In 2017, Equifax, one of the leading credit bureaus in America, suffered a massive breach of confidential information. Over 147 million customers had their private and sensitive financial information exposed.
Now, Equifax is facing a massive $650 million settlement cost—the largest settlement ever in a data breach case. If they had made data security a priority, this whole ordeal might have been avoided.
So what is data security, anyway, and why is it such a crucial topic for businesses to understand? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Data Security? A Simple Definition
Data security is a simple concept that covers a variety of complex topics. Put simply, data security is the plan you put in place to keep your digital information—finances, customer data, copyrighted files, etc.—safe from attack. This plan could include:
- Employee education
- Data and file encryption
- Secure on- and off-premise storage
- Data backups and disaster recovery services
- Managed IT services
- Antivirus and firewall software
- Remote network monitoring
Even the most comprehensive data security plan can't keep your business's data 100% safe from harm. But, it will make it much harder for you to lose data due to phishing, malware, hacking, or a natural disaster.
Why Is Data Security Crucial for Businesses?
Remember the Equifax example from earlier? Their data breach was only one of many that happen every day all around the world. In fact, there were 56.4% more breaches in the first quarter of 2019 than in 2018, and the number of confidential records exposed went up by over 28%.
When you don't take data backup, cloud security, and general IT security seriously, you increase your chances of becoming a target. Being careless with security—especially when you only keep one on-premise copy of your files—can leave you one ransomware attack away from losing all your confidential info.
How to Get Started with Data Security
Many small businesses don't have the luxury of an IT department to take care of their security needs. If that's the case for you, don't try to do everything on your own.
Instead, enlist the help of a trained IT services provider that can take care of your data and work within your budget. Talk with them about the types of data you store, how you send information, and the devices you use, and they'll come up with a plan to keep you protected. Then, make sure your team is educated on the best practices for data security to prevent any leaks due to human error.
It's Time to Make Data Security a Priority
Now that we've answered the questions of "what is data security?" and "why is it so important?" it's time to take action. If your business doesn't have a comprehensive security plan in place, your digital information is vulnerable to attack.
At Preactive IT, we care about keeping your data safe. That's why we offer comprehensive security, disaster recovery, and network monitoring solutions without any nickel-and-diming or hidden fine print. Don't wait until it's too late to recover lost data—contact Preactive IT Solutions today.