8 Ways Your Business Can Protect and Manage Its Data

Over the last two decades, several companies have faced the problem of hackers accessing their data. Every company needs to explore the different options available to them for managing their master data. Informatica reports master data management is a process where a single file is created recording the data needed for every department in a business to use. Every business in the digital age needs to have an efficient way of updating and protecting the data of clients, employees, and their partners. The data held by a company is as important as the products and services they sell, which means protecting data should be a high priority.

1. Decide What Information is Needed

A problem faced by companies around the world is the holding of too much information. Businesses from all industrial sectors have been guilty of overloading their system with information. Businessreports the problems of data management include the collection of too much information, putting clients at risk in the event of a hack. The collection of information is vital to every modern business, with only important information stored for the long-term.

2. Use a VPN

Large and small businesses are concerned about the passage of information over the internet. Customers trust a company to use their information wisely when it is transmitted via an internet connection. The movement of information has always made both parties vulnerable to attack by hackers. A Virtual Private Network, VPN, is a way to provide an extra layer of protection to the link between business and customers. A VPN provides an extra layer of protection through the hiding of the IP address. Hackers target a specific IP address to access data files and hold a company to ransom. The use of a VPN helps a company, and its clients feel comfortable when completing a transaction. 

3. Keep an Information Record

Who has access to the information a business holds? Sadly, many companies do not know who is accessing their data files throughout each workday. Keeping an accurate record of the information held by a company is one step, the second being tracking who has access to each device. The use of mobile devices, laptops, and desktop computers makes it important an accurate inventory is stored listing all the available devices and those accessing them. 

4. Clean Master Data Files

The term, Cleaning, is one that can confuse members of a business team. Cleaning information is an important part of Master Data Management, with the term meaning the standardizing of information across files. MDM processes require phone numbers to be stored in a standard way to avoid confusion in the future. Other MDM requirements include missing information being researched and stored to make all records as complete as possible. For example, the data held by a business will often miss zip codes and lead to problems when searching for these records. 

5. Avoid Duplicates

Duplicate information is a difficult part of the MDM process, with the same information often held by a company across two records. Duplicate information can be eliminated with a search option that uses multiple information fields, including:

  • Name
  • Social security number
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Products purchased

Limiting duplicate information can lower the cost of storing files with Cloud-based services and speed up the process of searching for information. 

6. Don’t Forget Physical Files

One of the areas business leaders forget about in the digital age is that of the physical files held by a company. Physical files are still important to a business and need to be stored securely. The theft of a physical file can do just as much damage as a cyberattack, meaning every file should be locked away and access limited. 

7. Use Secure Encryption Methods

Northeastern University reports there are a few ways to protect the information a company holds about its clients and employees. There are times when information needs to be passed via the internet using a secure connection. Encryption is the safest way of securing the information, with a padlock seen on the address bar of a web browser.

8. Internal Controls are Needed

Limiting the number of access employees has to stored information is another step to securing MDM access. The issue of handling a data breach is made difficult when employees have access to information that is not important to their work. Developing internal controls is important to protecting a company from data breaches instigated by an employee. 

The emergence of MDM policies should include a policy dedicated to handling the problem of a data breach. Each company will need to appoint a team of experts who will handle any potential data breach before it becomes a problem. By being prepared for the problems associated with a data breach, MDM will be an important part of the life of a business.

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