If confidential information isn’t handled correctly, it can be used by cyber criminals to commit theft and fraud and disrupt business activities. Confidential information includes anything from bank account details and addresses to CCTV footage.

In creative industries, such as film production or literature publishing, if IT systems are breached and data is taken, work might be leaked before official release and pirated. This can mean lost revenue, so good data management is just as relevant for a recording studio as a financial services company.

Research and development work, if lost or stolen, might cause your business significant disruption, or to lose its competitive edge in the market and miss out on sales.

Key actions for keeping your own and your customers’ data safe

  • Back up all data essential to running your business on a regular basis. Consider using an automated system to do this, but don’t rely upon it completely.
  • Have more than one server/ back-up drive, keep them in different locations so if one is damaged or destroyed, you’ll still be able to access the data.
  • Consider using a trusted cloud service to back up your data (in addition to physical back-ups). Check the security precautions your chosen cloud service provider uses.
  • Monitor and maintain electronic equipment and portable devices holding customer data to prevent data corruption or incompatibility.
  • Protect equipment against physical risks, such as power surges, water damage, fire and theft.
  • Wipe all data off electronic equipment before donating/ recycling/ disposing of it and consider using a workplace services provider to dispose of confidential papers and data.
  • Have a retention and destruction policy in place, so confidential information is kept only for as long as is absolutely necessary.
  • Review data protection measures on a regular basis, and make sure they’re looked at more closely for the General Data Protection Regulation.
  • Read through and act on our advice about cyber threats for further guidance on protecting the data you own and hold.

Templates for issues related to data management

Display screen equipment

Assessment checklist

Guards and safety devices

Inspection form

Fire risk assessment

Assessment form

Fire risk checklist

Additional resources

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to some common queries about securing property, vehicles and stock, and protecting people against potential threats.