How to Reduce the Risk of Losing Important Documents

If you are trying to recover from a severe data loss, you are likely thinking about all of the things you wish you would have done to backup or protect your data. If you have not had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a severe data loss, the following are some tips you can observe now to reduce the risk of losing essential documents.

Plan for the Worst

It is easy to think that data breaches and data loss can’t happen to you. It is recommended that you schedule regular “fire drills” that will allow you to restore information from your data backup. This is not a luxury. It is a must.

reduce losing documents

If you do not currently have a drills system or it is antiquated, now is the time to inform your staff that “no excuse” exercises will begin. The idea of restoring data from a backup seems easy. However, as anyone who has had to do the process in response to an emergency data loss can tell you, many things can go wrong throughout the chain of events required to do a complete backup and restore. However, if you and your team start planning now, you will be able to go through the backup and recovery process without thinking twice when an emergency arises.

Protect Documents by Keeping Computers Safe

Your computers should be in dust-free and dry areas. Computers used for storage should be in low-traffic locations. This minimizes physical damage to the computers.

If you do not back up your data regularly, you will not have anything to restore your data from. Many organizations that handle sensitive data have been able to store and backup their documents using PST file migration. Once the backups are complete, verify the backups by taking the data from the backup, transferring it to another device, and reviewing it to ensure that everything is being backed up.

Generators or backup battery systems are essential in protecting your sensitive documents. A significant power surge can destroy your computers. All it takes is a low-level energy burst to erase the data on your hard drives. A UPS can protect your equipment during electrical and lightning storms. This allows data to be backed up or saved during an outage.

Protect Documents with Antivirus Software

Virus detection programs can protect your data from document stealing viruses. Most people do not think about virus attacks until a major virus is discussed on the news or until they realize that they have already been victimized. Virus data protections are only effective if they are installed on your computer and if they are kept up-to-date.

It is recommended that you install programs that evaluate the condition of your hard drive. A pending problem with your hard drive could lead to you losing gigabytes of sensitive data.

Protect Against Human Error

The number one scenario for data loss is when an employee leaves your organization. Either willingly or unwillingly, employees who leave an organization expose the organization to data risk.

In the United States, the average job tenure for an employee is around four years. This means that your organization will likely have a 24 percent turnover in its workforce annually. Any person who leaves could take sensitive data with them.

It is essential that your organization enact policies that clearly state that all organizational data belongs to your organization and cannot be removed without permission. During the onboarding process, new hires should be required to read and sign binding documents that dictate your organization’s terms for data handling and data ownership.

Additionally, provisioning policies should limit employees’ access to information based on what they need to know. Each employee should only have access to the least amount of data required to carry out their job.

When the time comes to off-board an employee, there should be processes in place to ensure that your organization maintains control of its sensitive data. This includes getting custody of physical items that contain the organization’s data and immediately blocking a terminated employee’s access to organizational systems.

Take Steps to Mitigate Risk

Losing sensitive documents can be financially devastating for your organization and potentially damage its reputation. However, if you take steps to backup your system, protect your computers and network, and enact onboarding and off-boarding policies for employees, you can minimize the risk of losing documents.