Data Security Best Practices to Adopt for Your Business

data security

Data is the lifeline of many businesses. As companies store various data, cybercriminals are looking for different opportunities to steal them. They can sell stolen data or use it to extort victims. It is very important to adopt strict data security practices to protect your business data. Data security involves protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access. It includes all security policies that can be used to protect data from corruption, loss, or exposure. This process may involve encryption access restrictions and backup and recovery systems.

The explosion of remote working due to the current pandemic restrictions presents more opportunities for cybercriminals to hijack business data. If your organization deals with any type of data, it is essential that you put in place effective security measures to protect it.

In this article, we will discuss various best practices for data security to protect your business.

Monitor Access to Your Data
Granting full access to anyone within your organization is a disaster in waiting. You must implement the right access control, trust, and privilege level.

You should operate on the principle of least privilege. This means giving the lowest level of access required to complete a specific task.

Full control and management should only be granted to admins. Also, deactivate access to sensitive data after they have been accessed for a certain task and ensure there are sanctions attached to ignoring access policies.
 

Deploy Security Solutions
Hackers are constantly testing business networks for vulnerabilities to breach them. For this reason, organizations must use effective endpoint security solutions to protect their IT infrastructure.

Antivirus software should be installed on all servers and workstations and must be kept up-to-date for maximum protection from malware and ransomware attacks. Spyware are also common attack vectors from cybercriminals. They can be used to steal users data, monitor behavior and leak your data to third parties. Dedicated anti-spyware solutions can be deployed to block this kind of malicious software.

Firewalls are also a necessary defense of your network and systems. They can help block cyber attackers from accessing your data and also block malicious emails on the network.
 

Set Up Data Backup and Recovery
Data security doesn’t end with protecting your data from unauthorized access but also involves protecting your data from loss or corruption.

To fully protect your data, you need a backup and recovery system such as cloud storage. In addition, back up on physical drives should be kept in different locations in case of a disaster. Regularly update and test your backup to ensure that they’re in good condition.
 

Identify and Classify Your Sensitive Data

Some data breaches occur because an organization is not aware they left important data exposed to the public. Your business needs to know the type of data it has and where they are stored to create an effective protection system.

All your data repositories should be scanned and report generated so the data can be organized and categorized.

New data generated by your business should be classified as necessary.
 

Train Your Employees
Data security cannot be complete without well-trained employees. The best cybersecurity practices and policies you put in place can only be as effective as your employees’ knowledge and cooperation.

Regular training should be organized for your employees to keep them up-to-date about data security trends. Training should include topics such as spear phishing and USB traps that are used for stealing data.
 

Data Encryption and Tokenization
Encryption involves scrambling sensitive information with an algorithm to make it unreadable to anyone but those with the right encryption key.

In encrypted form, the content of data cannot be understood without the keys. Encrypting data before storage ensures that it remains secure even if it falls into the wrong hands.
A similar data security process is tokenization which uses translation keys to replace the content of data with random characters.

For proper security, encryption and tokenization keys must be securely stored.
 

Restrict Physical Access to Storage Data
Apart from digital data hijack, an unauthorized party can gain access to organization data via physical access. Hence, physical security of data is equally important.

Physical access controls help to manage access to your data center or on-premise server buildings. Protection could be enhanced using biometrics cards and security personnel.

Access to your workstation and servers must be restricted to everyone but essential staff. Your devices such as storage drives must be closely monitored and not allowed to be removed from a secure location.
 

Improve Mobile Security
Mobile devices are now ubiquitous in the workplace. Organizations’ sensitive data often find their way to employees’ mobile devices which are often deployed for work and personal use.

Mobile attacks have increased over the years due to the opportunities it presents hackers.

Thus, securing mobile devices used for work should be top of the list of data security best practices of your organization.

Devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops should be regularly updated to protect against spyware. Also, you must configure multi-factor authentication for remote access to your organizations’ systems. Mobile devices must also be encrypted when impossible to safeguard them if they get lost.
 

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There are various aspects to data security. Following the data security best practices above will protect your business data.

Your data security will be greatly improved by taking precautionary measures, having a recovery system in place as well as employee training on cybersecurity.

The specific implementation of data security measures will depend on the nature and size of your business as well as relevant data security regulations. Get in touch with us today.

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