Keeping your data safe and secure

I guess there aren't many of us that haven’t had that “clammy brow, heart-sinking, call to IT for a file restore” moment. Most of the time, forgetting to hit save or a computer crash resulting in the loss of a few hours work can make for a very frustrating late night.

With so much key data collected and held by organisations, it is important for data teams to protect such a valuable asset on a number of different levels. With internal user error to attempted outside hacks all possibilities, here are Loaded Dice’s top 5 ideas for keeping data safe and secure.

• The timing of data collection varies, with some yearly or even less frequent. Storing multiple files across multiple users in complex file structures, combined with loss of corporate knowledge due to team changes can mean key historic data can’t be found. A centralised data management system with auto-save and back-up can save days of searching for ‘that file’ and months of re-collection when it can’t be found.

• Many organisations run legacy data systems that still do the job they were designed for. As time moves on, however, needs (including security) change. This can lead to bits of data kept in different legacy systems that is manually extracted and collated. By automating data out of legacy systems into a single up-to-date data management system, organisations have the peace of mind that it can be managed better, backed-up and secured.

• Opening up data to the wider organisation has many potential bonuses, and can help develop better corporate strategy, sales and revenues. However, some data is sensitive and using spreadsheets means it is harder to share without sensitive data being secure. Using good data management software means that user permissions can be defined and set, allowing access to only the data needed, securing sensitive data from potential insider data leakage.

• When it comes to backing up data in a non-centralised data store, the same issues can occur as in the first point above. Data management software with robust back-up routines will make it easy to roll-back and reduce time spent searching for or re-collecting data. A good system will have an automated online and offline back-up strategy, meaning data can be quickly re-instated or, if a catastrophic hardware failure occurs, the system can be easily re-built.

• With so many teams needing access to data on the go, or at home, good data management systems will allow online access. Of course, all online systems are vulnerable to hackers and so should be well protected. Using SSL certificates, two-factor authentication and ensuring users regularly generate new complex passwords (eg mixture of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols) will all help to protect against unwanted access.

Above all, by choosing well developed software that has keeping data safe and secure at its heart, and creating an ongoing strategy and security plan with your IT team at the start of the project, you will save time, money and frustration.

Jamie Kirk's picture
About the Author

Jamie is a software engineer and solutions architect with 18 years' experience building software tools and applications across the communications, entertainment and corporate sectors. With a keen eye for detail, he produces powerful yet accessible systems, making users more productive by improving process efficiency. Jamie is responsible for all technical deployment of Loaded Dice projects and leads the Loaded Dice developer team.