How to Adopt a Consistent Data Protection Process for Mobile Work Force

More and more, business is being conducted outside of a traditional office, greatly increasing the risk for critical company data to be exposed or lost. Companies need to safeguard the information on their laptops as data continues to grow exponentially. It has become crucial for companies to ensure that laptops are fully protected in the case of loss, theft or damage. To do so, companies need to adopt a consistent data protection process for all company data. Here, Knowledge Center contributor David Asher explains how to implement a data protection process that ensures business continuity in the face of a growing mobile work force.

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By the end of 2011, the number of worldwide mobile workers will reach 1 billion, including nearly 75 percent of the workforce in the United States. The portable computer market in the United States will also double, from 30 million units sold in 2007 to 61.1 million in 2012. With more business being conducted outside of a traditional office, the risk for data to be exposed or lost has increased. In addition, a hard drive crashes every 15 seconds and 2,000 laptops are stolen or lost daily. Given these statistics, it's worrisome that a third of companies fail to test their tape backups, and of those that do, more than 75 percent have found tape backup failures.

Companies are also facing increasing challenges protecting their data-whether it is distributed or centralized-as information continues to grow exponentially. By 2010, digital data will reach zetabyte sizes (that's a number with 20 zeros). Additionally, company information is increasingly being regulated at both the state and federal levels, and can be called upon at a moment's notice. Companies need to identify their high-risk records such as personal data, customer data, intellectual property, proprietary information and trade secrets, and manage them for compliance, regulatory or risk purposes.

On average, companies lose 2.1 percent of their market value within two days of a breach, which means an average of a $1.65 billion loss in market capitalization per incident. Data drives business. Whether it's intellectual property, human resources files, financial statements, customer data or even vendor information, data is the one thing that keeps business moving at a staggering pace. If company data is destroyed, lost or stolen, business continuity can be severely compromised.

It is critical for company executives to do everything in their power to ensure that their businesses can recover from any data disaster as quickly as possible-and with as little disruption to the business as possible. It has become essential for a company to implement a consistent data protection process that protects centralized, and equally as important, distributed data as business is increasingly conducted in non-traditional locations.