Data security is crucial at every level of your business

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Data protection must be a concern to all staff no matter what their position in a business.

As businesses look to digitise more and more of their processes, ensuring everyone from boardroom to post room level knows the importance of handling data will be essential in 2012, according to Mark Dampster, associate of the Centre for Cyber Security.

Sharing his thoughts on the sorts of data protection issues that might face companies in the New Year, Mr Dampster said that the problems business owners face is not so much volume of the data the handle, but the type.

"The amount of data we are producing is also increasing at heart-stopping levels. More data does not necessarily make it less secure but the nature of the data – its confidential nature, the location and the context – makes it more attractive to exploit and [provides] a greater opportunity to criminals," he warned.

He also pointed out that cyber criminals appear to be operating ahead of the law and that many business operations are yet to catch up with the level of threat posed by these online cyber attackers.

Companies worried about this or the possibility of a widespread network failure, perhaps caused by an unexpected disaster such as flooding or severe weather, should consider secure online backup as a way of protecting themselves from such problems.

Backing up files is essential for any business, no matter the size, and even paper document storage should not be overlooked.

Dampster believes security awareness should permeate business structure if data security is to be ensured.

"Companies and individuals from the board room to the post room need to have data security at the heart of their considerations as they go about their daily business. Everything we do online, every message we send and every communication we enter into needs to be thought about carefully – particularly if it is new or unexpected

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