You may have heard the term ‘data security’, but do you have a clear understanding of what this means for your business? Essentially, data security refers to technology, policies, and standards which are put in place to ensure data is protected. An individual’s or a business’ data is essential and should be protected from loss, destruction, exploitation, or theft. Data security can include physical security, administrative control, organisational standards which prevent unauthorised people from being able to gain access. This article outlines how data works with online security and how you can ensure your organisation can implement a data security strategy.
Whether you run an international chain of retail stores, a bank, an independent hair salon, or any other type of business, you will be processing data of some kind. It could be data owned by employees or customers, personal and/or financial, stored on a computer, a cloud back-up system, or a smartphone, but it is still data which needs protecting. Data breaches can occur at any point in the process, e.g. when data is collected, received, stored, or transmitted, and the consequences can be severe in terms of reputational, operational, and financial damage. This is why all processes and technology relating to data security must be as secure as possible.
Types of Data Security Technology
There are several types of data security technology which protect data from both internal and external threats.
- Data encryption translates data into an unintelligible code which cannot be decoded without a password or authorisation key.
- Data masking can be applied to parts of data which prevents it from being shared with internal or external people, e.g. removing most digits in a credit card number.
- Data erasure is the deletion of data from storage, which is no longer in use, or because the owner of the data has requested its removal.
- Data resilience is ensuring data has been backed up so that it can be retrieved if accidentally corrupted, deleted, or stolen.
There are several factors to consider in your data security strategy which can become complex and costly when bought as separate products. An alternative is to implement and XDR or Extended Detection Response which incorporates several different elements of a cybersecurity solution from one simple platform. Visit McAfee.com for more information.
Data Security: Compliance and Regulations
If your business or organisation stores personal data of customers or employees (or suppliers/contractors), you are a data processor. This means that you must comply with relevant regulations and legislation depending on your industry, the type of data, and where in the world the data owners are living. For example, organisations storing data which belongs to EU citizens must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If an organisation does not comply, they risk significant fines.
Implementing Your Data Security Strategy
While data security should be a top priority for your organisation, it does not need to hinder your efficiency or productivity. The right data security strategy and products will enable you to identify the data that is at risk and any users who pose a potential problem almost instantly. You will also be able to share data with authorised people securely and keep data of third parties secure in line with the relevant legislation.