Your clients’ company data is under attack. Company sensitive data is lost, stolen or exposed. Cyber security breaches happen every day but more often, the data walks out the door on a laptop, a mobile device or USB stick. According to a Ponemon Institute report , 7% of all corporate laptops will be lost or stolen sometime during their useful life. The rapid adoption of mobile devices with large storage capacities and Internet access is opening up even more channels for data loss or theft. So, a total data protection plan that protects sensitive, proprietary, and personally identifiable information must be a top priority for MSPs.
Data Loss Prevention Starts at the Endpoint
We live in a Bring Your Own Device world; therefore, any data protection solution must start at the device. Preventing data loss at the endpoint begins with monitoring and regulating through company data security policies; from how employees use and transfer sensitive data via email, IM, printing, and USB drives; to controlling how users send, access, and print sensitive data at the endpoint -- physical or virtual, through applications, and onto storage devices. Controlling data access at the device level is also important for another reason: to stop confidential data loss due to virus infections, and file-sharing applications that hijack employee credentials.
Data that is stored on a hard disk or a solid-state drive can be a target of cyber-attack. The device that contains the sensitive company data might be stolen, or the data might be accessed remotely. Of course, you use cyber security methods to protect your data, however encrypting the data provides an extra protection level by preventing an attacker from reading the stolen files. Keep in mind that data encryption is only effective as long as the attacker is not able to hijack employee credentials that were used to protect the data in the first place.
Data and server configuration backup are no-brainers. This is the core of your data backup solution. In your MSP marketing, you advocate that this is key to limiting server downtime to hours, not days or weeks. Backup is also the best defense against ransomware and many other threats. However, the EMC Global Data Protection Index 2016 survey highlights a new development: hackers are now going after the backup data. So, you will need a separate solution to protect the data backup safety net.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Data protection is at the heart of your disaster recovery and business continuity plans. This is the final level of protection. So, when a server dies, or a laptop or mobile device, with critical data, is stolen or lost, your business continuity plan helps keep your business running until a new image of the lost or stolen device can be created. This protection level includes integrated, automated replication to the cloud to ensure that your data and your network configurations are always protected.
Only a total data protection plan -- with multiple levels of protection -- can keep cyber threats, and data loss and exposure at bay. It must start at the device level and end with vital company data encrypted and secured in the cloud. Only then will you be able to create a safe IT environment for your clients.
About the Author
Dan Clarke is the Vice President of Marketing, Business Development, and Web Services of Hilltop Consultants, a company providing DC IT Support and managed IT services in Washington DC. With over 18 years of experience in marketing strategy, communications, sales/business development, and web/digital/creative strategy, design and development, Dan has also built and spearheaded the marketing divisions of corporations that include a national Managed IT Services Provider and international civil rights law firm.
Alongside his role in overseeing all aspects of the company’s marketing & business development strategy and execution, Dan also uses his depth of experience, creativity, and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking as a Virtual CIO (vCIO), web developer and digital strategist. His team’s relentless energy, tenacity and service delivery helps provide their clients with powerful insights, platforms and solutions that can help take their businesses to the next level and beyond, making Hilltop one of the best IT Consultants in Washington DC.