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Corporate Data Security: Tips for Improvement

written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 3/5/2011

Corporate data security is more important than ever as businesses implement a record number of different technologies that often leave them exposed to data loss or security issues. Several tips for improving corporate data security are listed below that can help companies stay on top of IT security.

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    Backup E-mail Files and Folders

    In the fight to avoid data loss, files on local workstations often get overlooked. One of the most important files many workers depend on are the PST files and folders that support Microsoft Outlook. To improve corporate data security, companies should have a plan in place to backup the local e-mail files for every user. This way when hard drives crash or computers get stolen, the valuable e-mail information stores can be easily restored.

    This corporate data security tip will help make sure that employees can continue working even when viruses or hardware failure disable workers. To help make it easier to backup PST files across the entire nation, IT staffers can use custom applications or purchase commercial solutions such as EdgeSafe's PST2PST Backup software.

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    Screenshot provided by writer

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    Implement and Secure Wireless Networks

    Wireless networks represent an opportunity to dramatically increase user productivity and provide IT resources where they need to be located. Some corporate environments may instinctively shy away from wireless technology out of fear for the well-publicized security issues associated with it. Others rush into the technology without taking the time or spending the money to do it right.

    Corporate data security means that users can access the resources they need when and where they need it without exposing the enterprise to external or internal threats that can jeopardize the entire corporation.

    Proper implementation of a wireless network requires strong encryption using enterprise WPA or WPA2 encryption. The number of wireless networks operating with either no encryption or personal-grade (PSK) encryption continues to make businesses around the country vulnerable to attack.

    One more thing: because the modern mobile workforce often accesses corporate data networks via public Wi-Fi access points, businesses should be careful to make secure (SSL) connections that will provide a safe connection between remote users and their host networks.

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    Deploy Encryption

    Encryption should be deployed within the enterprise to prevent unauthorized parties from gaining access to corporate data. Although wireless encryption is important, businesses should also take a look at other elements inside the company, especially removable media.

    Companies that have USB flash drives, secure digital cards and laptop computers in use should make sure that they are encrypted so that their loss or theft will not necessitate harm to the company. Many IT staffers and corporate users may find encryption cumbersome, but in light of the catastrophic damage resulting from the compromise of corporate data, the extra effort will be seen as very worthwhile.

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    Secure Mobile Devices

    Mobile devices like iPhones and iPads complicate the effort to maintain secure business networks. Although many companies let down their guard quickly in order to accommodate the high mobility of their employees, these mobile devices can result in serious issues if they become lost or stolen.

    One of the most serious problems is that in many cases, once a user's name and password are entered into the device to log into resources, the device retains that information, making it easier for users to access data. Unfortunately, it helps people who find or steal these devices peruse corporate data networks at will, resulting in costly data breaches.

    IT personnel must create and follow a strict security policy for mobile devices and allow only those devices that support complete encryption, PINs, and the ability to wipe their data in the event they fall into the wrong hands.

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    Wrap Up

    The corporate data security tips listed here are just a few important things to consider when evaluating business networks. However, with a concerted effort in a relatively few aspects of IT, companies can quickly and easily improve the survivability and integrity of their networks.

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    References

    "EdgeSafe PST2PST Backup - Enterprise PST backup solution", http://www.datamills.com/products/edgesafe-pst2pst-backup

    Fried, Anthony M. "Wireless Technology Risks and Enterprise Security", https://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/5094-Wireless-Technology-Risks-and-Enterprise-Security.html