Data protection requirements are quickly changing as new technology and threats emerge.

Tackling future data protection challenges

Stephen Perkins

Data protection and information security have experienced monumental changes over the past two decades. Today, businesses must go the extra mile to backup sensitive data and ensure that it's readily recoverable in any situation.

The future of data protection
While new challenges in information security must be continuously addressed, future trends and threats have hurled data protection to the forefront of most IT security agendas. Mobile technology, cloud migration and digital documents are just some of the changes that have greatly impacted the way companies think about data backup, recovery and overall protection.

In the past, most confidential business information was stored on paper, which could be easily secured and destroyed when it was no longer needed. However, electronic documents have changed how organizations not only store information, but also the ways in which they protect it in a completely digitized environment.

In fact, a recent bill introduced earlier this year, "Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2013," has taken into account recent developments threatening data protection policies from emerging cyberthreats to government data mining. The bill, if it becomes law, will require organizations that acquire, maintain, store or utilize personal information to protect and secure this data.

"The scope of information security will continue to change dramatically in the coming years and more than ever, businesses of all sizes will need to examine their policies and determine how to best protect their sensitive and confidential information," said Shred-it CEO Vince De Palma, according to a recent press release. "Without a forward thinking data protection plan, businesses leave themselves vulnerable."

As data protection requirements evolve, businesses must implement long-term plans that meet legal and compliance regulations in all industries. Protecting a company's most essential assets – mission-critical information, brand reputation and trust – will become paramount in the coming years.

Trends affecting information security
Several trends that have already taken hold will drive the demand for greater safeguards. especially for small- and medium-sized businesses that lack the same IT expertise and capabilities as large enterprises with in-house IT staff.

A growing number of companies are migrating to online and cloud-based backups to secure important information. While leading data backup vendors can offer automated backups, the most important factors are the security processes in place that prevent the risks of data loss. Mobile technology and a rapidly expanding remote workforce have led to the proliferation of work-related files, not to mention the countless devices that now store digital documents.

Data loss can come in various forms, and it's important that businesses identify these areas to help mitigate the risks. Prevention is always the most effective approach to data protection, and developing a strategic, long-term and integrated plan that addresses all potential threats and is backed with robust solutions will position businesses to better deal with future problems.

Deploying effective security protocols by undertaking risk assessments and enacting mobile device policies for employees that bring their tablets, smartphones or laptops can significantly reduce internal and external threats to data protection. Ultimately, creating a culture of security and ensuring there is general awareness of lingering threats will lead to more well-informed workers.

Categories: Cloud Backup, Data Compliance, Data Management, Data Protection, Disaster Recovery, Online Backup, Server Backup