What are the key approaches to data security today?

While there is no one-size-fits-all method for securing data, some approaches are proving more popular and effective than others

Today, data is possibly the most valuable currency for businesses. More so than ever, organisations are zeroing in on their data to drive their direction and mould their strategy. In turn, data security is at the forefront of business priorities.

Today’s data security landscape is rich with different approaches and offerings. This is a great reflection of the diversity of businesses out there today. Of course, this means that there is no universal approach for data security; rather, it’s what works best for you. In light of this, we’re recounting some of the most popular data security practices today.

Data encryption

Data encryption stops unauthorised users accessing your data by issuing only those authorised with a key. In particular, it translates the data into a scrambled form of itself (colloquially, you could just call it ‘gobbledygook’) so that only those with the key can access it.

Today, data encryption is a hugely popular method of data security (most probably in the top three). It’s highly effective and, if encrypting all at-rest data, is also not very expensive. There are different subsets of data encryption that suit each organisation’s specific needs. Thus, you have a selection of hardware and software-based solutions to help you get the best possible value (in terms of time and money) out of your data encryption.

Backing up data

Data backup is the most important aspect of your business continuity plan. Disasters do happen, including fires, floods, and the like, meaning you need more than just on-site backup. Today, organisations are increasingly turning to the cloud, which can be an inexpensive way to host your data safely.

In fact, some organisations are even building their own cloud. While this sometimes necessitates a sizeable upfront cost, it can be worth it for those hesitant about handing over their data to third parties. However, no matter where you store the data, you must – I repeat, must – practice regular backups.

Managing user privileges

User privileges should be limited where necessary on corporate devices. It may sound a little harsh, but as many users possible need to have as few privileges as possible. In doing so, you’re mitigating the risk of any employee downloading harmful software. In particular, accounts with higher privileges should not be used for higher risk activity, such as browsing the internet. Instead, organisations should only use standard accounts for business purposes.

BYOD? More like BYO-don’t

Bring your own device culture is sweeping through enterprises, much to the horror of every IT and cybersecurity team. Unfortunately, WiFi-enabled devices create burning hotspots for hackers to take advantage of. Firstly, you’ve got the physical considerations: if the employee loses their device, they lose the data with it too. If the device falls into the wrong hands, you could become victim of data loss or a data breach.

Not only that, but unsecured devices could also pave the way for a data leak. Even worse, it becomes especially hard to keep track of what enterprise data is being stored where. With reduced visibility, it becomes much harder to keep tabs on your sensitive information. Then, of course, there are the risks of malicious apps and hackers taking advantage of the WiFi. Thus, while it might sound trendy and seem forward-thinking, most organisations today know that BYOD is a BYO-don’t.

Securing the right solution

Fortunately for enterprises today, there are a number of fantastic platforms available on the market that can be flexible towards your specific requirements. One of our favourites is Forcepoint. In particular, Forcepoint provide a number of solutions to address any data security need, from cloud to insider threat. Forcepoint is “driven by an understanding of human behavior and intent”, and this unique approach makes it unsurprising that it is such a well-recognised market leader.

If security is right up your street, then make sure you’re going to this year’s Nordic IT Security!

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