Data security guards the data of organizations and systems from unauthorised access, use and modification. This helps in preventing data breaches, which could cause disruption to business operations and financial losses as well as compliance penalties and reputational damage. Modern methods for protecting data include a combination of technologies, tools and best practices that focus on the three pillars of data protection that are: Confidentiality (preventing information from being read or read without authorization) and Integrity (ensuring that the information is correct and not altered) and Availability (ensuring that information is readily available at any time).
The first step in effective data security is to create and maintaining an inventory and mapping of your data sets. Recording the data in your data centers and network-attached devices like desktops, mobiles cloud services, and software applications is essential. It is important to think about physical storage like USB sticks and external hard drives, and also discarded documents and printed documents. They are often ignored and could contain a vast amount of confidential information, making them a tempting target for cybercriminals.
Once you’ve got a clear view of your data sets, you’ll need to categorize sensitive information to determine where and how it is situated within your system. This will help you prioritize security measures, ensuring that only the most crucial data is protected and less important information is accessible. This allows you to comply to industry and regulatory requirements, such as those pertaining to the finance, health care and telecommunications sectors.