With the current threat landscape, securing information is a high priority for any business with a digital footprint. Cybersecurity threats like ransomware, spyware, phishing, and other malware attacks have become daily occurrences and are increasingly becoming more sophisticated, targeting the lifeblood of any business – its data.
The security of the enterprise is incumbent on the protection of all data associated with the business and user. As work-from-home setups have introduced a multitude of personal devices – such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, and wearables – into the working environment, users are exposed to more points of vulnerability. These devices are often unsecured and exposed to unwanted risk, making it easier for hackers to access valuable data that’s protected within the walls of the enterprise.
Navigating the choppy waters of cybersecurity is tricky. Data security management strategies are a must-have for businesses looking to keep their data safe, secure, and out of the hands of bad threat actors. To understand how to effectively deploy a data security management strategy, business must first have a firm grasp on what it is and what it entails.
Data Security Management, Explained
Simply put, data security management is the practice of ensuring that data, no matter its form, is protected. Each business must clearly define their data security program goals and communicate them broadly across the enterprise to ensure all teams know how to handle a cybersecurity event.
Data security acts as the safeguard of data while an organization is storing and using it. Data privacy is the practice of ensuring the data that is stored and used is compliant with standards set by regulatory bodies and internal policies. Security keeps data safe, while privacy ensures confidentiality.
Data security management practices protect users and organizations from unintentional mistakes or hackers that would corrupt or steal your precious resources. Before developing a new strategy, businesses must also understand the top challenges associated with data security, as well as the types of threats that currently exist.
Challenges, Risks, and Threats
Businesses must remember that risks and threats exist internally and externally. A recent report found that poor passwords or credential management, as well as misconfigured cloud data storage, are among the top causes of security breaches.
Having a complete view of where internal data flows in and out of an organization is challenging. Without that clear insight, there may be unintended ways that individuals and teams handle and protect their data. Without proper guidance as to how these systems work, there’s a risk of data mismanagement, creating security gaps where threat actors can attack.
This issue can be compounded by the risks of working from home on devices that aren’t sanctioned by IT teams and business leaders. When personal devices are introduced into the network, any vulnerability that already exists on the device is brought into the fold. This may include improperly using email or social media to share data, as well as the use of other unsanctioned applications, resulting in SaaS sprawl. Additionally, employees using a personal hotspot or public Wi-Fi can invite threats, as these are much less secure than corporate networks.
Another challenge with remote work is a workforce distributed across locations and devices. Monitoring how employees are using and interacting with data and ensuring that their data is safeguarded is critical. Organizations need to know where data is coming from, how it’s created, and how it’s being managed. Privacy issues are a concern if data is not being stored in a way that’s compliant with regulatory laws and internal policies.
Properly understanding the challenges and threats that exist can help a business chart a course towards building an adaptable and effective data security management system strategy.
Adapting Security for your Enterprise
When building data security management, it’s crucial to know these are not one-size-fits-all solutions. There are many different types of data security management strategies that an organization can choose from based on the needs of the business. There are three strategies that your enterprise can examine:
- Encryption keys: Encryption keys transform data into unreadable formats via an algorithm that aids in designing services and can proactively prevent security attacks. Introducing various types of data encryption requires skilled data security measures from trained staff or trusted supplier partners. Taking this route is like holding onto a house key. If an encryption key is lost, its crucial to have a seconder holder of the key should the primary holder be unreachable.
- Organizational data security management: In this strategy, security roles are assigned to data stewards, administrators, product owners, developers, or other stakeholders. This practice creates a culture of security within the company and can help spread security knowledge-sharing across the organization.
- Data deletion, erasure, and destruction: The use of software to eradicate data deliberately and completely from a storage device (digital or physical) under the direction of the data owner, data steward, or governance team.
When deployed properly, these strategies can help any organization address the current threat where it lies and prevent the damage of cyberattacks before they can begin.
These challenges may seem daunting, but the risk of being exposed to a cyberattack is worth putting in the time, budget, and effort to secure and protect an organization’s data. Businesses should consider taking a full audit of the data that exists in the enterprise and learn how that data is being accessed by a workforce that works both on-site and remotely. An audit will also help create a comprehensive understanding of where potential security gaps live and where there are opportunities to mitigate those security risks. Once identified, businesses can communicate information security best practices and polices across the organization.