Is your Data Security too strong?

IS YOUR DATA SECURITY TOO STRONG?

 

PHILIP RIDING – Senior Partner at accountancy firm Barlow Andrews – warns that you must be able to recover your data in the event that a key member of staff is no longer around.

 

Over the past few years, businesses have understandably become ever more aware of the need to safeguard their electronic data. For many companies, the ability to continue trading could be severely affected if they could not access their data held on computers – either on their premises or in the cloud.

 

Almost every aspect of a business can now be recorded in electronic format and this trend is expected to continue as companies pursue paperless systems. Accountancy, personnel, customer details, online sales, correspondence, product design and so on, are all held in electronic format.

 

The physical location of storage devices is obviously important. But perhaps more critical in this day and age is security in the form of passwords and access rights. Users are encouraged to choose robust passwords and to change them regularly. This is good practice, but the key question for all businesses is …. “could you access all the files you need in the event of a tragic accident or death of a key employee?”. Just how exposed is your business to key individuals having sole access to important files? Or online services vital to the success of your business?

 

We would encourage all businesses to carry out a review of their policies towards data protection and encryption and to consider some way of maintaining a central register. Alternatively, you need a way of being able to access all data and programs in the event of the loss or sudden absence of a key employee.

 

Unfortunately, this article has been prompted by the experiences of a client who lost a key member of staff in a tragic non-work-related accident and the lack of knowledge of their passwords has caused considerable disruption to their business.