Every organization has the obligation of securing customers’ and company data. In today’s digital world, consumers have resigned themselves to the fact that private firms collect their personal information such as Social Security numbers, mobile bank details, chat logs, and contact details. If not well secured, such data can end up in the wrong hands.
Data breaches have been on the rise in the recent past. Moreover, it has been predicted that these incidents will keep rising in the coming years since cybercriminals are getting smarter and better at what they do. Data protection regulations such as PCI DSS and GDPR are currently in full swing, but still, companies ought to take a proactive approach to secure their systems. Here’s how companies manage data security.
Implementation Of Data-Centric Cyber Security Strategies
The cloud, mobile devices, and the Internet of Things have blurred the traditional borders of the network. Therefore, companies should approach network security from a strategic and more holistic viewpoint. By implementing a data-centric approach towards cybersecurity, it will be easier for you to understand what data is in your company’s possession, and how useful it is to your business operations.
After auditing your systems to determine what data you have in your possession, choose an encryption method that works best for your company. Likewise, implement a reliable data backup strategy. This strategy, as well as the backups that you implement, should be regularly tested to determine how foolproof they are.
Implementing multi-factor authentication as part of your cybersecurity stance is a risk management strategy that helps you to secure your network. Many users are always quick to change their login credentials in the aftermath of the public disclosure of breaches. However, such measures often prove to be futile. Most data breaches remain unnoticed, and therefore, attackers always have enough time to compromise the entire network as well as user accounts before anyone notices.
Organizations ought to acknowledge this threat and take proactive risk management measures to secure their data. Multi-factor authentication is one such measure. It would be best if you implemented this for all accounts besides encouraging users to apply it in their web accounts. Often hackers use these personal web accounts as a gateway into company networks. Therefore, multi-factor authentication from the user level to the organizational level goes a long way in helping you manage data security.
Protection Of Cloud Data
The cloud is now an integral part of every company’s digitization efforts. However, as more data gets stored on the cloud, the issue of security keeps stoking debate among cybersecurity professionals. Some point out that the security measures that cloud service providers apply to their servers are sufficient. On the other hand, some cybersecurity professionals argue that companies ought to implement additional security measures to their cloud accounts as well as their on-site servers.
When it comes to cloud storage, many CIOs get nervous when they remember that the security of their most sensitive data is beyond their control. The commonest policies implemented by big corporations entail the use of tools that specialize in data protection. Others encrypt sensitive data before transferring it to the cloud.
The significance of cloud storage to organizations cannot be understated. However, as you migrate your workload to the cloud, you shouldn’t forget to secure that data. Typically, human error is the cause of most on-site data breaches. Likewise, it can also lead to the exposure of your cloud data to cybercriminals.
The easiest way of securing cloud data is by restricting access to your cloud accounts. You should only grant read and write permissions to specific individuals or groups. The level of access should also vary to ensure that the principle of least privilege applies.
The human factor is always the most significant vulnerability within the cybersecurity chain. Whether through negligence or ignorance, employees account for more than half of cyber breaches that organizations experience. Companies should have a cyber-security awareness training program meant to educate employees about the significance of data security.
Organizations that have successful employee awareness programs in place start by creating a strategic plan that guides how the programs will be undertaken. The awareness programs should include everyone, from C-suite managers to junior staff. Training ought to focus on digital security best practices as well as phishing testing. Besides, these programs should address the main drivers of malicious behavior since this goes a long way in mitigating insider threats.
While undertaking awareness programs, it’s also essential to keep employees informed about the organization’s internal cyber-security policies and well as industry-wide compliance regulations. Clear guidelines and training should be provided, especially to employees who handle sensitive data. After training, you should set clear policies for restricting access and securing your most sensitive data.
Companies that have managed to secure their networks often exercise vigilance when it comes to patch management. You can strengthen your organization’s cybersecurity stance by patching vulnerabilities within your networks. Often, these act as gateways used by cybercriminals to access networks. A patch management program helps you to test patches before deploying them. The program also helps you to pinpoint vulnerabilities within your system.
Your engagement with security patches shouldn’t end after fixing vulnerabilities. Instead, you should follow up on the patches’ deployment by scanning your system to ascertain that the vulnerability doesn’t exist anymore. In doing so, you’ll know whether the patch has adequately addressed the vulnerability, and if not, the additional measures that you can take to remediate the vulnerability.
Data security should be a priority for all organizations, irrespective of their size. In recent years, large organizations such as Quora and Facebook have experienced costly data breaches. Although these incidents are the ones that make headlines, a more disconcerting situation awaits small and medium-sized enterprises.
Most SMEs risk being forced out of business within the first six months of an attack. Therefore, there’s a need to implement a concrete data protection strategy that protects you from all forms of data breaches. Learning how big companies manage their data security will point you in the right direction as you implement your strategy.