Your data is critical for your business, and the loss or theft of important data could be disastrous. You need to protect your business files against hackers, thieves, fire, flood, and even accidental deletion. Many businesses are starting to move their data to cloud storage, but whether you have your files in the cloud or on servers in your office, you still face security challenges. Here are some tips on how to store and manage your business

Always have backups

Backups are your best protection against losing important data, and whether you have on-site servers or cloud storage, you still need backups either way. If you have servers in your office, make sure that you have some off-site backups, so that a fire couldn’t destroy both your servers and your backups. If you have cloud storage, check on your provider’s backup provisions to make sure you are adequately covered.

Select a business-grade cloud service

Some cloud storage services are really designed for individual use, and are not robust enough for business use. Investigate providers before you choose one for your company. Make sure that they offer a data loss guarantee to protect you against crash losses. Check their data privacy policies, too. Some companies look at your files, and at other places, technical employees have access to your data. Also check their record of up-time and outages. If there is an outage at a critical time, that could be a real hit to your business.

Control access to files and servers

Who has access to your data? Do you have password protections in place? Important files should be behind a password barrier, and only specific people should have access to that password. Make sure to use a robust password that is long and complex enough that somebody cannot guess it. You also need to change the password occasionally, especially after anybody who knows it leaves the company.

Encrypt your data

Hackers may try to access your systems whether they are stored on local servers or in the cloud. Either way, you should have your data encrypted. Some cloud services will encrypt all of your data before it is even stored on their drives. With other services, you may need to encrypt files yourself before uploading them to the cloud. If you store data at your own location, then you need to ensure your own encryption. The goal is that even if hackers gain access to your files, the encryption system will be strong enough that they will not be able to make use of any files they gain access to.

Keep servers up to date

Your operating system and other key software needs to be updated regularly, whenever a patch is released. These patches are usually intended to plug security holes which have been discovered, so if you delay installing the updates, your server and data are vulnerable to those problems in the meantime. The only way to stay safe is to assign someone to stay on top of installing the patches promptly.

Safety disposal of personal information

Before you get rid of a computer, dispose of all the information it stores. Don’t just delete the files by sending them to the Recycle Bin. Employ a wipe utility program that will overwrite your hard drive. Check for further information on how to properly delete information and don’t forget to save your important data t a new device. Data destruction software removes the information permanently. The process can’t be undone considering that the program makes use of various data sanitization methods to overwrite the information.

Choose your cloud service storage provider carefully

Before choosing a cloud storage provider for your business, read the user agreement carefully. Check that provider’s references, former customers, complaints, and so on. Better yet, call them and ask them information about their services. A competent provider should offer prompt information, meant to convince you that they’re the best.

It’s not that easy to find dependable IT support services, particularly since there are hundreds of providers that claim to be the best. Your company’s safety matters the most, so you are not advised to opt for the cheapest plan either. It’s better to be safe than sorry.