Data security is crucial for businesses’ smooth online operations. However, data may be leaked, lost, or stolen. Such incidents put stress on the importance of data security.
Enterprises should secure crucial aspects such as transactions, communications, knowledge, infrastructure, and database from malware attacks, ransomware, internal threats, or more.
You may be wondering: why is data security important? Here, we provide a comprehensive understanding of data security and the benefits it offers.
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What is Data Security?
Data security is a set of practices, laws, and regulations to protect sensitive and digital information from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft. Its verticals may include files, accounts, network security databases, websites, computers, and networks.
The application of data security techniques relies on the dataset's sensitivity and compliance requirements.
Data security also includes organizational policies and procedures. Different tools and technologies enhance visibility into critical data and its implementation.
These include tools for encryptions, data masking, and others to automate and streamline audits and adhere to regulatory requirements. They also help impart administrative and access controls and safety policies and procedures.
Elements of Data Security
The three data security pillars are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. The cybersecurity paradigm known as the CIA triad correctly explains why data security is important.
This helps with the legal and moral obligation to protect users’ and customers’ data from falling into the wrong hands.
Here's what it means:
- Confidentiality: This ensures that only authorized users with the required credentials have access to data.
- Integrity: Integrity ensures that the stored data is reliable, accurate, and not subject to unwarranted changes.
- Availability: Availability ensures data is safely accessible for businesses in a timely and secure manner.
Data Security Best Practices
Data security best practices can boost an already deployed strategy.
Moreover, these best practices enhance data security by serving multiple functions such as preventing websites from going down and leading to better business management.
They are as follows:
1. Cybersecurity Training
According to a study, by 2027, global spending on cybersecurity training will reach $10 billion. It proves to be a practical investment to safeguard data for future uses.
Since your team will handle daily workflows, it is important to educate them with the best training and advice.
Without powerful insights, the teams’ performance will also be limited, which hinders performance at its fullest potential.
The issues can come at the cost of sales, services, and other departments’ performance.
2. Data Security Compliance
Organizations must adhere to guidelines such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, PII for EU residents, GDPR-General Data Protection Regulation, the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), and the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOA).
Data discovery and categorization tools can help find regulated data to protect cardholder information with relevant security measures.
Many compliances require regular assessments. These include:
- Identifying Potential Hazards
- Checking possibilities and impact of potential hazards
- Implementing measures for risk assessments
- Evaluating the success measures of the implemented tactics
3. Crafting a Thorough Strategy
An ideal strategy should be a mix of administrative, technical, and physical controls. This includes policies, processes, IT security, and more. This calls for data backups in every format.
A comprehensive strategy also ensures secure data collaborations. If sensitive information is being sent via email, establish a digital rights management system or another source email solution.
Checklists and a strong standard framework may help for the same.
4. Strengthening Protocols and Response Plans
Cybercriminals are always changing their strategies. With attacks being increasingly sophisticated, businesses must handle them perfectly with stronger company protocols.
Consistent team testing and automation for monitoring are some of the strongest techniques that help to keep up.
Creating awareness for employees prepares them to face challenges and mitigate risks. In case of an attack, a fitting response plan can establish a strong position for businesses. A suitable response plan curbs the negative domino effect on the entire system.
Moreover, backups should be stored in independent data systems other than the ones an organization generally uses. Invest in regular compliance audits, which consistently identify loopholes in the system.
5. Reaching Out for Professional Help
Organizations should reach out for professional help if they don’t have internal support. External advisors are usually familiar with the current government laws and may help you with additional insights.
They help with significant shifts in the strategy while saving money and efforts in the long run.
A safe practice is consistently transferring data to a reliable and trustworthy location
Why is Data Security Important?
A frail data structure can cause financial and reputational loss and lower trust in the brand.
Ensuring cybersecurity offers the following benefits that provide data security importance.
Safeguards Sensitive Information
A firm’s data related to clients, vendors, and customers might be shared with remote employees globally. Data security ensures that information is confined within the right system and shared safely.
Enterprises can keep sensitive data in structured and unstructured repositories which include:
Having a solid data security plan is crucial for protecting the organization’s reputation which helps boost employees’ and customers’ confidence.
In contrast, data breaches and cyber-attacks not only result in huge revenue loss but also a damaged reputation.
Prevents Data Tampering
If hackers don’t steal the data, they may still tamper with it by deleting, altering, or corrupting it.
This may lead to a domino effect that impacts daily functions and affects the entire system.
Offers an Edge Over the Competition
Data protection allows firms to efficiently stay ahead of the competition.
This is because data leaks can slow down the progress and growth of an organization. Instances such as illegal access and sudden unauthorized disclosures can cause customers to lose trust in the business.
Avoids Additional Costs
Ensuring a safe and secure infrastructure from the beginning prevents additional costs.
A study by Cisco shows that 50% of large enterprises are spending $1 million annually on cybersecurity. Meanwhile, Cybersecurity Ventures has predicted the cost of cybercrime to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025.
Data hacking consequences can be hefty for firms, requiring additional investments to deal with ramifications and create a stronger infrastructure to safeguard data in the long run.
Prevents Lawsuits and Fines
Customers may opt for legal measures when their data is breached. This may lead to lawsuits, and the organization will be subjected to fines if non-compliance is detected.
Apart from legal battles, data breaches can also lead to customer fines.
Types of Data Security
Organizations can practice data security in different ways. They are as follows:
Access control refers to limiting physical and digital access to the central system.
Computers and gadgets are protected through a mandatory login and entry to physical spaces is restricted to authorized personnel only.
Authentication refers to accurately identifying users before they access data. This requires measures such as access restrictions and correct identification.
These could be passwords, PINs, swipe cards, tokens, and biometrics.
Disaster Recovery and Backups
Backups can significantly reduce the impact of data breaches, system failures, data corruption, and disasters.
Restoration requires a backup stored in a different format such as a hard drive, physical disk, or on a cloud or local network.
Data resiliency refers to the speed and accuracy of an organization in bouncing back after a cyber-attack. It may also be demonstrated during power shortages, hardware attacks or other events that affect data integrity and availability.
The recovery speed can minimize impact. Data privacy can be implemented by incorporating resilience into the software and hardware.
Data masking obscures data with proxy characters such as letters and numbers. Even if the hacker illegally gains data access, data will remain hidden or masked.
Data masking also allows teams to develop applications or train them using real data.
It masks Personally Identifiable Information (PII) so that its development occurs in compliant environments. Only authorized users can revert the data to its original state.
Appropriate data discarding is crucial for organizations since it is more secure than standard data wiping. It uses software to completely overwrite data on any storage device.
Data erasure also ensures that data cannot be retrieved and doesn’t land in the wrong hands.
Encryption uses an algorithm to transfer normal text characters into an unreadable format. It scrambles data for only authorized users to unlock and access the information.
Other security measures include security key management capabilities..
Why Is Data Security Important – Key Takeaways
The exposure of trade secrets and intellectual property can drastically impact future business prospects. These threats invite additional costs, fines, reparations, reputational damage, job losses, and more.
As enterprises grow at an exponential scale and cyber threats get more sophisticated, customers, employees, and stakeholders should realize the importance of data security.