Data protection is a big deal. Your company’s security and your ability to meet compliance requirements are at stake. But data protection is more than just technology. It also involves process, strategy, people, and technology — and all of these components must be working together for effective protection of your business’ most valuable asset: its data.
Data protection is a business issue. It’s not just about the technology, it’s also about people, processes and technology working together as an integrated system. Data protection can be achieved by adopting a S.M.A.R.T approach that takes into account all three elements:
- Sensible – Understand what you have to protect and why it matters;
- Measurable – Identify your risks and how they will impact on your business if they occur;
- Actionable – Take action to reduce risk by implementing controls such as encryption or access control policies
Before you start on a solution, make sure you’ve defined the problem.
The importance of setting goals before you start is something that can’t be overstated. It’s easy to get caught up in what other people want or need from their data protection system–but it’s not about them! You need to set realistic goals for yourself and be ambitious enough so that when we reach those milestones, we feel good about ourselves and our accomplishments.
Make sure that your goal is tangible (you must be able to see it) and measurable (there should be some sort of standard by which success can be measured). Here are some examples: “I will lose 10 pounds within 3 months”; “I’ll increase my bench press max by 20 pounds”; “I will run three miles without stopping by June.”
Data protection is a big deal, and it’s important to your business. But as with any other project, there are steps you need to take to make sure you’re on the right track.
First things first: does your company have the resources and people in place to achieve its data protection objectives? If not, then no matter how good your strategy is, it won’t help much if there isn’t enough time or money in place for implementation.
Second: do you have clear goals in mind? It’s easy when planning out something like this (or any other project) just start listing everything out without having some kind of goal in mind first–but without knowing where we want our business headed or how far along its path toward that destination we’ve come so far, how can anyone know whether or not they’re making progress at all?
Data protection is relevant to your business.
The first step in making the case for data protection is understanding why it matters. You need to be able to articulate what risks are associated with not having a plan in place, as well as how these risks can impact your business and its performance. For example:
- If someone steals customer data or intellectual property, you could lose customers or suffer reputational damage (depending on what was stolen).
- If an employee leaves with sensitive information in hand, they may take that information elsewhere and compete directly against you–which would likely result in lost revenue and market share for you over time.
The time-bound aspect of the S.M.A.R.T. approach requires that you set a specific date by which your goals will be met. This is important because it forces you to look at where your organization stands today and how far away from its goal it is, instead of just focusing on what needs doing in the future. Time-bounding also gives employees something concrete with which they can measure their own performance against, allowing them to identify areas where they could improve their work or collaborate more effectively with others in order to reach those benchmarks faster than expected (or even ahead of schedule).
Data protection extends beyond the technology.
Data protection is not just a technology problem. It’s an organizational process, a culture and mindset, and a responsibility for every employee in your business to take seriously. Data protection starts with you–the owner or leader–and extends to everyone in your company who handles data (which could be everyone).
It’s important that everyone understands that protecting customer information isn’t just “someone else’s job.” Everyone needs to understand what they should do if they come across sensitive personal data while working on projects or handling customer requests. They also need to know how important it is for them not only not share or store this information on their own devices but also how much effort goes into keeping this kind of information secure online when using cloud services like Gmail or Google Drive..
Data protection is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It requires careful planning and the right tools to protect your business from cyber threats. Data protection needs to be tailored to meet your business needs, so make sure you ask yourself these questions before getting started: