Store sensitive data in the safest part of the building least likely to be infiltrated by disaster. Consider moving boxes from the floor if water damage is likely.
- Dispose responsibly: As one prepares for a potential disaster, it’s a great time to throw out data or information that is no longer needed. The less data on site, the less to lose. Remember to follow guidelines on properly disposing of sensitive data. These guidelines vary by profession but the Federal Trade Commission has general guidelines.
If you or your business have experienced data loss after a natural disaster, we’d like to hear from you. Connect with us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/securedatarecovery), Twitter (www.twitter.com/securedata), or email me at [email protected].