Digital transformation is transforming every aspect of how organizations compete and operate today. This radical change is reshaping how enterprises produce, store, and manipulate an ever-increasing amount of data — emphasizing the need to ensure data governance.
Computing environments are also more sophisticated than they used to be, frequently encompassing the public cloud, the enterprise data center, and a variety of edge devices — including remote servers and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. This complexity increases the attack surface, making it more difficult to monitor and secure.
A lack of data protection, global pandemic effects, and increased attack complexity has allowed for a significant rise in compromised and hacked data that is increasingly common in the workplace. In fact, an external attacker may breach the network perimeter of an organization and access local network resources 93% of the time.
It's a good thing, however, that the sensitivity of distinct data sets and the accompanying regulatory compliance requirements are considered by adequate data security.
Data Security Is More Important Than Ever
During the pandemic, more customers also became remote customers as more workers became remote workers. As a result, keeping an online environment secure has increased in significance for companies.
When supply chain and labor concerns are already making business difficult, such interruptions can make things even more difficult. Consequently, a cyberattack can harm a company's reputation with clients and business partners, resulting in lost revenue and posing a risk of data loss.
In fact, according to the 2022 data breach report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach has increased to a record high of $4.4 million.
This highlights the importance of protecting confidential information, for which businesses and organizations must be a significant responsibility.
Four Data Security Practices Your Organization Should Implement
A recent study indicated that most businesses have weak cybersecurity procedures, leaving them open to data loss. Although data security isn't the be-all, end-all of cybersecurity defences — like perimeter and file security, to mention a couple — it is still one of several essential techniques for assessing dangers and lowering the risk involved in managing and storing data.
Fortunately, practical methods and strategies have been created to prevent poor data security practices. Here are four of the best data security practices you should know about.
1. Implement Access Controls
Access controls are crucial to data security because they regulate who has access to and uses business data and resources. Access control rules ensure users have the proper access to corporate data and are who they say they are through authentication and authorization.
They are essentially the selective limiting of data access. Authentication and authorization are two important parts of access control. There can be no data security without authentication and authorization.
Access control reduces the possibility of unapproved users entering logical and physical systems and jeopardizing security. It is an essential part of security compliance programs, as it ensures that access control policies and security technology are in place to protect sensitive data, such as customer information.
2. Utilize Endpoint Security Tools to Safeguard Your Data
Endpoints on your network are continuously in danger. As a result, you must have a robust endpoint security infrastructure to reduce the likelihood of potential data breaches. Start by putting the following strategies into practice:
- Antivirus software: Ensure it is set up on all workstations and servers. Run routine scans to keep your system healthy and detect any infestations, such as ransomware.
- Anti-spyware software: Spyware is a type of harmful computer software frequently installed without the user's awareness. You can remove or block those with the aid of anti-spyware and anti-adware software.
- Firewalls: These operate as a barrier between your data and fraudsters, which is why most experts consider them among the best data protection practices. Internal firewalls are another option for enhancing security.
3. Employ Data Encryption
One of the most fundamental data security best practices is encryption, which is frequently disregarded despite its importance. Data encryption protects digital data confidentiality while it is stored on computers and sent over the Internet or other networks. These algorithms ensure confidentiality and support key security initiatives such as authentication, integrity, non-repudiation, and authenticity.
4. Develop a Risk-Based Security Strategy
Pay close attention to the minor things, such as the hazards your business may encounter and how they might damage employee and customer data. Here, a thorough risk assessment is necessary. The following are some actions that risk assessment enables you to take:
- Determine the kind and location of your assets.
- Determine the cybersecurity condition you are in.
- Maintain an accurate security approach.
Using a risk-based approach, you can adhere to regulations and safeguard your company from potential leaks and breaches.
Safeguard Your Organization's Data and Protect Your Business in the Future
Although it frequently appears on the agenda of executive committee meetings, given the escalating concerns posed by the pandemic, strengthening data security must require additional attention. Businesses should be proactive in addressing the threats and develop strategies for preventing successful cyberattacks — rather than reacting when they are already happening. Even though recovery measures exist, prevention is always better than a cure.
This pandemic has shown us that minimizing the hazards associated with cyberattacks requires careful planning and stronger data security practices. The proper procedures, such as implementing access controls and data encryption, must be used in conjunction with the appropriate security software to avoid the magnitude of a data breach and the hidden costs that come with it.
There are numerous strategies to lessen the possibility and effects of a cyberattack, but doing so takes careful planning and targeted action. Businesses must improve the creation and implementation of security measures and make remote working methods resistant to cyberattacks. Start by following these data security practices so that you will be better equipped to handle the rising number of cyber threats, and protect your company in the future.
The article "4 Data Security Best Practices You Should Know" is written by Ben Herzberg.