How to protect sensitive data when moving an office

Information is a business’s most valuable possession. During an office move, anything can happen. This is why it is important to protect all sensitive data. This means backing up important documents, understanding how the relocation will work and talking to the office about making a chain of custody and command during this process. A detailed plan and attention to protecting such information ensures that the office move will happen without any issues.

Chain of Custody Plan

First, it is important to identify who will have access to the sensitive data. This means that an office understands who is in charge of protecting the information during the move. It is important to assign who will back up the data, who will handle the packing and loading of both the computer and backed up files, and who is handling any associated tasks. If the chain of custody is broken or breached, then an office understands when, which helps them identify the status of the data.

Back Up the Data

It is important to back up the data in a number of secure locations. One can do this in a separate off-site location as well as on simple items like USB flash drives. Only designated staff should be backing up the data, and there should be documentation of the location of all of the protected data. It is important that passwords are unique to each backed up location. Regular back-ups are important even if relocation isn’t happening. Before relocation, an office needs to ensure that the most updated versions of sensitive data have been saved.

Meet with Staff

An office meeting ensures that all staff member understand the importance of relocation and keeping data safe. This ensures people will be on high alert and will make sure that data leakage does not happen. Assigning roles, explaining relocation, and discussing the chain of custody and back-up strategy ensures everyone is on the same page. Security is best when everyone understands the necessary protocols and the importance of the company data.

Inspect the Hardware

Before the move, it is important to inspect all computers and important pieces of hardware. This ensures that an office manager can identify if damage has occurred during the move. Everything from desktop computers to routers should be inspected not just for noises and flashing lights but also for error logs. If there is an IT department on-site, it is best to have the professionals inspect all technology before the relocation.

Double- and Triple-Check Everything

Detail oriented managers will double- and triple-check security measures before moving. This means making sure that all important data like personal client information, databases, accounting data, and other sensitive information is backed up. Additionally, it ensures that hardware is inspected and that security measures like a chain of custody have been put into place. It is important that information is stored in more than one location.

Test Back Up Options

It is not enough to copy and back-up key files. Instead, it is important to also test the data recovery. This ensures that all of the information is properly saved and easy to access if there is some issue during the move. These tests should not only check that data can be accessed but that it is complete and restored from the most recent point.

Be Smart when Packing

It is wise to pack systems and data in separate boxes and vehicles. This ensures that if a breach or accident happens that the office is protected. If everything is together and then lost or damaged, the office will have to replace both hardware and data.

Many things can affect data during an office move. For example, temperature shifts can harm computers and storage devices and items can be dropped or damaged during the move. Additionally, theft can happen too. This is why smart business owners or office managers will develop a plan to protect all sensitive data during a move. This ensures that relocation occurs without any issues. Even if a computer is broken or damaged, the information on it will be stored or backed up elsewhere. It’s always better to plan for the worst case scenario than have to deal with severe data loss.

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