26 May 2020

Data is gold in modern business – how do you secure yours?

Posted in Blogs

Data is gold in modern business – how do you secure yours?

Data has become one of the most valuable resources on the planet, as we discover that those long-ignored ones and zeroes in fact hold amazing insights.

However, as with anything of value, there are people out there who would like to get their hands on your precious data, which means storage and security have become critical parts of any data management strategy.

How can you ensure you are keeping your – and your customers’ – data safe, while also maximising its value to your business?

Know your data

According to the fifth edition of Data Never Sleeps, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day. We are manufacturing data at a rate that’s virtually unimaginable, which means businesses should focus now on the quality, not the quantity, of their data.

Analysts are talking about ‘smart data’, not ‘big data’, and it just might revolutionise business. “Smart data is the subset of that data that will actually apply to your problem – that can be used intelligently in a way that takes you towards a solution,” Dun and Bradstreet Chief Data Scientist Anthony Scriffignano told Tech Republic.

The key, according to Scriffignano, is to identify your business problems and use data to solve them, rather than looking at the data and asking, “What problems does this identify?”

As for using your customers’ data to inform your decisions, it’s important to remember that businesses need to ensure customers’ data is not stolen, misused or disclosed to unauthorised third parties. Smart data matters – but safe data matters more.

Be strategic

One of the first things you need to do to keep data secure is to draft a policy outlining what information you collect, what you use it for and how you protect it.

Protection is obviously critical in an online environment that sees tens of millions of malware encounters per month. Luckily, some of the better office and home PCs these days come with safety and security features baked in.

Take for example the HP EliteBook series, which has hardware-enforced security to help you avoid ransomware, malware and viruses when you’re online thanks to Sure Click1. This feature opens unknown websites and files in isolated compartments within your computer. That way, if they are malware infected, they are simply disposed of before they can infect your device.

The HP EliteBook series also feature Sure Run2, which gives your operating system self-healing protection, acting as a watchdog against unauthorised users gaining access and shoring up your data.

Make Windows 10 part of the solution

While having robust data backup plans is a key part of your IT governance, you also want to make your systems as low maintenance as possible. Spending hours per week ensuring your data is safely stored and secured is not a good strategy.

Using an operating system that has been created with an innate understanding of the crucial role data plays in modern business is a smart move. Windows 10 includes Defender antivirus and firewall as standard, protecting you from malicious websites and downloads, as well as keeping hackers and other nasties at bay.

If you need to conduct your business on the go, Windows 10 has seamless integration with Azure, which allows you to stay online and functioning even during unplanned outages through Site Recovery, as well as back up all your data in one of the safest cloud ecosystems in the world.

With these systems, you can rest easy knowing your data is reliably backed up and securely stored. That’s the key: not just collecting but also keeping your data safe and secure (and smart!). Starting with the right hardware and software will give you a head start, but it’s up to you – and your data backup strategy – to stay ahead of the pack.