External hard drives have been revolutionary when it comes to storing and retrieving data.
They have they increased in capacity while decreasing in size and price, and now offer some very sophisticated solutions to protect your data in case your wallet-sized hard drive gets misplaced or stolen.
When an external hard drive is stolen, you face two different challenges.
The first is ensuring that the data is protected from being easily accessed by the thief. The second is making sure that you do not lose important data or projects that you have backed up to the drive.
Having your data compromised or recent backups or versions lost can be catastrophic for you and your business, so you have to make sure you’re prepared for any trouble that might come your way.
Protecting Your Data and External Hard Drives in the Office
It’s pretty easy to steal an external hard drive, especially when they are stored in plain sight in an office. More traditional security systems and methods can be a great first line of defense to protect you and your company from theft, including:
- Setting up a security checkpoint system at your office that makes it more difficult for non-employees to access the computers and areas that people work.
- Having workers sign people in and out and accompany them while on your property.
- Setting up your external hard drives so that they are not in plain sight on the desk to prevent a casual thief from finding it.
- Carefully monitoring when any employees take a drive home so that if something happens, you can identify a breach immediately.
These steps will help safeguard against potential theft in the office. The next step is to ensure that your data is secure even if someone gets a hold of your external hard drive.
The Importance of Encryption
Encryption is the key to protecting the data on your hard drives. You can choose an encryption program that will make it more difficult for the thief to access the information, and prevent anyone who might find your portable drive from accessing it easily.
Encryption will likely protect you from the common thief who’s looking for the quick buck by selling the hard drive itself.
The one thing that’s changed in recent years is that t’s not about the hardware- it’s the information from your company, music, video and other items on the drive that’s valuable to a cyber-thief now.
The best way to protect yourself is to make sure you have a way to protect your data every time you unplug your drive- and all the potential methods that someone can connect to it.
You can utilize a program that encrypts your drive for you- or to purchase a hard drive that has encryption already built into it. No matter which direction you go, it’s vital to ensure you use a strong password to encrypt your device.
A Strong Password is the ‘Key’
So how do you make your password for your encrypted drive secure?
- Use a password that has at least 12 characters.
- Include special characters (@,$,&), numbers and upper and lower case letters
- Use a secure password generator.
- Avoid information easily found through social media or public information
- The more critical the information you’re trying to protect, the more complex your password should be.
*NOTE- these are just suggestions- keep in mind that this will help prevent things from happening, but no password is full-proof. Use these tips as a guideline, and not an end-all-be-all solution. Think you have an uncrackable password? Use one of these tools to check!
It’s also important to change passwords on your drive on a regular basis- the time frame is really up to you, but the baseline is about every 6 weeks.
Encryption and strong password protection can help preserve the data you have stored on your hard drive. Encryption can help prevent data breaches, but if someone really wants that data, there’s a good chance they’ll get it.
If you want your data to be more secure, you may want to avoid putting your most critical data on external hard drives, and store it on a computer that has tremendous firewalls, no access to the internet, and is in a room that is 100% protected from natural disasters- or you can come up with a solid backup plan that does all of that for you.
Don’t Wait. Have a Backup System Implemented- and Use It!
A good backup system will save the work that you have stored and the information that your business has collected on your external drive. In reality, you should have multiple, redundant backups in place so if one of them is damaged or stolen, you won’t lose your important data.
If you don’t have something for your business but are looking for a solution, we have professionals that can guide you to the service that might work best for you or your business. Record Nations has several options at your disposal:
Online storage of records. This is commonly known as cloud storage or cloud backup.
Your documents can be maintained on our servers to prevent the need to maintain your own server farm.
Good practice for data recovery mandates that you keep a copy of your data in a secondary location.Your data can be backed up on physical media and taken to our media vault or it may be saved using a cloud backup service.
Any of these systems can help protect you and your business from losing hours or days of work on a project. It is important to carefully choose a backup service and storage provider that can help you do this successfully.
Protecting Your Business Goes Beyond Your Data
Protecting your data is just one of the things that you should do to protect your business. Many businesses rely on their data to help keep them ahead of the competition. Whether your data is the latest software designs or sales contact information, it’s important to keep it safe.
Take the proper steps to protect the data that keeps your business operating from day to day. A good back up system will include offsite storage to protect from fire and other disasters. It should also include a redundant system so that you can access the information that you have lost, or that is stolen.
You should also work to protect your customers’ information, and your business data through a strong encryption system. The more sensitive your data, the stronger the system will need to be.
Your reputation as a reliable and secure company can be ruined after a data breach, and protecting your external hard drive is just one way that you can prevent that from happening.
Need A Better Way to Manage Your Files? Record Nations Can Help!
As we continue into the digital age it’s important to maintain a high level of organization and management of your electronic filing system. Letting your electronic files get disorganized runs a risk of losing documents and leaving seams open in your system where hackers can gain access and steal sensitive information.
Record Nations partners with document management, scanning, and records storage service providers across the nation. They use the most up-to-date technologies to help you better manage your files so hackers can’t steal your private information.
Call us today at (866) 385-3706 or fill out the form on the right, and we will get you FREE quotes on services from the best providers in your area. Don’t wait until it’s too late, find out how easy it is to get your records management on the right track.