Data Security

What is Data Security?

Data security refers to safeguarding company data and preventing data loss due to illegal access.

This includes protecting your data against attacks that encrypt or delete data, such as ransomware, and assaults that change or distort your data.

Data security also guarantees that data is accessible to anybody who needs it.

To comply with data protection rules, several sectors necessitate a high level of data security. Institutions that receive payment card information, for example, must use and retain payment card data securely. In contrast, healthcare organisations in the United States must safeguard private health information (PHI) by the HIPAA standard.

Even if your company is not subject to a rule or compliance requirement, the existence of a contemporary corporation is dependent on data security, which can affect both the company's vital assets and private data belonging to its customers.

What Is the Importance of Data Security?

To some extent, all organisations now deal with data. Data is at work in businesses large and small, from banking behemoths coping with vast amounts of personal and financial data to the one-person operation maintaining his clients' contact information on a cell phone.

The basic goal of data security is to safeguard the information that a company gathers, keeps, develops, receives, or sends.

Compliance is also an important factor to consider. Data breaches may result in lawsuits and large fines, not to mention reputational harm to a firm. The significance of protecting data from security threats is greater today than ever before. 

Which Data Must Be Safeguarded?

Companies are often required to secure two categories of data:

The data assets needed to run and sustain your business are business-critical data. Financial planning, inventories, and intellectual property such as designs and trade secrets are examples.

Employee HR and payroll data, customer profiles, contracts with suppliers, and personal medical histories are examples of private information.

A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy offers specialised protection of the company's information assets, ensuring that the most critical data is protected to the greatest extent possible. Otherwise, you'll waste time and money trying to save every file and folder, whether it contains essential intellectual property or merely images from the corporate picnic.

Types of Data Security Technologies

To safeguard your data, you can employ a variety of methods. You should utilise as many as possible to ensure that all potential entry points are protected. 

Authentication

Authentication is the process of confirming a user's login credentials (passwords, biometrics, etc.) to ensure that they are indeed the user. It's also one of the most crucial components of your data security plan since it acts as the first line of protection against unwanted access to sensitive data. 

Authentication is conceptually easy but technologically complex to do at scale. However, new technologies like single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and compromised password detection make it simpler than ever to safeguard the login process without jeopardising the user experience. 

Data Encryption

Data Encryption scrambles sensitive information with an algorithm to not be read by anybody who does not have the exact information (the encryption key) necessary to unscramble it. It's a critical data security technique since it assures that even if someone acquires illegal access to your data, they can't utilise it. You should always keep your encryption keys in a secure location and restrict access to as few persons as feasible. 

Tokenisation

Tokenisation is analogous to encryption. On the other hand, Tokenisation replaces your data with random characters rather than scrambling it using an algorithm. The connection to the original data (the "token") is saved in a separate secured database table. 

Masking of Data

Data masking does not change your data into an intermediate form but rather "masks" the characters in your data with proxy characters. Once transported to its final destination, software reverses it. 

Controls for Physical Access

Data access control is also an important component of your data security strategy. And, unlike digital access control, which is often handled through authentication methods (and limits the number of authorised users who have access to your data), physical access control governs access to the physical places where your data sits (a data centre or your on-premises server rooms). 

Protective measures such as key cards, biometric authentication techniques such as fingerprint recognition and retinal scans, and security staff are examples of physical access management controls.