What is data security?
Data security refers to the tools and techniques used to protect data from theft and unauthorized access as well as making sure that it remains accessible to those who need it, and does not become corrupted or compromised. Effective data security protects the company’s data not just from outside intrusion but from the accidents, mistakes and deliberate malfeasance of those who have access to it.
What is needed to highly secure a system?
Putting your data security into practice is one of the best ways to determine whether you are prepared. Run a vulnerability assessment and consider what certain events would do to your business continuity. How fast can you recover from a hard drive malfunction on a crucial system? Could you recover all of your data if a system is struck by ransomware? Are your employees trained in good cybersecurity practices, and in your tools and processes for data security?
Identify areas of weakness, and then build frameworks and acquire tools that can improve those areas. Create a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, build data loss prevention processes and implement cybersecurity initiatives to build your data resiliency. Put a backup rotation scheme into place. Acquire a cloud backup provider and talk with the vendor about how they can support your data security.
What are the obstacles to data security and how do I overcome them?
Data breaches and cyberattacks: Top of mind for anyone thinking about cybersecurity is the prospect of a cyber attack or data breach. Harden your systems with appropriate and up to date cybersecurity software, and keep rotating backups of your data using a 3-2-1 backup scheme that includes both a cloud component and offline backups to create multiple options for recovery.
Unauthorized access and human error: Knowledge of these kinds of scenarios has been greatly increasing, and human error and unauthorized access of data, malicious or not, by company employees should be taken as seriously as outside intrusion. Social engineering and bad password practices have accounted for several high profile data breaches that have cost companies the trust of their clients and created heightened scrutiny. Train your employees in good security practices and put into place strict access controls, ensuring that data is only in the hands of employees who truly need it, and that it does not remain with employees once their tasks are completed.
Best Practices for data security
Vulnerability assessments: Identify weaknesses in your organization’s systems and processes so you know what needs to be addressed and how.
Purchase cybersecurity software: Endpoint monitoring and protection tools as well as data backup and recovery can help you detect threats and recover.
Create a disaster recovery plan for your data: Identify crucial systems and data and take steps to secure them as well as keeping consistent data backups.
Diversify your data backups: Use the 3-2-1 backup rule, look into a cloud backup solution, and set up a backup rotation scheme for any offline backups that you keep. Having more sources of backup for your data is always better.
Use data encryption: Make sure any data stored on your servers is encrypted and use encrypted communication protocols like HTTPS to serve your websites and web services. This makes it less likely that in the event of an intrusion an attacker will have access to readily usable data than if you keep unsecured files.
Employ the principle of least privilege: When determining who should have access to data in your organization, always consider whether they need that data to do their jobs effectively. Nobody should have access to unnecessary amounts of data for their job, for example, a marketing employee working with financial systems or an HR employee having access to customer data.
Schedule routine security training: Drill your employees at a reasonable interval on cybersecurity, data access, and company policy to ensure that everyone in the organization is cognizant of best practices and gets opportunities to refresh and test their knowledge. Build a pool of security expertise within your organization.
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