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How to ensure your digital clutter doesn’t cloud data security practices

How to ensure your digital clutter doesn’t cloud data security practices

The growth of data, and the expectation for it to always be available, combined with a startling number of global cybersecurity breaches have helped refocus efforts around data management. Not having an effective business continuity plan in place to safeguard data from loss, theft, or corruption could see an organisation suffer significant financial and reputational damage.

The 2019 Veeam Cloud Data Management Report highlights that the quest for data availability is putting pressure on decision-makers to rethink their management strategies. Most organisations (73%) admit that they are unable to meet user demand for uninterrupted access to data and services, costing the typical company almost R300 million annually.

Kate Mollett, Regional Manager for Africa at Veeam

Here are five key principles to help businesses understand their data, manage it and improve its protection:

Conduct a data audit

Every business should know what data it holds, where it’s stored, how, and where it came from and who has access to it; especially personal data. They also need to know why they’re holding it and how they came to have it. Organisations have to justify the legal basis behind their data processing activities.

Make sure everyone is aware of its value

Given how much data has become available, companies must not only be able to accurately capture and store it, but they also need to understand the relevance for real business advantage. Just consider how much data is generated by customers on social media, how much data is stored in cloud environments, and the data created by ‘as-a-service’ solutions. Even though the volume of data available today presents management challenges for businesses, there are also incredible opportunities. Decision-makers are recognising the importance of data in both high-level business strategy as well as on the operational side of their business.

Review personal privacy rights

The evolving regulatory environment has had a massive impact on data management strategies. One of the big changes the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) brought about is greater awareness of rights when it comes to personal data. Beyond the right to be forgotten, people are able to access data, or to request it for themselves (in a format they can digest). The complexities around data governance needs to be carefully considered in an age of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) and the GDPR.

Have a plan for data breaches

Under the rules of the GDPR, organisations must report data breaches to the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours of discovery. It is key to make sure you have the right plans in place, which will allow for the detection, reporting and tackling of a data breach, should one happen.

Keep learning

Always leave room for continued improvement. Particularly where the availability, quality and safety of data are concerned; it pays to evolve with the times and to test, trial and adapt to the latest technology.

Businesses that have achieved success in their data management strategies indicate four core attributes – cloud, capabilities, culture and confidence. When it comes to the cloud, over three-quarters (77%) of respondents globally report using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms. Additionally, many are using the cloud for their backup and recovery services, reflecting the business benefits of embracing a multi-cloud approach when it comes to data management.

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