Whether you’re using the internet to communicate with clients, co-workers, or family members or online shopping and banking, it’s essential to protect yourself from data theft and data breaches; that’s where data security comes in.
Data security refers to protecting data from unauthorized access and data corruption throughout its lifecycle.
Data security includes data encryption, hashing, tokenization, and critical management practices that protect data across all applications and platforms.
Here are some ways/methods to keep your data safe and secure.
1. Password Security
Creating a strong password is one of data security’s most basic (and essential) steps. If your password isn’t strong, you need to change it—but you don’t have to go at it alone.
We recommend using a password manager, but if that feels too intimidating, there are ways of creating secure passwords on your own.
- The first rule of thumb? Make it long. Most experts agree that longer passwords are more difficult to crack than shorter ones.
- The second tip is randomness; aim for a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols in an order that seems random to someone who doesn’t know what you’re thinking.
- Lastly, make sure your password isn’t something obvious like password1! or 1234abcd.
2. Managing Permissions
A typical data security issue is the mismanagement of permissions. It can result in an employee having access to information that they shouldn’t, which could be catastrophic if they accidentally or maliciously disseminate it.
One of your first steps should be reviewing all user permissions on any systems you control.
You may want a system administrator team responsible for ensuring that every user has only access to what they need—and nothing more.
3. Looking for Insider Threats
Insider threats typically include employees, vendors, or contractors. They pose a particular challenge for organizations because they have access to sensitive information.
It is essential to identify the most valuable assets of your organization and how they might be compromised to prevent insider threats.
For example, if you work in healthcare, you might consider confidential patient records as your most valuable asset; if so, you should take extra precautions when hiring new employees and ensuring that current staff members don’t share their passwords.
It is also important/crucial to keep an eye out for potentially disgruntled workers who may be seeking revenge against your company.
If you detect any red flags, such as an employee who seems unusually stressed out or has recently been disciplined, it’s best to alert human resources.
4. Backup Strategies
There are three primary backup strategies to protect your data: local, offsite, and cloud.
Local backups refer to storing files on a secondary computer or external hard drive.
Offsite backups are hosted by another company or service that keeps copies of your data elsewhere, often in another location (like a separate state or country).
Cloud storage is exactly what it sounds like; instead of having files stored on a single device, they’re backed up online somewhere else.
Using cloud storage means you don’t have to worry about managing hardware; all you need is an internet connection.
The downside? You have less control over how your data is managed and secured.
5. Cloud Storage Solutions
There are several cloud storage solutions available today. Not all of them are secure. Before you choose a solution, make sure to do your research.
If you’re looking for data security, ask these questions before making a purchase:
Is data encrypted? What types of auditing capabilities does it offer? Who has access to my data? & can I trust them with my information? Asking these questions/queries will help you ensure your data is safe.
If you can’t answer these questions confidently, you may want to reconsider using that solution. Ask someone with an IT background if necessary.
If they can’t answer these questions, find someone who can! Your data must remain safe from unauthorized access, theft, or corruption because a breach in security could cause irreparable damage to your business.
6. Keeping Up with Patches and Updates
Businesses must keep their systems up-to-date with patches, updates, and other essential security fixes.
These are released regularly by Microsoft, Apple, Google, Adobe—and countless other companies.
Hackers can target vulnerabilities in programs to gain access to your data and systems.
In addition to computer operating systems and applications like browsers, you should update router firmware and any Wi-Fi devices you use regularly.
In conclusion, data security is a critical concern for all organizations in today’s digital age. To keep data safe and secure, it’s important to implement best practices such as regularly backing up data, using strong passwords, and implementing encryption.
It’s also crucial to keep software and systems up to date, as well as to monitor network activity for signs of suspicious behavior. By taking these steps, organizations can better protect their sensitive data and reduce the risk of a data breach.
With cyber threats becoming increasingly sophisticated, it’s essential for businesses to stay vigilant and proactive in their approach to data security, to ensure their valuable data remains safe and secure in an ever-changing digital landscape.