While the NFT market has its ups and downs, the steady rise of the content market, online entertainment, and digital native businesses have made it clear that digital assets are becoming increasingly valuable. And the security detail for digital assets is the Digital Asset Manager. How does he prevent data loss? By implementing a DAM strategy.
A Digital Asset Management (or DAM) strategy is a collection of best practices that prevent valuable online data from getting wiped. It involves a backup and data protection flow that safeguards against cybersecurity threats and hardware failure.
But before we get into the nuances and the needs of each practice, let's address what DAM is and why it is needed. This will help you separate it from things like backup and cybersecurity.
What is Digital Asset Management?
Digital Asset Management is the practice of organizing, storing, and protecting digital assets. Digital assets can refer to photos and videos of products, confidential files, and marketing assets.
Ultimately, the specific assets vary based on the company and the market it serves, but the overlying principles of organizing and protecting data remain the same.
9 Best Practices to Prevent Data Loss with Digital Asset Management
To prevent data loss, you must ensure that your digital assets are backed up and that your backups are up to date. More importantly, you need to ensure that your files are accessible, so they aren't lost in the clutter.
After all, what good is an asset that you have but cannot find?
This section will explore the best practices that can help you prevent data loss as a digital asset owner or manager.
1. Audit your Content regularly
Philosophically, the most important dictum has always been to know thyself. Well, when it comes to data, the dictum is to know thy data.
By regularly auditing your content, you will know not just what you have but also what you lack. Regular content audits are required to ensure your digital assets are in place. This way, you can avoid the sudden panic that ensues when an asset is needed but cannot be found.
2. Have Automatic Backups
Automatic backups are non-negotiable in digital asset management. If you have a digital asset worth managing, you have a digital asset worth protecting. And you cannot rely on manual backups to protect your data. Fortunately, many automatic backup solutions can help. But before looking for an automated backup solution, you need to decide what your data needs are.
If your total business data does not exceed 2000 GBs and you do not want to get a DAM software but want to use manual workflows to implement your DAM strategy, you can use a cloud program. But if you're going to use a DAM software, you should not buy cloud storage yet. Most DAM programs come with their own cloud storage and backup.
3. Have a Generalized and Localized DAM Strategy
Your digital asset management strategy must be two-pronged: There should be one strategy that is implemented on a company-wide scale. And then, there should be one that each employee within the business implements.
The former is related to the backup side of the DAM, while the latter is related to accessing and storing data on the physical side. The employees must follow the data storage, file-saving, and modification practices you provide. In return, you should ensure that the files remain protected and preserved.
4. Have Hardware and Cloud Backups
When it comes to protecting data, many asset managers assume that the term refers to online backups only.
A digital backup is simply an online data transfer to hardware storage elsewhere. A physical backup is an exercise in doing the same thing without the internet. A physical backup helps ensure a quick recovery and can be an insurance policy against the digital backup failing or becoming inaccessible.
Maintaining up-to-date physical backups is more complicated because they are often triggered manually. That is why physical duplicates do not eliminate the need for an online backup solution.
5. Pick the most Accessible Management Solution
Accessibility is one of the most often cited reasons for suboptimal backup practices. Most companies that use physical backup solutions often miss data because the IT expert was too busy to store files on the backup drive. Even when the files are on the actual shared drive, people can have difficulty accessing them.
The backup solution and the data management options need to be accessible to the least IT-smart person on your team. You have to pick the program that is the most novice-friendly. And if you can't, then create a beginner-friendly system.
Pro tip: Never select or design a system based on what you know about digital assets and technology. Instead, build around the end-users.
6. Create a Workflow that is easy to Navigate
You can also create a legend against which file names can be cross-referenced. Terms like “DCIM” can be explained to those using the program. Even Google needs a sitemap, so there's no reason not to have one for your data.
7. Organize assets by Team and Users
When organizing digital assets, you must have the end user in mind. That means creating folders and navigation experiences based on teams and individuals that will be accessing the data. You can employ shortcuts and folders on a windows operating system to create a navigation experience.
Alternatively, you can use a DAM program and build folders in it with file names indicating department relevance.
There are instances when two departments, like PR and advertising teams, need to access the same files. In that case, folder names have to identify the assets, and accessibility must only be restricted to certain people.
8. Have a Cleanup Session on a Predictable Schedule
You must realize that no matter how ideal a system is, it will break down because of human nature. The human element of cybersecurity must be factored into your process. And the more you incorporate the human element in the experience, the less you need to worry about the system breaking down.
One action item that should be a part of your Digital Asset Management process is personal cleanup.
Schedule a file cleanup once a month. Guide the employees to clean up poorly-named files and save files stored in irrelevant folders weekly. When you and the company's employees work individually on cleaning up mistakes made in a hurry, you can minimize data loss.
9. Get Serious about Cybersecurity
With asset management out of the way, let's talk about asset protection. Popular backup facilities like Apple's and Google's clouds get much hacker attention. You need to password-protect your data with an encryption service so that there are three layers of defense against any breach.
Firstly, implement a two-step verification system to prevent password theft from becoming a hall pass into your digital asset repository. Then there should be password strength that holds its security value.
Finally, the data within the folders should be encoded or password-protected so a hacker cannot use it.
Digital Asset Management is important, and aside from storing data, it should include organizing it in an accessible, damage-proof, and secure way. To do this, you need a DAM solution that is DAM good.