Non-negotiables in data security: what you need to do today


Date: 15 February 2024

A female computer engineer is implementing data secutiry measures

In a world where data has become everything, protecting our clients' information is more vital than ever. One mistake can cause significant consequences, including financial losses, damage to your company's reputation, and a loss of client confidence.

In this post, we will walk you through the critical steps you can take immediately to secure your digital setup. We will go over simple strategies for establishing strong access controls, fully encrypting data, and ensuring users understand how to stay safe.

Non-negotiables in data security

Data security standards are necessary for firms to maintain the security of their information.

Given the increasing frequency of hacking and data theft, these restrictions are especially critical now. Here are three crucial guidelines that you must follow to keep data safe:

1. Implement strict guidelines for passwords and authentication

Implementing secure, complicated passwords and multi-factor authentication is critical. It guards against illegal entry into systems and data. A strong password is difficult to crack. It must be at least twelve characters long and include lower and uppercase letters.

2. Ensure regular software updates and patch management

Maintaining software and system updates is critical for protecting against known vulnerabilities. Patch management should be a priority.

3. Data encryption

The encryption of information (when stored or while being transferred) guarantees that it remains unreadable and secure even if obtained or seen by an unauthorised individual.

In 2023, more than 65% of respondents said that their company had adopted backups, multi-level authentication, password controls and encryption protocols. These precautions were implemented to secure data in a cloud or on site.

You could consider adding a VPN to your devices to add an extra layer of encryption to ensure you're protected from prying eyes. If you're wondering "Do I need a VPN on my iPhone?", the answer is almost certainly yes if it contains sensitive data.

4. Access control and authorisation

Controlling who gets access to what data is critical. It entails establishing least privilege access, in which users only have access to the data they need to do their work.

5. Continuous monitoring and threat detection

Developing tools and processes that continually monitor the network and systems to detect any unusual activity or possible threats is preferable.

Threat detection systems include various techniques and rules for examining a company's security architecture for any malicious activity that might threaten the network. In 2023 the global threat detection industry was valued at 135 billion US dollars.

6. Data backup and recovery plans

Regular data backups and a strong disaster recovery strategy guarantee that data can be restored in the case of loss, whether due to cyberattacks, natural disasters, or human error.

7. Employee training and awareness

Employee education on data security, phishing, and other cyber risks is vital, as human error is a common cause of data breaches.

8. Ensure compliance with regulations and standards

Compliance with applicable data protection rules and industry standards is legally mandated and provides a guideline for optimum data security practices.

9. Incident response plan

A security incident response strategy can assist in swiftly reducing harm and restoring operations.

10. Vendor risk management

Ensuring third-party providers with access to your data follow stringent data security standards is critical since they can be a source of data breaches.

The need for regular risk assessments

Regular risk assessments are essential for successful data security in the ever-changing cyber threat scenario. These inspections are critical for detecting vulnerabilities in an organisation's network and systems.

They entail assessing the possible dangers that might exploit infrastructure flaws. Understanding where vulnerabilities exist allows firms to remedy them before hostile actors exploit them.

Define user roles precisely and restrict access according to the principle of least privilege (PoLP). Users should have the minimum degree of access required to carry out their job duties. Regular audits of user access levels assist in verifying that permissions stay consistent with existing roles and responsibilities.

Identifying and analysing vulnerabilities

A complete risk assessment should analyse an organisation's IT environment. It comprises hardware, software, networks, data, human aspects, and organisational procedures. The goal is to detect technological faults and operational and procedural deficiencies that might lead to security breaches.

Use continuous monitoring of access activity to discover and respond to questionable behaviour in real time. This involves creating notifications for unusual access patterns or changes to sensitive data.

Data security has become increasingly important in today's quickly changing world of technology and cyber dangers. The data security non-negotiables presented in this article offer businesses a solid framework for protecting their digital assets. Each component is critical in developing a holistic security plan, from strong password restrictions and frequent software upgrades to advanced threat detection and risk management.

Copyright 2023. Article was made possible by site supporter Leo Corado.

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