Is your sensitive data secure?
What effective techniques are you adopting to data security and privacy?
Have you accounted for requisite parameters for increasingly sophisticated databases’ protection?
A part of these questions is technology, and rest would be resilient and reliable approaches acknowledged for data preservation, they are some data security best practices, and the main agenda for today’s discussion.
In the simplest form, data security is an integrated system of processes and practices that protect the delicate information technology ecosystem incorporating files, databases, accounts and networks.
For an effective data security procedure, a set of controls, applications and techniques are considered to recognize the significance of plenty of datasets and practice the most suitable security measures/controls.
While employing the sensitivity of numerous datasets and corresponding regulatory compliance necessities, data security is among the most critical methods for evaluating threats, transgressions and curtailing the associated risk with data repository and management.
(Must read: What is Cybersecurity?)
Being similar terms, we often get confused in “data security”, “data protection”, and “data privacy” as they all refer to ways to secure data.
Data Security: It refers to the protection of data against unauthorized access or utilization that leads to incorrect exposure, erasure, or corrupted data. For example, data security can use encryption to prevent data from hackers if it is breached.
Data Protection: Either making backups or duplication of data, data protection is the process of protecting data against unauthorized means, or from accidental deletion or loss. For example, an approach for data protection would be creating a backup of data such that if a natural disaster destroyed a server, a user wouldn’t lose concerned data forever.
Data Privacy: In regards with managing data in terms of regulatory concerns, notifications, consent of use, etc, data privacy signifies concerns about how effectively data is handled. For example, obtaining consent to collect data from website visitors through their acceptance over cookies.
However, these terms are interrelated and are effective for data preservation. In the next section, we will discuss their conglomerated impact on maximizing data security and privacy.
Best data security practices
Administrative access and controls are the policies and procedures that users must follow, security policies are certainly acceptable actions. for example,
The degree of risk an authorized asset (say a company) can undertake willingly,
Applying penalties in the case of violation, etc.
In general, an expert who has the utter understanding of board business objectives, anthologized these policies that are applicable to compliance regulations.
In addition to this, supervisory structure is an imperative component of administrative control, for example, a company appoints managers responsible for the attainment of employees' activities, and if an employee infringes an administrative control ( any policy or procedure), the supervisor or manager will be accountable for as well.
In most of the conditions, users are not permitted to copy or compile sensitive data at local drives, instead they should be permissible to manipulate data remotely. Infact, in those cases, the cache of both systems (client and server) should be completely cleaned up once the user logs off, or a session of their use ends up, or encrypted RAM drives could be used.
In particular, sensitive data should not be stockpiled over any kind of portable system, instead all the system should have a login criteria and have introduced the conditions setting to lock if any suspicious or questionable activity takes place.
(Also read: Biggest IoT Security Issues)
We need to set up a powerful endpoint security infrastructure to protect a network from constant threat, it declines the possibilities of data breaches. Following measures can be implemented;
Antivirus Software: A user must ensure to install antivirus software over all servers and workstations. He/she conducts scanning regularly to maintain a good healthy status of the system and extricate ransomware, if any.
Antispyware: Spyware is a kind of software that gets installed on its own, without the user’s knowledge, intended to identify the user's behaviour and personal information. Therefore, installing Antispyware tools are recommended to eliminate or block such spyware.
Pop-up blockers: Pop-ups are basically nonessential programs, continuously running on the system for endangering the well-being of the system, and are of no use. So, installing pop-up blockers are required to keep the system safe.
Firewalls: Firewall acts as a hurdle amid data and cybercriminals, and thus treated as one of the best data security solutions. It is advisable to install internal firewalls for additional protection.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP): These systems ensure that sensitive data doesn’t get deleted, removed, or copied while monitoring the workstations, servers and networks along with supervising who is working and transmitting data to detect unauthorized practice.
