Why should you care about your business data

Data is everywhere and can move at the speed of light, making it the most valuable resource for many businesses. However, your company data and the devices on which it lives need to be protected and secured to ensure your business safety.

In under 25 years, computer data has gone from something that rarely left the floppy disc or hard drive it was written to, to an almost living entity, updated by a range of roles, accessible by many people, searchable and actionable by a growing number of digital services and capable of moving around the world in a heartbeat. Typical network speeds have moved on from 3.7mbits per second in 2013 to 20.4mbps today and will double to over 40mbps by 2020.

In that time, data has become more valuable than gold, rare earth materials, and through the likes of Bitcoin, even data has grown its own innate value. While the increase in flexibility has created huge benefits including the knowledge economy, distributed businesses and cloud computing.

By the end of the decade, a third of all information will travel online but only 0.5% of all data is ever actually used! There will be over six billion smartphones on the planet and by 2021, Annual global IP traffic will reach 3.3 Zettabytes, driven by video on demand and mobile data, up from 1.4ZB this year.

But, what is data?

All of this information flying around comes in many forms. Some of it is relatively static, such as Word files being passed by email. But more and more data is dynamic like the information from an Internet weather station that changes every few minutes, or the progress of your Amazon order, tracked by GPS in the delivery van.

Photos, video and music files make up a large proportion of all the data flying around the web. Everytime your smartphone takes a photo, they usually head straight to cloud storage. Photos have gone from being 300K in size from the early digital camera models to 8MB or larger in size, and the higher quality HD video flows at around 20 mbps for your Netflix or Amazon viewing.

The Speed Reader’s Guide to Data Growth

Back in the early days of office computing, from the early PCs, data lived solely where you left it. It remained aloof from the world, where your spreadsheet, word processor document or database file was a discrete entity. People came to the computer to see the data, change and update it all within that office.

In around 30 years we’ve moved from 320K to 1.4MB floppy discs, from 20MB hard drives to 5TB hard drives, from 128MB memory cards in 2005 to 128GB and beyond in 2017.

With the rise of networking, the data in those files could be shared among computers in a company, allowing other people to see what was going on without relying on printouts, that rapidly went out of date. Data from multiple stores or businesses could be compiled into larger datasets, helping create more efficient companies. Wireless networks mean that any device can talk to any other, complicating matters further.

With the rise of searchable data, from the likes of Windows Vista and server operating systems, people could find information in files they new nothing about. Keywords help classify documents and enabled a business to understand how much data it had and where it was kept. The information economy evolved from these advances, creating business that focused on the numbers, creating Just-In-Time ordering, delivery, created better schedules and monitored worker efficiency more closely.

The rise of cloud, Internet and mobile data, allows files to be accessed, created and shared with anyone, anywhere. While businesses treat data like gold, people treat it like candy, creating a huge disparity in how an organisation plans to manage data, and how people really feel about it.

The data within a business has a wide footprint, and workers need to be cautious about how they share that information. However, in the mobile era, every month sees a new type of weakness or threat that creates all kinds of risks to the business that users might not know about.

Business and personal data has never been more valuable, which is why it must be guarded like gold by a company. Doing so in the face of easier transport and greater bandwidth is challenging, and with hackers so keen on stealing it, regardless of the company it actually comes from, your IT needs to be up to the job.

Securing Your Data Today

The simplest form of data theft is still someone emailing a document to someone they shouldn’t or leaving files on an unprotected server or cloud storage. Then there’s leaving weaknesses in routers, servers, operating systems or people visiting malware sites that can hijack computers.

Add in servers, cloud services, endpoint management and every business will have its handful managing data, which is why our business can provide complete, custom and professional support to help protect your company and its data.