Two hands holding a lock shaded in orange with the words, "What Steps Form a Data Protection Plan?" over top.

What Steps Form a Data Protection Plan?

Right now, as a  business leader, you may be worrying about the rising cybersecurity threats, which can be financially devastating and expensive to fix. Not to mention, hacks and data breaches can ruin your company’s reputation and relationships with your existing customers. With a strategic data protection plan in place, you can put your worries to rest. 

When companies start storing critical assets online, vulnerability is inevitable. While you can enhance your productivity and efficiency, digitization also opens up your company to more opportunities for online theft, fraud, and security issues. A recent Adastra Corp report showed that 77% of respondents expect their organization to face a data breach in the next three years. 

There’s good news though! You can boost your cyber resilience by creating a systemic solution for addressing cybersecurity threats. In honour of Data Privacy Week, we will show you how to build your data protection plan for increased safety and peace of mind. 

The Importance of Data Privacy

Digital data plays a huge role in how modern companies operate. With innovations in technology and artificial intelligence, businesses can collect more data than ever before.

As a result, cybersecurity measures are becoming increasingly important to protect both the privacy of a company’s sensitive information and consumer information. If businesses want to protect individual rights while maintaining a competitive edge and financial stability, their leaders must consider data privacy in every aspect, including data management, data collection and storage, and data processing and transfers, 

Data loss can have serious consequences. Without proper accountability to your customers and to the law, your company will likely encounter legal fees and penalties. According to Statistics Canada, Canadian businesses spent more than $600 million in 2021 to clean up the aftermath of cybersecurity attacks.

Yet with a strong focus on data privacy, businesses can actually improve their customer retention and acquisition, leading to more sales and increased revenue.  

Data Protection Strategy

When working with a complex, modernized IT infrastructure, you can ensure that every essential stakeholder feels protected when you take data loss prevention seriously. With a data protection plan, your company will establish a standardized protocol for protecting your critical information while helping your business mitigate risk and avoid mishandling critical information. 

Now, you might wonder, “What are the features and elements associated with a data protection plan?” Let’s walk through each step together. 

1. Identify Mission-Critical Files

To determine how your organization approaches data protection, you must first establish which data is essential to protect, categorizing your data in terms of priority and risk. Your company will probably consider personally identifiable information (PII) as sensitive, which includes phone numbers, addresses, emails, dates of birth, social security numbers, payment details like credit card information or payroll numbers, and health data.

2. Review Regulations

Your data protection plan should ensure that your data strategy complies with regulations and laws around consumer data. Employees must understand the rules around data disclosure and acceptable data usage. When reviewing regulations, ensure you know the rules for every country where your operations are based. If you work internationally, you should consider all laws, not just where your offices are based.

3. Select a Backup Method

Your company needs a backup strategy in your data protection plan. A backup system can help your organization ensure your critical data remains available, and many data privacy regulations require companies to implement a backup strategy.

When choosing the method, you must create a schedule to back up your data often, in alignment with your organization’s priorities. Automating your backup process can also help avoid human error if your employees make a mistake with manual updates.

4. Organize Data for Accessibility

Organizing your company’s critical data can help your organization improve security while also reducing data loss and complying with regulations. Well-organized data means faster and more straightforward data recovery, allowing your business to maintain its operations with minimal damage. You will also be able to more effectively manage who accesses your company’s sensitive data.

5. Determine a Data Restoration Method

To maintain business continuity and enhance data security, your company must establish a process for recovering data in the event of data loss. A data restoration method can help you save money by reducing downtime when you must cease operations after a cyberattack, extreme weather event, or another incident. Various techniques, tools, and software exist to meet your unique business requirements.

6. Document

Every employee must know the ins and outs of their organization’s approach to data protection so they can act in alignment with the company’s protocol and priorities. A formal document will clarify the process and reduce any confusion.

This record should provide instructions on where data is stored, how your company wishes to transfer data, how you use the data, and how long you keep the data. You should also outline the roles and responsibilities of each employee and document employee training requirements. 

The formal document should also describe any limitations, restrictions, or access requirements for various data types, explaining which employees can make decisions about your critical data.

7. Monitor

Once your data protection plan is in place, you must regularly audit your strategy to ensure its efficacy. It is also imperative to proactively address potential data issues by monitoring for concerns and enhancing your threat detection, so you can prevent problems from escalating.

We Can Protect Your Data For You

We take data protection seriously. At PC Corp, we provide various solutions to secure your data through our Managed IT Services. When you partner with us, we regularly execute data backups and performance monitoring, ensuring your system is strong and healthy. We also perform consistent updates and patches to strengthen your infrastructure.

Security is built into all of our services. Connect with us today to boost your data security and create a worry-free relationship with your critical information. 

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