If you work in a business, then you probably have at least a vague idea of the importance of data security and privacy. If your company works with important business and customer data, then you need to keep this data safe from harm. To do so, you must have an effective data security policy in place and use the right solutions for your business. Additionally, these policies must be conveyed to all employees to ensure compliance.
In this article, we will go over how to secure important data for your business and enforce data security policy. This information is vital for companies of any size, from small businesses to multinational corporations. We will cover the following topics:
- What is data security?
- The three core elements of data security
- Compliance and regulations
- Best practices to secure data
- Best data security software
Data Security Definition
What is data security?
Data security is the practice of protecting data from unauthorized access. Basically, data security solutions ensure that only authorized employees can access, change, and share business data. Data security protects your data, and the devices that are used to access it, from sabotage, corruption, and theft.
While similar to data protection, data security focuses more on protecting data from bad actors while data protection is focused on limiting data loss. There is often overlap between the best practices and solutions for data security and data protection. However, the mechanisms for data security vs data protection are not always the same, despite their similar goal of keeping data safe and accessible. Businesses must keep both security and protection in mind when dealing with corporate data. Both are necessary to keep business operations smooth and secure.
The 3 Core Elements of Data Security
The three core elements of data security are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Together, these core elements are referred to as the “CIA triad”. Let’s go over each element in more detail:
- Confidentiality: This means that data is only accessible to the right people at the right time. Confidential data is not leaked to unauthorized users. Best practices for confidentiality include using secure dating storage and sharing and classifying data correctly.
- Integrity: This ensures that data is accurate and not subject to unwarranted or damaging changes. Data remains safe from hackers or malware. Integrity solutions include the installation of anti-malware tools, end-to-end encryption, and secure storage of devices used to access data.
- Availability: Data should be safely accessible for ongoing business needs. This is the element most closely related to data protection. It involves storing data properly and creating secure backups.
If data follows the above three principles, then businesses can be confident that their data is secure.
How to Ensure Data Security Compliance
So, how do you ensure your data is secure, confidential, and available? There are several practices to follow in order to perform data security management. Following these practices will serve to both protect your business while also establishing compliance with data security laws and regulations such as the GDPR, CCPA, and SOC 2. If your business is found non-compliant with these laws, then you may face a fine or a loss of customers. Therefore, it is important that you follow the practices outlined below in order to protect your business.
End-to-end encryption ensures that data remains secure during every step of transfer. It encrypts the data on the sender’s device, then only allows decryption on the recipient’s device. This keeps third-party users from intercepting and stealing data. Unsurprisingly, end-to-end encryption is a must-have when sharing business data between devices.
Secure data storage
For data to be protected, it needs to be stored properly. Your business should invest in a secure data storage system, either on-site or on the cloud. A data storage platform implements the other best practices on this list, like end-to-end encryption and data classification. These platforms also limit access by including secure sign-in options like 2-factor authentication (2FA) and single sign-on (SSO), adding password-protection to files, and letting company admins monitor access for all employees.
The best way to ensure that all employees are following best practices is to host cybersecurity training. This training should cover your company’s data security policy and what specific actions employees need to take in order to protect data. Training involves in-person or virtual meetings, training videos, and documentation of policies. Conclude training by having each employee sign a document stating that they have completed training and will follow the covered policies.
Data classification is the process of assigning different classifications to files and other data depending on who is allowed to access them and when. Software helps automate this process by automatically assigning different classifications to data depending on set variables. This system keeps business data safe by making the process of limiting access simple.
Use risk management technology to monitor and evaluate security risks at all levels of your business. Risk management software alerts you whenever a security risk has been detected and offers recommendations for how to fix it. If you manage a large business with many moving parts, then risk management technology is a must for making sure that there are no cracks in the system.
Compliance monitoring tools monitor devices to ensure that every employee is in compliance with your business’ data protection policies and privacy laws. Like wish risk management technology, these tools alert a central admin whenever a user is non-compliant. These tools also relay what an employee needs to do to become compliant. Compliance monitoring is vital for any company that falls under data protection regulations like the GDPR or CCPA.
To protect your data from corruption or theft, you should install anti-malware and antivirus software. The best solution for businesses is to purchase the same protective software for every device that accesses business data. This way, you ensure that coverage remains consistent between devices.
Top Data Security Solutions
To implement all the best practices for data security, you will need to use a variety of tools. The best way to determine which software you need is to evaluate which areas of data security that you need to improve. You will then want to conduct research on the top solutions in that area. The best solution for one business may not be the best for another business, so it’s important to explicitly identify your business’ needs and contact potential solution providers to discuss your options.
For help in this process, look over Droplr’s lists of top data security solutions. We have compiled lists for:
You can use Droplr for secure file storage and transfer. For more information, please contact one of our security experts for a free demonstration.