Safeguarding Fixed Asset Data
The increasing digitization of data and information can streamline business processes and improve productivity. Data is now easier to store, retrieve, analyze and transfer. However, these benefits also present risks that need to be managed.
Fixed Asset Pro™
- stores each company database in a single file that can be stored in any local or network folder. Therefore, Fixed Asset Pro does not require an internal backup/restore function to backup and re-assemble all the components that go along with your database. You can backup and restore your Fixed Asset Pro files as you would any other data files on your computer or network.
In addition, Fixed Asset Pro does not install an external database engine. Because the database engine is self contained inside Fixed Asset Pro, there is no potential to cause database conflicts with other programs when either Fixed Asset Pro or the other programs are installed or updated.
Your organization’s electronic data is vulnerable to loss due to hardware failure, misuse, theft or vandalism. However, there are certain precautions you can take to prevent data loss. While this tech brief does not address enterprise and network security issues, it does focus on measures you can implement to safeguard your Fixed Asset Pro data.
Basic Security Measures. . . “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
There are a number of security measures you can implement to keep your fixed asset data safe. Access to fixed asset data and Fixed Asset Pro should be restricted to authorized individuals. The following security measures will help you control access to the data:
- Encrypt your data by setting a password on each Fixed Asset Pro database. To encrypt your data, open a database, select Tools > Set Password and enter a password. You should use a strong password that is 8 characters or more, includes letters and numbers and a combination of upper and lower-case characters.
- In addition to setting passwords on your data, make sure you store your passwords in a secure location where you can retrieve them. MoneySoft cannot retrieve a password for you if you lose or forget it.
- Change passwords on a regular basis, especially following the departure of a person who had password-protected access to the data and program.
- Have your IT person set the Windows file permissions on each of your databases. File-level permissions allow you to control different levels of access to your data for individuals or groups of users. For example, one user may get full control so that they can enter data and make changes while another user may just get read-only permissions so they can generate reports but not change any data.
- Guard your setup file so that unauthorized individuals can’t install Fixed Asset Pro and tamper with the data.
Backup Your Data…Frequently
Make frequent backups of your data. If your data ever becomes corrupted or lost, a backup may be the only way to restore your data. This one simple measure can minimize interruption to your business and avoid the headaches that accompany data loss.
- Store your Fixed Asset Pro databases in a folder that gets backed up automatically and frequently. The default folder for your Fixed Asset Pro data is on your local computer under C:\My Documents\Fixed Asset Pro\Application Data. If this folder doesn’t get backed up, move your .FAP files into a folder that does get backed up on a regular basis.
Contact your network administrator to find out which folders get backed up automatically.
Make redundant, off-site backups. If you only make backups at your local site and there is a disaster such as fire or flood, your data and your backups could be destroyed.
In addition to local backups, store a second copy of your backups on a remote computer or on removable media that you store off site. There are a number of commercial backup services that exist that will automatically make off-site backups for you.
Make Restore Copies
In addition to backing up your data as described above, create restore copies of your data before making wholesale changes. Make a restore copy of your data before doing batches of data entry, importing data or before calculating and rolling forward to a new year. If you need to undo your changes, sometimes the only way is to revert to a restore copy.
- To make a restore copy of your data, open the file in Fixed Asset Pro and then select File > Save As to save your database under a different name.
When saving a restore copy, put the revision date, a revision number or other information in the file name that will identify the file as a restore copy. File names can be up to 256 characters.
Be Proactive: Protect your data now!
Safeguarding your data takes some planning and discipline but can pay dividends by preventing data loss—whether accidental or malicious. Implementing the fundamental security, backup and revision procedures outlined here along with those recommended by your IT officer will go a long way towards keeping your Fixed Asset Pro data safe.
There is an old adage: “Dig your well before you are thirsty.” When it comes to protecting your fixed asset and other critical business data, the best time to take protective measures is BEFORE they are necessary. Think of it as an investment in peace of mind.
Matthew A. Shipley – April, 2012
© 2012 MoneySoft, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.