Act Like a Detective to Protect Your Business Data

A businessman in a suit looks through a magnifying glass. I decided to do a bit of my own detective work and discovered that the phrase we most closely associate with detective Sherlock Holmes, “Elementary, my dear Watson,” was not written by author Arthur Conan Doyle, nor does it appear in any of the Sherlock Holmes books. One thing the famous character did say was, “My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people do not know.”

This blog is about things you as a business owner, CEO, or manager may not know or need to be reminded of. To help you protect your clients, staff and your company, we’re going to recommend three characteristics of a good detective so you can use some of Sherlock Holmes’ techniques to protect your business data.

1. Critical thinking and Problem Solving

It is quite common for the leader of an organization to set up their business systems and implement security protocols in the beginning but never reviewing their effectiveness later. A good detective would constantly be in search of any missing or weak links that could cause problems down the road.

By doing a regularly-scheduled review of your organization’s data security procedures, including a physical walk through the building to see where private data can be seen, stolen or lost, will help close the gaps. Here’s what to look for:

  • Is there paperwork left on desks?
  • Are there desktop computers or laptops left logged in and unattended?
  • Are there passwords written on sticky notes?
  • Is private information being properly discarded in a secure shred collection container rather than thrown in the garbage or recycle bin?

This is the kind of critical, “detective” thinking that is vital to safeguarding the private data your business handles. After making a list of any problems you see, share them with your staff and come up with a plan to close these information security gaps.

2. Never Drop Your Guard

A good detective protecting data would consider following these important principles.

Backups Are Your Savior

Despite the fact that it can happen to anyone, losing your data by accidental erasure, an IT crash, or data theft is never a planned event. It happens when you least expect it. However, you can create a recovery plan in case of such a disaster.

Data backup is a crucial means of data protection and business recovery. Backups are even more effective when you follow these guidelines:

  • Back up your data frequently. Better still, implement an automatic and frequent backup system so your data is always ready and waiting for you when you need it.
  • Use the 3-2-1 backup strategy. 3: Keep at least three copies of your data. 2: Store two backup copies on different storage media. 1: Store one copy offsite.
  • Use cloud backup wisely or it may be more costly than necessary. Cloud backup is best for smaller amounts of data, and e-vaulting is best for large amounts of data.
  • Have a disaster recovery plan in place so your backups can be used wisely and efficiently to get your business back up and running in the fastest possible to avoid doing irreparable damage to your business.

Passwords Are Your Protector

Using the same password on multiple accounts is the easiest way to go, and also the best way to have all your accounts hacked at once. You must always stay at least one step ahead of data thieves by creating a complex password for each account that uses a combination of letters, numbers, and characters. Change it frequently to thwart password-cracking software. A good detective is intentional and proactive about outwitting his enemy.

Anti-Malware and Firewalls Are Your Security Guards

These tools let the good in and keep the bad out. By utilizing up-to-date software to protect your data from viruses and attacks, you will protect your data and keep the bad guys out.

3. Follow Your Intuition

A great detective is sharp and has a built-in, always-on intuition. To protect your data, always be wary of emails that ask for sensitive information or don’t seem quite right. Keep your guard up when opening emails or clicking on email links. With practice, your “detective” instincts will instantly raise a red flag when an email doesn’t appear to be legitimate. Who is the sender? Does it seem natural to receive such an email? Are words or URLs spelled correctly? When hovering over a link, does the URL match the site you expected it to link to? Follow the mantra, “Hesitate and investigate.”

By practicing these three characteristics of a good detective, you can better protect your organization’s data and teach your employees to do the same.

Pacific Records provides a full suite of records and information management services to businesses in California’s Central Valley. We protect your information while keeping it accessible to you 24/7/365. For more information about how we can bolster your organization’s information security, give us a call at 800-685-9034 or complete the form on this page. Our friendly data security experts are standing by!

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