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How to shed excess data and get in top security shape in 2023

Rich Atkinson
January 18, 2023
A piece of paper that says "New Years Resolutions" with a pen underneath it.

From the moment a company is born it starts adding to its digital mass in the form of data. For many companies that exists in the form of customer data. That data is added to every day, and in many cases, is simply forgotten about as it accumulates in hard-to-reach places.

With staff and leadership turnovers, many companies will have forgotten what data was accumulated in the first place or why it was gathered. Which means many companies don’t know what data they are holding onto, or if they need it anymore.

As Australians turn their attention to getting back into shape after the holiday period comes to a close, businesses should also be taking the same opportunity to take a good look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves what unwanted data they can take the opportunity to shed to make themselves a more attractive proposition for customers and clients.

With the recent and long overdue amendment to the Privacy Act dramatically increasing the fines which can be levied against businesses, businesses simply can’t afford to fall foul of the law.

So, to help, here’s Airteam’s guide to getting back in top data security shape in 2023 and why it’s so important.

Dormancy data deep-dive

You won’t be able to gauge the damaging potential of a data breach until you know exactly what data your business is holding onto and where it’s stored. That means carefully combing through everywhere within your systems where data might be lying dormant.

No data should be kept indefinitely, and the longer it’s held onto past it’s use-by date, the more poses an unnecessary risk.

Don’t go it alone

When it comes to identifying areas for improvement, sometimes it takes someone else to tell us what we can’t see ourselves. That’s just as true when it comes to IT systems.

A third party brought in to conduct a data audit and a Penetration Test is likely to be far more effective at identifying weaknesses than a review conducted in-house.

Make New Year’s resolutions last

Audits and discoveries are important for identifying areas for immediate attention, but developing processes for regular reviews is what will keep your business data fit throughout the whole year.

To do this, appoint a Security Program Manager and make them accountable for keeping on top of updates and policy when it comes to data gathering and purging.

Avoid shortcuts and quick fixes

It can be tempting to opt for off-the-shelf products that claim to make your business a model of data security overnight, but what looks good on one company might be totally the wrong fit for another and its data handling needs.

Instead, find a partner that will work with you to sculpt the right solution for you and your customers.

Put your trust in the experts

Knowing if your business is in the best shape it can be doesn’t need to be a guessing game.

There are standards out there, such as ISO 27001 and ISO 9001, which Airteam subscribes to that remove the unknowns from data security and create a standard for every business to aspire to.

2022 marked the end of Australian businesses being able to go on accumulating unhealthy amounts of data, while putting off crucial security health and wellbeing to some indeterminate date in the future.

As Australian businesses emerge from their seasonal slumber, January represents the perfect opportunity get in great data security shape.

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