cybersecurity

Disasters can strike anywhere at any time. And the recent Equifax security breach, along with other examples, has shown that vigilance on data security must remain at the forefront of every staffing firm’s agenda.

Data continuity is the lifeblood for staffing and recruiting. From applications to interview notes, onboarding to training, payroll to taxes – it’s data that ensures the right candidate is placed with the right client at the right time.

Any threat to data, whether it’s a natural disaster or a spillage of personally identifiable information can absolutely cripple a business.

So, just like you would prepare to protect your home from any worst-case scenario or your identity from theft, are you prepared to do the same for your business?

The Department of Homeland Security via Ready.gov offers a process to Emergency Response Planning, but it’s not a stretch to apply some of these same steps to data management.

1. Review performance objectives for the program.

In this case, you are trying to keep your data safe and secure, while likely not overspending on the program.

2. Review hazard or threat scenarios identified during the risk assessment.

The two greatest threats to data storage are physical damage to the device where the data is stored or a security breach. Think about where your data is stored and consider if it has adequate physical protection from fire, flooding, or even falling trees. And, just like physical security, consider whether you have adequate digital firewall protection from a potential breach.

3. Assess the availability and capabilities of resources for incident stabilization including people, systems, and equipment available within your business and from external sources.

Should there be an incident, do you know who you will turn to for support and recovery? Do you have multiple systems or backup programs? Who on your team is responsible for responding? Do you have a point of contact and contact information readily available for all involved?

When it comes to data, it is often a good idea to not only keep a backup in the same location, but also consider cloud computing in a location far enough away from your operations so that it also will not be affected by a potential disaster.

4. Determine if there are any applicable regulations pertaining to data management and address applicable regulations in the plan.

In this case, it is best to consult your attorney and ensure that you are doing everything in compliance with federal, state and local law.

5. Train personnel so they can fulfill their roles and responsibilities and facilitate exercises to practice your plan.

Practice makes perfect and running an occasional drill or even talk-through of “what if” scenarios will go a long way to ensuring that if a loss of data occurs, your business will be able to mitigate the trouble and recover much more quickly.

While business capabilities have vastly improved due to the speed and efficiency of data access, remaining cognizant on the threats to data and protecting data have also become increasingly important. Having a plan and practicing that plan will put your mind at ease.

To consider your data plan and to plan for other contingencies, visit Ready.gov.

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