Whether it’s your customer data, business’ strategic information or payment information, all organizations handle some sort of sensitive data. Securing sensitive information from theft and vulnerability in today’s digital age is not as easy as putting a lock on the file cabinet – especially when the adoption of cloud computing is spreading like a wildfire. To protect this information and ensure that it never becomes vulnerable to data leakage or data theft, it is essential to take necessary measures to secure your company’s sensitive data.
Read on to know what kind of data risks you might face and how you can effectively protect your data.
Classify your data
You must understand which data needs to be protected and form a Data Classification Policy to classify data based on its sensitivity. You need to classify your data at least in three categories such as:
The most sensitive data that can cause great risk if lacked.
The moderately sensitive data that can cause a moderate risk to your company if leaked.
The non-sensitive data that can cause little or no risk to the organization if accessed.
Audit Your System and Risks
It is impossible to secure your data unless you know what or where to protect. To build an effective security plan, you need to do a complete audit of your system starting with what information you have and where you are storing it. It is important to evaluate if the data you are storing, deserves to be stored, why it is being kept, and what confidentiality level it falls into. Once you know what data you have and where it is stored, you can easily define how the data will be accessed and by whom, which as a result helps you monitor your data flow and protect it from various kinds of risks.
Create comprehensive policies
After the audit is done, use your audit findings to establish comprehensive and enforceable policies to secure the data. A policy should be formed determining how the data can be created, acquired, stored, maintained, accessed, archived and purged.
Limit data access
Data access needs to be controlled by the effective policies base on the security classification of the data. Restricting who can access data, how they can access it and what they can do with it, can help you drastically reduce the vulnerability of your data. Illegitimate access can be prevented by layering highly sensitive data under multiple layers of security.
Protect data using encryption
You must understand the importance of securing sensitive data within your company network and take security measures to protect the perimeter of your IT system and check unauthorized access. Your organization requires to encrypt all the sensitive data and protect the information as well as the data environment.
Improve Password Security
The basic information security mistakes cause the most serious data breaches. Use weak passwords is one of such most common problems. However, this can be addressed by rolling out an organization-wide password management system that can help inculcate a practice of using strong passwords.
Develop a culture of security awareness
Your employees are your most precious security assets. Developing a culture of security awareness in your organization will help your employees identify potential data risks and address them efficiently. Software developers play a vital role in developing such security cultures as their own development practices can have a major impact on your data security.
Data is the most valuable asset for any modern business, so it is high time to protect yours. Using the best practices mentioned above, you can ensure that your data is protected and your risks are minimized.