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How valuable is your data?

I think it’s fair to say that most businesses lock their doors at night to make sure that thieves can’t just walk in and take what they want. Many also have alarm systems and some of these link to CC TVs and even security companies that can be at the premises in minutes.

Most companies also have a number of insurance policies in place to pay out if equipment is stolen or if their premises are damaged, say through fire or flood.

In general, this is all seen as sensible and in the case of some insurance policies it’s viewed as so important that it’s a legal requirement.

To me this seems fairly ironic as all this protection and risk management is not protecting the most valuable asset… the company’s data!

Provided a business has insurance to cover the cost of replacing equipment and machinery it can immediately purchase replacements and carry on operating. It can set up temporary premises and, in time find new permanent ones. It won’t be easy but business will go on.

The same cannot be said when data is permanently lost or corrupted. If a business loses its data; the information about its customers, suppliers, financial transactions, stock holding, orders, prospects, etc, it could be catastrophic. Most company data cannot be replaced and is essential to run the business.

Even if the data isn’t permanently lost, the lack of access to this for even a day could lose a company thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds.

So why do so many company’s treat their data as if it has no value?

I don’t really have an answer but I think it must be that historically we are used to placing value on physical things.

In our new digital age every company needs to seriously consider how they could operate without any of their data and therefore what value they place on this.

Once they have a realistic value of the data then perhaps they will take the necessary security and data backup precautions that we IT support companies constantly shout about.

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