Most firms accumulate a lot of data during the course of doing business. The ability of the majority of firms to carry out their day-to-day business relies heavily on the data that they hold. Most of that data is now held electronically.
However, not all firms understand the true value of their data and fail to secure it properly. It is only when disaster strikes that these firms understand the true value of their data and wake up to the need to protect it and keep it secure. Any firm who has lost a large chunk of data soon realizes how crippling that can be.
Lost data costs time and money
Take for example losing just a month of accounts data. Working out which suppliers have been paid takes hours or ringing round and manually transcribing details from bank accounts. Generating invoices turns from being an automatic process that takes minutes for one person to set in motion. It becomes a manual process requiring invoices to be typed and mailed rather than sent electronically. If payroll is held on the same system, details such as who has worked and how many hours they have worked can be lost.
Hours are wasted bringing records up to date and dealing with complaints arising from payment delays. Cash flow is adversely affected because it is impossible to raise invoices for customers and work out who needs chasing.
Lost data shatters confidence
Perhaps worse than the loss of money and wasted labor is the impact it has on customer confidence and other relationships. People figure if a firm has allowed their data to be compromised once they could easily end up doing so again in the future. Customers and suppliers are frustrated by delays in their orders being delivered or payment being received. This can put them off doing business with that firm in the future.
Legal ramifications of data loss
Last and by no means least are the legal ramifications of data loss. In the UK, firms are required, by law, to protect all data they hold about other people. If a firm’s customer database is hacked and details are used by thieves and people lose money that firm could be prosecuted and even sued.
Tax laws also require certain data to be kept for several years. Losing it is not acceptable and can result in fines and detailed tax inspections.
Getting data protection right
By far the best approach to data security is to ensure that data is not lost in the first place. It is well worth employing the services of an experienced data firm like www.concise.co.uk.
Simply throwing up a basic firewall, and running off the shelf anti-virus and malware software does not provide adequate protection for most firms. Data theft and cyber attacks are a growing problem and the hackers are getting more and more sophisticated. Every item connected to a network is a potential entry point for an attack. Sophisticated data protection that evolves as a firm grows is necessary. You need to ensure that system protection is kept up to date to stay ahead of the latest attack techniques.