The modern workplace is constantly evolving. And now, more and more distributed teams, including developers and researchers, are collaborating even when they’re based in different countries. Digital innovations have empowered organizations to hire the best talent regardless of where they are in the world. This gives way to higher quality of work and better productivity.
But this new look of the professional landscape also comes with challenges, including safeguarding data. If you’re one of the many organizations that have adopted a distributed and remote work setup, you know all too well how crucial protecting personal data is in ensuring efficient business operations.Why Safeguard Personal Data?
Here are some of the top reasons why you should protect your organization’s and your customers’ data:
- Protect Proprietary Information
If your company is developing new software or stores valuable intellectual property, you may be at risk if you don’t safeguard data. To protect both your hard work and competitive edge, you must put data security measures in place.
- Avoid Financial Implications
When scammers and hackers attack you, you don’t just lose data. You lose time and resources as well. It can be more expensive to have reactive measures to secure your data than to invest in more proactive ones.
Your business may also undergo downtime to find and secure the breaches. This means you’ll need to shell out finances for additional hours worked and potentially lose business opportunities due to temporary closures.
Countries have varying versions of data protection laws and regulations to ensure the safety of consumers’ personal information. It’s essential to know and abide by the specific data privacy regulations in your regions to avoid legal issues.
- Maintain Reputation and Customer Trust
Cyberattacks and data breaches can cause considerable damage to your company’s reputation. Customers are more likely to entrust their personal and sensitive information to businesses committed to protecting them. If you want to keep your reputation and customers’ trust intact, you need to be a business that can promise to handle personal data responsibly.Data Security: Key Things to Consider
Securing physical devices and systems storing and processing data should be part of every data security strategy. Make sure that access to servers and data centers is restricted to authorized personnel. One way to do this is by having biometric authentication and surveillance systems.
For legacy devices or old equipment that is no longer in use, users must ensure all data and software are securely wiped or destroyed. This can help avoid data leakage as anyone can access such devices and scan for sensitive information.
Just because everyone is collaborating on different projects, it doesn’t mean that access to data should be open to all users. Companies need to grant employees only the appropriate access levels based on their job responsibilities. For an extra layer of security, employees must access sensitive data and software through a secure connection or virtual private network (VPN).
- Regular Data Retention and Deletion
It’s important to only retain the data your business needs to operate. Anything outside of that should be securely disposed of. You need clear data retention and deletion policies, which will help ensure you only store the minimum amount of personal data necessary for your business. With this minimalist approach, you can reduce the data you need to protect and the risks associated with storing sensitive information.
Employees play a big role in the success or failure of your data security strategy. For example, if developers use insecure coding practices, they can make your organization highly vulnerable to threats.
To ensure your employees help protect the data you handle, they need the right training. You need to educate them about data protection best practices, security protocols, and potential risks associated with distributed work.
- Partner with the Right Vendors
If you plan to collaborate with third-party vendors, it’s essential to ensure they are as committed as you to protecting sensitive data. Don’t forget to include data protection and security clauses in contracts with vendors to hold them accountable for safeguarding personal data.
- Continuous Monitoring and Routine Audits
Your strategy should always include continuous monitoring and regular audits. This way, you can keep your security systems up-to-date. It can also ensure that you regularly check for security gaps and address them accordingly. Regular security audits can also help you ensure you’re compliant with legal regulations.Conclusion
Poor data security measures can negatively impact your business in multiple ways. Some effects may be indirect but still damage you and your company. You must implement solid data security measures across your organization to safeguard your data, keep your customer’s trust, and avoid costly business interruptions.
A comprehensive data security strategy should have a multi-faceted approach. It’s not enough to install the latest data protection software. Organizations must equip employees by providing the necessary training and resources, continuously reviewing and monitoring data security practices, and partnering with vendors committed to safeguarding sensitive data. By having a holistic approach, you have a better chance of ensuring continuous international collaboration and avoiding data breaches.