Today, almost everything you need to run and manage in an organization is stored online. From digitally preserved company processes, customer, client and partnership data, to your website, login credentials, company emails, team messages, saved conference calls, social media accounts, advertising campaigns, product and service manuals, and every other byte of data that is generated within your organization is your digital asset.
Investors value digital assets because they increase a company’s overall worth. Companies can claim expenses and tax deductions against their digital assets because they can be sold separately.
They are just as valuable to a company as physical assets, and businesses must take the same precautions to protect digital assets as they would for physical assets.
Client and partnership information, login details, business emails, digital chat messages, recorded conference calls, email lists, social media profiles, website content, and more are all considered as digital assets
By 2024, the worldwide digital asset management industry will have grown to $8.1 billion. To preserve their critical information and brand, businesses must ensure that their digital assets are safe and secure.
Where to start
Protecting digital assets starts by studying the company and creating a thorough inventory of what they possess — and what they might have — they should not ignore something that could be a valuable asset! Start by identifying all of the digital assets the company owns. This stage is crucial because many business owners are unaware of what their company’s digital assets include. Organizations will be able to develop a robust system to secure their digital assets after going through all of these processes and having a comprehensive grasp of their company’s digital assets and intrinsic value.
Here are a few steps and practices that enterprises can adopt to protect their digital assets:
1.Locate and List: Although not all forms of data are vital. Organizations need to segregate and prioritize their data. A data asset is something that a business can use to create revenue in the future. Images, digital content, social media, apps, proprietary processes, customer databases, proprietary information, and any organization material or intellectual property protected by copyright, trademark, or patent are all examples of digital assets. Among these digital properties such as customer databases, proprietary information, transactions and interactions etc. are crucial and the ones which help a company to generate income.
Organizations can begin by making a comprehensive list of all of these assets. Segregating the data assets on the basis of which would you want or consider valuable if you were buying this company?
For example, think of anything that the company has online or on its business’ server that could be valuable. They should be looking for things that are proprietary things that are important for the company to run. Consider these digital assets as crucial items.
2.Protect your Network and Stay Updated: Most firms today rely heavily on their networks. To secure the safety of the company’s digital assets, you must adopt professional network security measures. The most prevalent approach for hackers to obtain access to a company’s digital assets is through security flaws and vulnerabilities. Ensure that the firewall is turned on and that the firmware and software are up to date. Companies should make a habit of updating their operating system and other programmes.
3.Limit Access and Use Secure Authentication: Not everyone in an organization requires complete access to all digital assets and applications. Limit application access to only those team members who require it. Organizations can also choose who can see, edit, or download digital assets by setting permissions in certain programmes. For remote workforces, organizations can use a password manager programme to store encrypted passwords online to keep such applications secure.
Organizations can use secure authentication, such as two-factor authentication, to offer an extra degree of security in addition to limiting and restricting access (2FA). If a hacker gains access to an employee’s password, the hacker will be unable to access the company’s digital assets. After entering the password, the user is asked to answer a question or enter a second one-time password, which is often given by text message, to validate the user’s identity.
4.Educating Employees: Employee education is also important for safeguarding your company’s digital assets. Ensure your employees are familiar with cybersecurity best practices, such as what to do and what not to do when using public Wi-Fi, utilizing their devices, and accessing specific applications.
5.Data Backup & Data Encryption: Copying files and data to a secondary location is known as data backup. A robust disaster recovery plan relies heavily on data backup. Companies who do not take data backup are often at jeopardy from software or hardware errors, data corruption, malicious hacking, user negligence, natural disasters, or other unpredictable circumstances. Backups allow you to recover files that have been lost, erased, or rewritten. Backups can be archived locally on hard drives or storage devices, remotely at another physical location, or on the cloud. This cloud infrastructure could be public, private, or hybrid.
Irrespective of the state whether the data is in transit or at rest, it is always vulnerable. To keep data safe while in transit, encrypt it before uploading it. Authenticate the endpoints before decrypting and verifying them at their destination. You must use security access policies to secure data at rest. Control who has access to the data, what data is accessible, and where it is stored safely.
6.Taking Cyber insurance into consideration: Cyber insurance can help businesses safeguard their digital assets from cyber threats. It can help companies cover the cost of disaster management and legal expenses, along with the amount spent retrieving the network on the occasion of ransomware attacks. When it comes to recovering from a hack, cyber insurance might make all the difference.
When it comes to recovering from a hack, cyber insurance might make all the difference.
Addressing the Bottom-line
Knowing how to safeguard digital assets in the short and long term is critical to your company’s overall value and profitability. Companies must safely and securely manage and control their digital assets. This is an exciting time for businesses to consider the use of digital assets in their operations. There have never been more chances to deliver new services and products while minimizing risk and expenses. Make sure you are up-to-date on the latest developments and can confidently continue on your journey.
(The author Mr.Prashanth GJ, CEO, TechnoBind and the views expressed in this article are his own)