How to protect your HR Files (employee records), accounting files and other electronic information…

By: Keith Green, Mastermind Data

How important is your information to your survival in business?

The one thing we need the most in our day to day routines is our information.

Everything we do from emailing to writing estimates, accounting, to employee relations (discipline letters, personal information, payroll, etc.) is performed on a computer and stored on hard drives.  We are connected to the internet and each other in so many ways that to lose that continuous thread is not only time consuming but can be fatal to your business.

So how do we put a disaster plan in place in case all or part of our infrastructure is disrupted?

There are 3 rules to ensure the protection of your business’ information:

  1. Backup
  2. Backup often
  3. Backup Right.

We conducted a survey a couple of years ago with the help of the McMaster School of Business and out of 200 people, 80% weren’t backing up at all,  15% were going to get around to it and the remaining 5% weren’t backing up properly.

So how do you protect your data with the least amount of effort?

Contract your IT supplier and ask the following questions …

  1. Am I backing up my critical information? Docs, Databases, accounting etc.
  2. How often and to what devices?
  3. Is it being removed offsite?
  4. Have you performed a restore lately to see if we are able to get back up and running in a timely manner?


  1. If yes, you need to pick what data is critical and what you can do without.  If no, you need to make it a priority to install a system that is within budget and covers your possible losses.
  2. Check your backup schedules. Make sure you have the latest technology to handle your needs and your best recovery times. Some systems take a long time to recover. Determine how quickly you need to be back up and running. Example: 2 hours, 2 days, 2 weeks from a total melt down of your IT infrastructure.  
  3. If you are transporting your data offsite you need to be aware of several situations that can arise from poor planning and a lack of knowledge.
                    • Tapes are the most common media available to transport off site but they are not encrypted,  can fall into the wrong hands and are very susceptibleto damage, along with hard drives, memory sticks and CDs.
                    • Online Backup services are available over the internet from dozens of websites and provide an easy, fast and convenient way to backup all of your data automatically without the fuss and expense of tapes, hard drives, etc.

You need to keep the following in mind when investigating an online backup service:

  • Where is my information being stored?
  • Ask the address of the data centre and suite number.  If they hesitate and give you the lame excuse that is a secret for security reasons, it is likely they are storing your private information in another country because it’s cheaper and they really aren’t concerned about your information being secure.
  • Your data must be kept in Canada, under our privacy legislation and the backup company must be owned and operated by a Canadian owned company, otherwise it may be stored off shore.
  • Is it secure?
  • Your data must be stored in a PHIPA (Personal Health Information Protection Act) & PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) compliant facility and have 24/7 guard and fire protection along with the most up to-date encryption technology.
  • Trust - is the company local and part of your IT support or business community or did you like their website and they said they were secure?  

4. Make sure you do a routine restore of your backed up information to insure a swift recovery and peace of mind that your data is being backed up right.

I hope this gives you a heads up to the importance of backing up on of your most valuable assets - “your information”.

Mastermind provides global backup solutions that protect your data under Canadian Privacy laws. Designed to provide IT professionals with a comprehensive and complete backup solution for their workplace and customers.

For more information please call:

Keith Green
Mastermind Data Corporation Inc.
Direct line 1.888.628.1882



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