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5 Ways Companies Should Ensure Data Security and Privacy Within their Organizations

Ensure Data Security
Ensure Data Security

5 Ways Companies Should Ensure Data Security and Privacy Within their Organizations

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As advances in Iot, IIot, blockchain, and other technologies that advance rapid digitalization increase every day, opportunities for cybercriminals to penetrate organizations increases in tandem.

As the rush to the cloud moves sensitive data online, it puts businesses of every size without ample cybersecurity measures in jeopardy.

Threat actors can infiltrate an alarming 93% of company networks, which is why meeting cybersecurity compliance is no longer a viable or sustainable solution.

While there are several ways organizations can and should deploy cybersecurity SaaS tools to protect themselves, stave off attacks, and fortify themselves in the event they fall prey to cyber criminals, here are a few standard measures organizations should take to ensure data security and privacy.

Ensure Data Security

1. Deploy Data Classification Tools

Information pertinent to understanding an organization’s cyber threat level often resides in various data repositories such as cloud environments and data warehouses.

It’s crucial that any companies keen to protect themselves from cyber threats first understands where they’re most susceptible via data discovery and data classification.

Intelligent SaaS classification and data discovery boast the capability to streamline the identification of such information, and in some instances, remediate vulnerabilities. Investing in automated data discovery tools negates the potential of inconsistency and inaccuracy common in manual data classification.

Investor and data discovery tools systemize endpoints, on-premise series, and unstructured data of network assets—in addition to cloud repositories—to pinpoint vulnerabilities ranging in everything from store networks to hosts. 

2. Practice Application Security Patching and Audits Regularly

Organizations need to ensure that all of their systems are updated with the most recent operating systems and reliable anti-virus solutions.

In addition to fortifying themselves via a configured firewall to ward off external attacks and unauthorized access on the network, they should also deploy application security patching. 

Patch deployment, which refers to the testing and installation of code changes within computer systems, allows companies to minimize security risks by tackling security vulnerabilities in their tracks.

Application patch management systems allow IT teams to see a high level overview of available updates for applications. From there, a reoccurring, comprehensive audit enables businesses to identify vulnerabilities in the existing security plan and safeguard their data security and privacy.

Auditing data collected in post-attack offers an organization a perfect understanding of the blunders that can result in similar breaches in the future. 

3. Embrace a Zero-Trust Framework

More than 80% of all attacks involve credentials use or misuse in the network. A Zero Trust security framework refers to a security strategy in which every user within an organization must be authenticated and authorized before being granted access to certain tools, applications, or data.

Various technologies such as identity protection, endpoint security, and multi-factor authentication make up the Zero Trust framework, but the clear differentiator between Zero Trust and traditional network security lies in the automation verification of users.

Just as the name implies, a Zero Trust approach assumes zero trust no matter the user, and monitors, evaluates, and validates users regularly.

As part of this, companies can deploy tools ranging from geo location and suspicious activity tracking to implementing credential privileges on every company device and installation applications on endpoints.

The NIST 800-207 standard for Zero Trust, has become a defecto requirement for companies in the modern-area. The NIST framework, as well as the Zero Trust framework, involve the use of data processing tools to glean insights from IT stacks and minimize damage in the event of a breach through verification practices.

4. Remove Stale Information and Put Secure Backups in Place

There are many reasons making backups of collected data is generally good practice. In addition to cyberthreats, backups account and protect organizations from hardware failures, human error, power failures, and more. 

Moreover, regular data backup is a fundamental part of a complete IT security strategy; having the right data disposal strategies in place can prevent redundant data from being stashed away and lifted later.

In the event of data loss, routinely backup files enable companies to bounce back from cyber crimes in the event they fall victim to them. 

Organizations should store their backup data in a safe, remote location far from their main places of business, and all types of backups should receive equal physical and common sense security when it comes to controls that control access to core databases and systems.

5. Train Your Human Capital

Data erasure, data masking, encryption, and data residency are all important in the fight against cybercrime, but all are nearly worthless if companies don’t invest in human capital.

Comprehensive data security strategies involve people just as much as they utilize technology. Fostering a culture of cybersecurity is, in many ways, more important than deploying necessary tools and processes, since humans account for the lion’s share of cyber attacks. 

In 2021, human error was the cause of 95% of cyber breaches.

In order to most effectively train their human workforce, companies need to invest in gamified cyber security awareness training that draws on a number of learning tools such as quizzes, tests, and videos, in order to ensure all of its employees are adequately trained. 

The best security awareness trainings glean learning modules from real-life cyber threats, so employees can begin applying their security training skills in a safe environment. Top-tier security awareness trainings also train employees based on their required skill level. 

Simulations and regular cybersecurity testing can also provide companies visibility on how well their employees are absorbing learning materials.

The Bottom Line: Modern-Day Companies Need to Give Data Security and Privacy, and Security Training, the Investment it Deserves

Many organizations don’t give data security and privacy the seriousness it deserves. Companies must change their attitude, especially in the shifting digital landscape with more people working from home.

While it’s important to implement cybsercurity best practices such as authenticating the digital identities of all employees and customers as well as using up to date VPNs, the most successful organizations foster a culture of cybersecurity from the top down. 

Such a culture ensures that cybersecurity is top of mind for every employee, and that every team member—regardless of where they fall within an organization—has an awareness and basic tools and ample security training in their back pocket to prevent a cyber breach from occurring in the first place.

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