Imagine yourself sleeping soundly at night because you know you have done all the right things to secure your business data. The most common mistake made by businesses about data security is to look for security tools (and get overwhelmed by how much is available out there), without first thinking about the data to protect and developing a clear plan.

Effective data security requires 4 steps:

1. UNDERSTAND: You need to know what types of data are stored and used in your business. More often than not, you’ll be surprised to find data you did not know you had (or did not think you kept). You have to differentiate between data (e.g. list of clients, financial information) and data containers, i.e. the tools that store or process the data (e.g. Excel, QuickBooks). Moreover, because data can flow between through different processes, people, and tools in your business, an important goal of this step is develop an understanding of your data flows. It is not enough to protect static data. Data security entails the protection of data flows as well.

2. PRIORITIZE: Once you have a clear view of your data and data flows, you need to rank them by how critical they are for your business. This means how essential it is for business operations, or how confidential it is (even if it is not critical for operations). It is not possible to protect everything equally. Data security entails trade-offs between security (how safe the data is), price (how much the security costs), and convenience (how hard/easy it is to access the data). Effective data security should be tailored to the different criticality levels of your data. Maximum protection should be used for the most sensitive and critical data. This includes data that is critical for your business operations (e.g. list of clients, bank statements), data that can be exploited by others (e.g. SSN), and confidential from others (clients, employees) that you store on your systems.

It is not possible to protect everything equally. Data security entails trade-offs between security (how safe the data is), price (how much the security costs), and convenience (how hard/easy it is to access the data). Effective data security should be tailored to the different criticality levels of your data.

3. ORGANIZE: Data organization is very often overlooked and yet it is essential for data security. Your data and the tools processing it should be structured in such a way as to avoid duplicating data entry (and creating data inconsistencies). You shouldn’t distribute your data in too many places, whether that’s hardware or software, internal or external. Don’t give out your data easily to third-party providers. You need to keep track not only of the data you have, but also of your data that you give out to others. Data organization enables you to track the data you have and where it is.

4. PROTECT: After you have understood what data you have, prioritized it based on criticality for you business, and have a clear data organization structure, only then does it make sense to look at the various security tools available, select the most suitable ones for your business and data, and implement them. Your security system must strike the right balance between data protection, data availability, and data integrity. The best approach is to get the help of experts with deep security knowledge whoo can help you defined and implement the best security system for your business.

Data security is a core pillar of Blu Sphinx. When you get a Blu Sphinx ERP, our experts will help you at every step of the way to ensure the best data security for your business.