As a business owner, you have a lot of important files and documents. Tax returns, employee records, customer data—the list goes on and on. You must keep these files safe and secure, both physically and digitally. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
Keep Physical Copies in a Locked Filing Cabinet or Safe
In the digital age, physical copies are still important to data security. Printed files and documents are harder to hack and easier to keep track of. However, they are still vulnerable to physical theft. To protect your physical documents:
- Keep them in a locked filing cabinet or safe. This will ensure that only authorized personnel can access these files.
- Place cabinets and be safe where they can’t be easily seen or accessed by unauthorized people.
- Make sure you keep these items in a place with limited public access.
Secure Digital Documents on a Cloud-Based Storage System
Many businesses are now using cloud-based storage systems to store their digital documents. These systems allow you to store and access data from anywhere worldwide while keeping them secure and backed up regularly. A cloud-based storage system allows you to set up different user accounts for those who need access to the files.
You can also limit the user’s access level—determining their rights to create, read, update or delete documents. This is great if you work remotely and need to share files with colleagues. Remember to use encryption technology to ensure that only authorized personnel can access your documents. Finally, ensure you use two-factor authentication to reduce the chances of an unauthorized user gaining access.
Invest in Archive Storage
Archive storage systems are designed to store data securely for a long period. These systems will keep your documents secure and organized and allow you to access them easily when needed. Some of the advantages of using archive storage systems are the following:
- Reduced cost: Data is often stored on media that is lower in performance but higher in capacity. This has benefits like lower associated costs.
- Better backup and restore performance: By archiving data, you are essentially removing it from backups, reducing the size, and making restoring unnecessary files much easier.
- Prevention of data loss: Data loss prevention and increased security are two benefits of archiving. Respectively, this is because modifying data becomes more difficult, and the chances of a cyberattack or malware infection are reduced when documents are removed from circulation.
- Regulatory compliance: With built-in policies, you can determine how long records are kept, and indexing makes it easier to search through data.
Invest in Automated Backup Solutions
Securely backing up sensitive documents is essential for any business. With an automated backup solution, you can regularly back up files, folders, and systems without needing to be there yourself. This way, you can ensure that your business data is always current. Automated backups also simplify the backup process, making it easier for you to quickly recover any lost or corrupted files in the event of a disaster like a fire or a flood.
Ensure Secure Disposal of Documents
Businesses should also ensure that they securely dispose of any data they no longer need. This includes destroying physical documents and deleting digital data. Physically disposing of documents requires that you shred the material into small, unreadable pieces to ensure they cannot be retrieved. When securely disposing of digital data, you must use a secure deletion tool that overwrites the information multiple times so that it is unrecoverable. This ensures that the data cannot be retrieved, even with advanced recovery software.
Use a Password Manager to Protect Online Accounts
If you store any business files online—which you should—it’s critical that you use a password manager to protect your accounts. A password manager will generate strong passwords for you and store them securely, so you don’t have to remember them yourself. Password manager tools let you create different passwords for each account and will alert you if any of your accounts have been compromised. You also can share passwords with other users in a secure environment without them having to remember the password.
Password managers are ideal for businesses with multiple users, allowing you to revoke access with a single click. They will also keep track of password changes, so your accounts stay secure. Finally, ensure that you use two-factor authentication for all online accounts—especially those with sensitive information. This extra layer of security adds a barrier. It makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your accounts.
Businesses must take the necessary steps to protect their physical and digital documents. By combining these solutions, you can ensure that your data remains secure and accessible when needed. Implementing these measures will help you keep your business data safe and secure, so you can focus on what’s important—running your business.