Lock It Down: What is Data Security and Why Do You Need It?

Posted on October 1, 2020 Backups & DR

Poor implementation and poor practices are what lead to breaches in company data. A strong data security service is essential for any company in the cloud.

When was the last time your company’s data security was reviewed? Data breaches can happen to the biggest entities and the smallest business, and the common cause is that a proper plan hasn’t been implemented or their practices are out of date.

The damages that a data breach can cause to a business is not just a hit to their bank account. It can do reputational damage that results in a loss of trust and an exodus of customers.

According to Atlas VPN, organizations around the world are projected to invest more than $1.63 billion in data security by the end of 2023. So perhaps it’s time for your business to learn more about data security and understand why it’s critical in this day and age. Here’s what you need to know to get you started.

What Is Data Security?

The definition of data security is quite broad. But it’s often referred to as the protection of data from unauthorized access, use, change, disclosure, destruction. It can encompass network, physical, and file security.

It’s not only a software solution. It also includes locks and video cameras to deter intruders in addition to other safeguards like password protection and two-factor authentication.

Before you start implementing a data security plan, policies, or procedures, you need to do an assessment of your organization to understand what it is that you’re looking to protect. Some of the questions that you should ask include:

  • How big is your company?
  • Are your workers located in one area, or are they a remote workforce?
  • Are your customers located locally, or do you service internationally as well?
  • What industry are you in?
  • Are there any rules or regulations that your company must follow when handling data?
  • What devices are you looking to secure?
  • Who are the individuals that require access to data?
  • What data do these individuals require?
  • How long will it take for your internal team to expand on security?
  • What is the current capability of the in-house data-security team?
  • What policies and procedures already exist?

There are many different measures a company can take to protect and secure their digital information. There also many different approaches. But there are some best practices to consider when developing a data security plan.

What Are Examples of Best Practices for Data Security?

There are some practices that every company should employ as they lay a good foundation for data security. But the overall solution will be different for every organization as it will depend on the company size, industry, location, and existing measures they have in place. Here are some common best practices. 

Securing Information

Keeping sensitive information secure should be an essential part of doing business. One method that you can employ to keep data safe is restricting access to certain information. This limits the amount of harm that can occur if someone’s login details get stolen. 

Encryption is another preventative measure that’s known to work. If you have software that backs-up your information, then it should be able to encrypt the data as well. You can even encrypt transmissions like emails to add additional security to the information you’re sending.

If you have a mobile workforce, then it’s imperative that you have an enforced policy in place. This can include rules around not using public Wi-Fi on work devices and installing antivirus apps.

Preparing for Threats

You shouldn’t wait to get hacked to see how your data security plan holds up. You should put together an internal team or use an agency to stress test your plan and see if any enhancements are necessary for your data recovery document.

It should also put your incident management plan to the test to discover if any documentation requires updating or enhancement. Ideally, it should even include a scenario where information has been deleted or compromised. But make sure that you have a backup copy that’s regularly updated so that you don’t lose anything important.

Deleting Data

It’s vital that you know where your data goes when it’s deleted. You need to make sure that if you want to get rid of important information that it’s really gone, and remnants aren’t discoverable.

This also goes for physical items. Thumb drives or any other physical media should be double-checked to ensure that all of the information gets removed properly. 

Why Is Mobile Data Security Important?

Business Wire reported that 150 million mobile attacks occurred in the first half of 2018. They also noted that this trend is set to rise by 24% each year. Mobile devices no longer just include phones and tablets, it also incorporates wearable technology and other productivity tools.

Fortunately, there are several approaches that your company can take to enhance their mobile data security. Some examples of these steps are:

  • Ensure all apps are up to date to protect against spyware threats
  • Remove all inactive applications
  • Before downloading an app, review the list of permissions requested
  • Create unique passwords for mobile accounts instead of default logins
  • Install communication apps that encrypt data transfers
  • Enforce two-factor authentication to access internal tools
  • Educate employees on how to access devices remotely in the instance they get lost or stolen

IT teams should ensure they stay up to date with the latest mobile data-security procedures. Remaining alert and educated can protect your business from a potential mobile breach.

What Can Happen If You Don’t Have Data Security?

There are some severe consequences if you don’t protect your data appropriately. Laws and policies in place to ensure that every business secures the personal and sensitive information of its customers. If your company doesn’t have a plan in place, and your data gets breached, then this is what you can expect to happen next.

Legal Action

Businesses can face large fines or worse if they’re found guilty of being negligent with personal information. It doesn’t matter if it’s their employee’s data or their customers. Other outcomes from legal action that can occur include the closure of the company and jail time.

Negative Brand Perception

There are several examples of companies receiving backlash from customers and the media after a data breach. It can impact a customer’s reputation to the point that it’s irreparable as they don’t feel they can trust them with their personal information again.

Repeat Attacks

Reports have shown that once a team of cybercriminals learns that your business doesn’t take data security seriously that you become a target for repeat attacks. It’s one of the reasons why testing your protocols and systems is a foundation for data security plans.

Compromised Partners

Many companies will work with several service providers, and it may involve sharing important information. If a breach were to occur with one of these providers, then there is a risk that it could impact the rest of the network. In this instance, it not only causes problems for your customer base but also the relationship with your partners.

How Does Security As a Service Work?

Every company has different needs when it comes to their data security plan. This is why companies like NETdepot offer Security as a Service or SaaS for short. These models are often more cost-efficient as it doesn’t require on-premises hardware or other capital outlays.

There are many categories that fall under Security as a Service. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Data loss prevention
  • Email security
  • Encryption
  • Identity and access management
  • Intrusion management
  • Network security
  • Security assessments
  • Security information and event management
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Web security

Security as a Service is often offered in one of several forms. They can be a subscription model, payment for utilized services, and freeware. Once you’ve decided on the right model for your business, then you can reap the rewards of some of the benefits such as constant virus definition updates, greater security expertise, and outsourcing of administrative tasks such as log management.

How Can You Get Started on a Data Security Plan?

Data Security is not a one size fits all solution for every business. You need to consider what devices you’re looking to secure, what access you have to data, and what the capability of your security team is.

NETdepot has over 20 years of experience in creating strategic infrastructure solutions, including Security as a Service. The team offers workplace assessments, managed detection response, managed disaster recovery, and 24/7 US-Based NOC and SOC. If your company is serious about data security, then get in contact with NETdepot today to get protected.

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