Data is one of the most valuable assets of a company, only more emphasized in the digital age of business. However, like most valuable assets, it also receives a lot of threats, making it necessary to handle it with care. When data gets mishandled, businesses can face several consequences, including:
A study by IBM found that companies that suffer a data breach can face an average cost of $3.8 million. This cost can include the price of hiring a forensic investigator, notifying customers of the breach, and repairing damage to the company’s reputation.
If customer data gets mishandled, businesses can face lawsuits from customers seeking compensation for their damages. Government agencies can sometimes make companies pay hefty fines for violating data protection laws.
Loss of competitive advantage
Mishandled data can give competitors an edge over your business, as they may have access to the information you have not adequately secured. It could lead to a decline in market share or even bankruptcy.
Increased IT costs
When data gets mishandled, businesses often need to invest in additional security measures to protect their information. It can be costly and time-consuming.
Decreased employee productivity
In some cases, employees may need to spend time cleaning up after a data breach or working on security measures instead of completing everyday tasks. It can lead to a decline in productivity and overall business efficiency.
As a result, businesses must learn how to handle data appropriately. Here are a few tips on how to manage data correctly.
Provide Safe Storage
The first step in data management is to provide a safe place to store it. Data should be stored in a secure location only accessible to authorized personnel. It is also essential to have a backup plan in case the primary storage location gets breached.
There are many ways to go about storing data. One option is to use an on-premises data center. This asset is a physical location where data is stored and managed. The benefits of using an on-premises data center include increased security and control. However, it can be expensive to set up and maintain.
Another option for storing data is to use a cloud-based solution. This type of storage provides flexibility and scalability. It can also be less expensive than on-premises data centers. However, choosing a reputable cloud provider with solid security measures is essential.
Archive storage solutions should also be part of a company’s plan when some data are valuable over time but not frequently accessed. Tapes and optical disks can provide an inexpensive way to store this data.
Ensure Data Quality
It is essential to ensure that the stored data is accurate and up-to-date. When information is stale, it can lead to bad decision-making. There are many ways to keep data quality high. One way is to have a process for regularly cleaning and de-duplicating data, which should happen at a scheduled routine to avoid work disruption. Another way is to use data profiling techniques. This strategy helps identify patterns and errors in data.
Data quality becomes even more critical when dealing with big data sets. Big data often contains many unstructured data that can be difficult to clean and manage. As a result, businesses must be extra careful when dealing with big data to ensure that the information is high quality.
Implement Access Control
It is essential to have a system to control who has access to stored data. Only authorized personnel should be able to view, edit, or delete information. There are many ways to control access. One way is to use role-based access control. This access control type assigns users permissions based on their role in the company. Another way to control access is by using identity and access management solutions. These solutions provide a central location for managing user identities and permissions.
Access control is also possible at the storage level. You can do this by encrypting data or using access control lists.
Once you have a system to control who has access to stored data, it is essential to monitor activity. This helps to ensure that only authorized personnel are accessing and manipulating information. Data activity monitoring can be done in many ways. One way is to use application-level logging. This type of logging tracks all activity within an application. Another way to monitor activity is by using system-level logging, which tracks all actions on a system, including user login and file access data.
Businesses must also have a process in place for dealing with suspicious activity. This includes identifying unusual activity, investigating the movement, and taking appropriate action.
Data management is critical for businesses of all sizes. Mishandling data can lead to many problems, including decreased productivity, poor decision-making, and loss of customer trust. By following the tips above, businesses can ensure that they handle data correctly.