Data security is of key importance in today’s business world due to the growing threats from hackers. Fortunately, there are a number of methods you can employ to protect your data, ranging from easy-to-implement strategies to the more robust and harder-to-implement kind.
Common Data Security Strategies
There are three main strategies for data security. These include physical measures, software measures, and administrative measures.
The easiest but most costly method of securing your data is to keep it physically secure. This means keeping your disks, laptop or other storage devices locked in a safe when you are not using them, and keeping the keys to your safe secure. If you have this much money at hand to spend on securing data, then by all means build a bunker for it.
You can also keep your data secure by using software to encrypt your data and employing firewalls to stop people from accessing your systems. This can be accomplished by using secure file transfer protocols such as SFTP, SSH, SCP and HTTPS.
Lastly, administrative measures related to security involve limiting access only to authorized users and keeping a proper inventory of what is in use and why. This is important because you need to know what’s at risk and who has access to it.
Easy Data Security Strategies To Implement
When we refer to a strategy being easy with regards to dealing with data security issues, we mean that you don’t really have to put much effort into the implementation. They don’t require any major system overhauls.
The first method is encryption of your data. Data can be encrypted through software or by using physical disks which automatically encrypt the data stored on them at all times. This prevents anyone who doesn’t have proper authorization from accessing the information stored on these disks, even if they manage to steal them.
The second method is to keep data off of your workstations and encrypt them before you store them onto a server where they can be accessed by anyone who logs into that server. You have to set up user accounts for each person who needs access to the server and create a separate account for each application they will be using on the server. This way, it will be impossible for someone with access to the same username and password as another person to gain unauthorized access to that user’s data.
You can also employ a third method by regularly backing up your systems so you have a backup copy of all your data in the event that your system gets hacked and becomes compromised. This way, you can restore all your data from the backup and get back to work.
Of course, these methods go hand in hand with careful management of accounts and software permissions. All users should be assigned an individual password for their account, and only authorized personnel should be able to log into servers and workstations. You should also keep track of who is doing what on which computer, so if there are any discrepancies in the data security system you can act accordingly.
Intermediate-Level Data Security Strategies
Intermediate business data security strategies include having a data loss prevention (DLP) system in place. DLP systems provide organizations with the ability to monitor and control how data is used, transferred, shared, or disposed of when an organization no longer needs it. They use encryption and other security methods to keep information safe and secure in unauthorized hands. The main advantage of DLP solutions is that they can provide organizations with the ability to monitor all unstructured data leaving a corporate network. The biggest disadvantage of DLP tools is that they can cause significant performance problems on networks, especially if they are not configured properly.
Above that, companies need to have an incident response team in place. If a breach occurs, the incident response team should be notified immediately. The faster they are notified, the faster they can stop the breach. Companies should also have secure business continuity plans in case of an emergency, such as fire or flood. The business continuity plan should consist of a backup and recovery strategy, as well as formalized processes for employees to follow in the event of an emergency.
Hard Data Security Strategies to Implement
At the final stage, companies need to have a breach response plan in place. The plan should include an emergency meeting point and contact list with the appropriate people who need to be informed of the incident, as well as an action plan for responding to and recovering from the incident. All employees and stakeholders should be familiarized with their role in handling security incidents.
Companies should also have a security testing tool that will be used periodically to test changes in the environment and assess ongoing risk levels. These tools also allow companies to monitor all information and alert them of any issues detected, such as unauthorized access attempts and malware infections on systems.
The first step is always to make sure you back up your data, so if your company does fall victim to a data breach you can recover all of your information. Here are some tips:
- Don’t use the cloud storage provided by the software developers because there is no way for them to help in that situation and they may even delete your account and files in order to prevent further problems.
- Ensure that your computers are using the most up-to-date software and antivirus protection so you minimize any chance of having an unpatched vulnerability exploited.
- Use strong passwords to access systems and always update them regularly. If possible, change your password every month or two because this will lower the chances of hackers getting into your system. And make sure no one else has access to your administrator password.
- If you can, use a token or a USB drive for two-factor authentication when making financial transactions online. This will add another layer of protection and make it even harder for hackers to get into your accounts because the information isn’t the same as other logins.
- If you maintain systems, always update them before hackers find the vulnerabilities that they are looking for. You don’t want to stay at the same risk level forever when it’s easy to change and update your security configuration.
- Make sure all devices (laptop, tablet, and phone) are using current anti-malware protection, as well as automatic updates, to ensure they are protected against any new vulnerabilities that may arise.
- Train your employees on how to recognize potential attacks and what information should be reported immediately to management or security personnel so you can take care of the issue before it becomes a problem.
If you’re just starting out with data security, it’s best to begin with the easy options and move forward from there once you understand the basics of how everything works together in your business. Implementing hard data security solutions before learning the basics might lead to more mistakes and vulnerabilities, which could be even more disastrous than not protecting your data at all. It’s better to start with some simple steps and ensure you have the right professionals on board if possible so that everything is handled properly from day one. Then as your company grows you can increase the difficulty of the security protocols and solutions implemented in your business.
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