2016 can be either your year for data security or for data theft. Some of that depends on luck. But much of your success or failure in this arena depends upon your preparedness and awareness of how data security is evolving. Security and theft are always stuck in a tug of war, an arms race which motivates both industries (and data theft most certainly is an industry) to alter and evolve their methods, to get a bigger piece of the pie than the other side has. In 2016, there are a lot of subjects which data security people are discussing, and you should be aware of some of them in order to keep you and your data safe.

1)    Data growth rates double every two years. The IDC says that by 2020, there will be more than 44 ZBs of data in the world, ZB being a unit of measure that most people aren’t even familiar with. In this new and expanding frontier, your data will be tied up in certain key areas, which you should understand. Have disaster recovery plans in place for each place your data resides. At the same time, don’t be afraid of letting data reside in the hybrid cloud. In the coming years, hybrid cloud storage of data will be de rigeur for more than 90% of all companies. In making the jump, if you have not already done so, see that disaster recovery guarantees and proven methods are baked into any organization you work with.

2)    Spend time managing your personal and business data, but do it the smart way. A personal data removal service may be sufficient to prevent breaches and leaks, if you are a high- or mid-profile individual within one industry or another. Other data services can be used to find data leaks as soon as they occur, remedying the problems and restoring security to your data. In most situations, leaks can be entirely prevented.

3)    Continue focusing on a business model that works. If you have disaster recovery and business continuation plans enacted, chances are that you will deal with a data breach more effectively than other companies affected by the same security foible. If this is the case, the best defense is a good offense. Don’t become paranoid about security preparedness, if such preparations are outside of your control. Continue creating a business that is relevant and growing, with relation to the industry in which it exists (not the data theft industry which only runs parallel to it). You can’t stop the development of data theft, and one day you probably will lose revenue to it. But by making yourself an indispensable part of your industry, you can make recovery a lot easier somewhere down the road.

Data theft is inevitable on some level. But by insulating yourself properly, and by keeping track of growing industry trends, you can make sure that you won’t fall victim to the full scale difficulties that can emerge when your data is breached and stolen by an individual or organization.