How to audit your business data to ensure it is secure

Those in top level management positions would tell you how important data security is to them, but how much do they really know about it?

The protection of personal information is a growing concern for consumers. To ensure your continued success it’s important to ensure your business uses data responsibly, have enough security in place, and perform an audit of your security and processes regularly to highlight any weaknesses.

business data audit

Below we’ll look at the things a business should do to audit business data to ensure it remains secure.

Why you should audit your business data

With sixty five percent of the population scared about financial or personal details being stolen, the loss of trust caused by a data breach can be irreparable. Performing a security audit greatly reduces the likelihood of this ever happening. A full audit is a comprehensive process that covers every aspect of how your data is stored and used within the company.

While a data breach or phishing e-mail may pose a security risk, employees can also be a source of vulnerability. With cybercrime being a major concern for such a high percentage of the population, showing you take it seriously isn’t just recommended, it’s essential. If you doubt the importance, then look at this infographic from USB Makers that shows the results of a recent study. Some of the insights will surprise you.

What is looked at during the audit?

This type of audit is usually very comprehensive. Data is rapidly becoming a big asset to companies, it’s the new oil of the digital world. This level of importance warrants scrutiny. When an audit is being performed the flow of data in and out of your company, as well as within your company, will be closely monitored and mapped out. This allows the auditors to highlight any potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

They will look closely at the hardware, programs and processes you use to secure your data. Once they have a full picture of every aspect of data handling within your company, they can start laying out the improvements needed to close any gaps in your system, improve security, and greatly reduce the risk of data being stolen, lost, or misused.

It’s not just about the digital processes

As programs and processes grow more secure, the weakest link in the chain is often the human user. A full audit will often look at the people using the data, and make sure they have sufficient knowledge, ability, and training to handle their role. If any fall short they may suggest specific training to enhance their ability or perform on site training to correct the situation and give you and your employee peace of mind.

There are processes everyone can use

While a lot of the work carried out in a security audit is very targeted, there are also many general recommendations that might be relevant to your entire workforce. For example, only sixty percent of business users that use a USB to store or move data bother to password protect their USBs. GDPR has helped to improve the situation in some areas, with seventeen percent of companies appointing a data protection officer since it was implemented. Forty percent of companies also performed a data security audit because of GDPR. This is encouraging, but both stats are below half of all companies, which is less encouraging. Don’t take chances with your data security. It’s never a problem until it’s too late.