Five Essential Practices for Securing Data

by Sawaram Suthar    Aug 29, 2016

data breach

Data has evolved. It has emerged as one of the most precious commodities in the digital era. From photons traveling across the vast network of fiber optic cables to an entity with a defining effect on the fate of your organization. Data can make or break a business. With the advent of big data analytics, the concerns about the safekeeping and security of data have risen exponentially.

Every other day, the headlines highlight new tales of data breaches occurring all across the globe. Tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, Salesforce and Sony have all fallen prey to this vicious phenomenon. The reason? One chink in the armour of their secure data channels or a backdoor into their super-secure data storage servers. According to a study released in 2014, “The average loss that comes with a data breach amounts to a whopping 3.5 million dollars.” That was 2 years ago! Imagine the exponential rise in that figure since then and while you are at it, imagine the same rise in the threats to your organization’s data and the data it hosts for its users. Let’s put things into perspective.

In 2015, the healthcare sector alone had a breach of 112 million records; and that is just one sector that has not even gone completely digital yet. Over the years, data scientists and security experts have repeatedly pointed out the flaws and the so-called failsafe switches in the system and asked organizations to fix them. Most have complied, but the problem is the fact that organizations face a bigger threat from internal leaks than from external attacks.

After reading all of this, are you getting a sinking feeling? Let’s make it up to you by providing you with five (5) essential practices for decreasing your organization’s chances of falling prey to data losses:

1. Increase Security

First and foremost, make sure that you have all of your bases covered. You’ll need safeguards that can stand the most rigorous testing needed in order to be put in place in order to ensure that you have a reliable security system. Authentication gateways are one of the most vulnerable spots in any system. One flaw and all of your vulnerabilities are served up on a platter. To prevent this, you will need to improve the process from the very start, as experts believe; such flaws can easily be tackled in the design stage itself.

Make sure that your team follows the processes by the book and leaves no stone unturned.  Utilizing security protocols and applications that reinforce security systems can further decrease the chances of a data leak.

2. Use Secure Data Rooms and Virtual Servers

Data rooms are secure environments created for the sole purpose of protecting confidential and important data from any kind of attack. Many providers, like Firmex, allow you to easily set up and access data rooms. They are pivotal for ensuring the safety of sensitive data for any organization. Think of it as a safety box created for the sole purpose of defending your data against any kind of threats, both internal and external. They host top tier security protocols and allow you to smoothly share files without any security hiccups in the process.

3. Train the Team

You can never do without this one thing:  training. Training and helping them to understand the importance of data and network security can help your organization leap towards a secure internal structure. As we’ve said before, organizations face more threats internally than from external sources, especially in the case of data security and safekeeping. Implementing a hierarchy in terms of access to data and then implementing a strict access control protocol helps enhance the overall security of the system. A multi-level access control allows you to closely monitor the activity on the network and easily counter any threats. Allowing a handful of trained individuals to access sensitive data helps by decreasing the chances of human error.

4. Scheduled Back-ups

Backing up your data in case of system crashes, always helps. Data back-ups are like revival potions because they help the organization instantaneously bounce back and resume services without suffering major downtime. You should ensure that all of your company’s data is backed-up on a regular basis. Most organizations back up data, but the cycles they choose are too far apart, leaving them high and dry in the event of server crashes. Study the amount of data that flows into the system regularly. This will help you in understanding your needs and with implementing efficient back up cycles for your company’s data.

5. Real-Time Monitoring and Legacy Updates

Legacy systems will continue to be a part of organizational structures for at least the next decade or so. Fazing them out is a task in and of itself and one that most organizations are not ready for yet. One of the major reasons for this is the fact that technology is evolving at an exponential rate, outdating systems within months. While upgrading your system is one way of keeping pace, it comes with a massive tech cost. Hence, most organizations phase out older systems in cycles, replacing them with better systems.

While we are still using legacy systems, it is imperative that we keep them up-to-date with the latest security updates and protocols in order to prevent any form of breach. Real-time monitoring can help aid the process. Monitoring the network and data access in real-time ensures that any malicious activity is readily countered. This not only ensures the overall security of the network but also prevents a problem from escalating too quickly.

These practices will help businesses enhance the security of your data centers and servers significantly. Keeping pace with the latest security standards and performing regular system audits should always be at the top of your list.

The mantra is to stay safe. Stay secure.