Data security is the process of establishing protection safeguards to ensure confidentiality access, integrity, and security of data. Data security covers a variety of actions, ranging from encryption of emails and files to monitoring access to systems and data. It also involves protecting physical devices that contain sensitive data like USB flash drives, desktop computers and mobile devices. Data security best practices include the use of strong passwords, limiting access to data to only authorized users, and creating multifactor authentication for sensitive data.
Businesses must be able to protect their customers’ data or face the risk of losing business. A recent survey revealed that 75 percent of consumers would not be buying from a company that they feel doesn’t treat their privacy seriously. Businesses are also at risk from legal consequences if they do not have a robust security system for their data.
Many security experts do not consider encryption sufficient to protect data from hackers despite its widespread usage. While encryption can limit the ability of an attacker to exploit compromised data but it doesn’t stop the theft of information for fraudulent activities or to attack other networks or organisations.
The first step for businesses looking to safeguard their data is to design and maintain a database of data, that categorizes information according to its sensitivity, usage scenario and accessibility requirements. Then, a company could create a security policy that establishes restrictions on who is allowed access to what data, and what consequences are for violating the policy.
Another way to protect data is to regularly back up it, either on disk or in the cloud. Backups can be recovered in the event of data loss or hacking. Software tools such as mirroring and cloning, replicating snapping snapshots, as well as monitoring changed blocks are becoming more common. They offer additional layers of protection and recovery.
The most basic tenet of data security is to ensure that only authorized users have access to it. This can be accomplished by requiring users sign-in with something they already know (e.g. passwords) or with something they have (e.g. a security token or biometrics), or both. This is called multi-factor authentication and is an essential component of any security strategy for data.
It’s also important to upgrade your software regularly to address vulnerabilities and improve security of your data. This will not only keep your computer running smoothly, but will also help protect your data from cyberattacks.
Data breaches can be catastrophic for clients and businesses. Bad actors can use personal data for identity theft or blackmail. This can have life-changing consequences for individuals and their families. Data breaches can be expensive for businesses too as they are frequently in the spotlight and face the possibility of public embarrassment.