One of the most important pieces of server security software available is data protection software. The goal of data protection software is exactly that: to protect data. Keep in mind that this is different than data backup software. Though both types of software protect data, they have different purposes.
For example, backup software protects data by making a copy of it and keeping it safe by storing it elsewhere. Should something happen to the original version, you could restore your data by accessing the backup. This ensures that your business can continue to function despite a catastrophic event that damaged or destroyed your data.
In contrast, data protection software doesn't create a duplicate copy of your data for safekeeping; it protects your data from falling into the wrong hands. This form of server security software uses encryption to scramble the contents of files, folders, or even entire hard disks, so that unauthorized users cannot read the data. Data software requires a "key" to unscramble the encrypted data. If you don't have that key, all you'll see is gibberish.
Who Needs Data Protection Software?
Just as all businesses should protect their data by backing it up, all businesses should also protect their data by encrypting it. After all, all businesses have sensitive data that they wouldn't want others to intercept. For example, imagine a small business with just one computer and five employees. That computer likely has employee information such as name, Social Security number, and pay rate. It also likely has customer information, confidential business information, and more.
What if an unscrupulous employee was planning on leaving the company? What if she copied all of your customer account information onto a USB thumb drive? What's stopping her? What if the bookkeeper needed to email employee data to an offsite accountant and an identity thieve intercepted it during transmission thereby gaining access to the Social Security numbers of business's employees? Without data protection software, these individuals could easily access confidential data. With data protection software, they will only see gibberish.
While it makes sense for even the smallest of businesses to protect their data with server security tools, many businesses are required to do so by government regulations. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires health care providers and other "covered entities" to protect sensitive patient health information. While HIPAA's Security and Privacy Rules do not necessarily spell out which data protection software a covered entity must use, they do require covered entities to protect certain types of information.
In general, any business that has confidential information that it wants or is mandated to protect should use data protection software. Some server security software can encrypt data as well as block USB ports so that unauthorized file copying cannot take place. If you want authorized users to be able to take files on the go using USB drives or mobile devices, you can authorize specific users or devices as well as ensure that any files copied to those devices is first encrypted. This ensures that if the device is lost or stolen, the data is protected. Encryption can be extended to email messages as well.
This ensures that if the device is lost or stolen, the data is protected. Encryption can be extended to email messages as well. Daniel Gail is the author of this article on the need for data protection software. He informs his readers on how crucial it's for a business to keep their data secure with network security products. In his free time he enjoys graphic design and writing books.