Proxy Server: Serving as a negotiator, these systems allow permission requests from clients software that need resources from other servers. In this process, a client connects to a proxy server and requests some services (say a website visit), then the proxy server assesses the request and accordingly accepts or denies it. In most cases, proxy servers are used for traffic filtering and performance enhancement as they can restrict access of sensitive data from the internet.
(Must read: Compliance Testing)
One of the most important practices as data security, backing up the data is the highest requirement of the time that has gained huge relevance in recent years. With the appearance of ransomware, ensuring a complete and accurate backup with thoroughly protected, encrypted and frequently updated data would be a proper attempt.
Consider a condition when data is jeopardized by some virus, deleted by human error, or lost due to hardware failure. In those circumstances, we can restore data without missing a single piece of information only if the cloud based data backup plan is placed on time.
IT industry experts suggest backing up data on a regular basis, almost daily, however, it can also cause an obstruction such that if a virus already exists in data, then backing up could disrupt non corrupt files with corrupted ones.
Moreover, in business operations, a backup provider is accountable for stockpiling and restoring previous files, and preventing a total loss. With proper backup systems in place, a business can recoup data impede swiftly and efficiently.
Educating employees over why data safety matters is the best way to deal with negligence and security mistakes made by them.
A proper training should be provided to educate employees and make them aware of the data usage policies of the company and emphasize that the company takes data security vigorously as well as can actively enforce the policy.
Additionally, with suitable awareness programs, employees should be reeducated and tested regularly to fortify and endorse their awareness.
Security measures are considerable but can’t restrict every action. For example, if employees open each attachment from every email, then possibilities are there of zero-day attack, or any other misconduct that are not listed in antivirus databases could harm the system. Following steps should be accounted for;
Raise awareness about cyber threats the company can face and how they disturb the company’s bottom line,
Elaborate the significance of every computer security measure
Present real-life security based rupture, their impact and consequences and how problematic the recovery process is.
Ask employees to provide feedback for existing security measures system
Encourage employees to render novel ideas over integrated robust security measures with efficient workflow.
Therefore, employees are required to be educated for their responsibilities and best practices for appropriate computer usage.
(Related blog: Cybersecurity’s threats in IoT world)
Several industries have their own explicit and private risks that can’t be monitored through regulatory compliance, so only focusing on compliance and executing standard regulations does not necessarily satisfy the measures to protect sensitive data.
Paying attention to underlying risks an organization faces and how these risks can affect the bottom line can be determined through a specific risk assessment approach for data security.
A risk-based approach enables to exclude undesirable actions/ disagreeable facts, for example;
Forfeiture, failing to adhere to regulations,
Remediation for promising data leaks and breaches,
Losses from misplaced or disorganized data processes, etc.
And allows the company to take up;
Identify and detect where the assets are,
Pinpoint the state of data security the company is in,
Manage Security blueprints accurately, etc.
Using this approach, we can identify fragile points in security management and make adjustments accordingly, and can keep new hacking techniques under surveillance using databases and frameworks. The method also assists in prioritizing security measures and making security strategies effective to serve the bottom line of an organization in accordance with data security.
(Similar read: What is Risk Management?)
Multi-factor identification setting across the major networks and email products is simple to deploy and provides an additional layer of security. Let’s say, using the cell number of employees as a second form of identification, since it is highly unlikely for a crook to have both a pin and a password.
For instance, hackers can have a user's password, but they still need to obtain a second or third factor of authentication such as security pin, fingerprint, voice recognition, or confirmation at mobile phones.
Despite vigorous efforts, an employee can make security mistakes that could compromise data protection, therefore multi-factor identification provides an extra layer of protection before authenticating accounts. In order to shield data as much as possible, it is essential to adopt this method as a top priority.
Though, the risk is real and increasing at every point of time and we need to underpin guard and ensure our data is safe.
(Recommended blog: Security Analytics)
In conjunction with network administrators and security professionals, data protection practices are the esteemed requirements in the 21st century in order to protect our sensitive data along with upgraded security tools and good data policy management. We have seen a good set of data security practices that must be followed vigorously for positive effectiveness.
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