What are the Priorities for Data Protection and Privacy Officers in 2020?    
Man giving presentation on security to employees showing how to ensure data security in the organization

How to Ensure Improved Data Security for Your Organization?

Every year on January 28th, Canada, Israel, the US, along with other 47 European countries, celebrate Data Privacy Day. The main aim to celebrate this day is to shed light on the growing importance of online privacy. This day is an international effort to raise awareness and to encourage netizens to consider the privacy implications of their online moves and also motivate others to make data protection and privacy important.

Not only on this day, but data security should be part of a daily routine thing. In this post, we’ll be discussing points that ensure how to improve data security within an organization. But before we get into this, let’s first talk about the actual importance of data security in terms of GDPR and beyond. Let’s read on.

Importance of data security

Spending both time and money in establishing data security initiatives to protect sensitive data is the fundamental concern and objective for any business enterprise. The matters of data security go much beyond the IT industry. Any business in any manner that keeps any online data should focus on protecting every single bit of that online information. It is because that information can be related to the business or of its customers.

Data security is imperative because data breaches, leaks, and theft can have severe consequences for the organization, and everyone linked with it. But, the direct misuse of the information against the business or its clients is not the only risk waiting in the shadow of a weak data security environment.

With the recently implemented regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the cost of failures are overblown for every organization. The rules compelled businesses to review and redesign their data security strategies and policies overnight.

Organizations must look for ways to improve their data security plans to avoid the misuse of sensitive data. With this, you can also prevent compliance issues. The following mentioned below are some of the ways to boost data security across a business organization.

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1. Protect the IT framework

Enterprises require a secure and stable infrastructure to create the foundation of a robust data security plan. It means they should pay attention to every element from devices to the systems. It is essential to ensure all the computers and devices are well-protected against sophisticated cyber-attacks and security attacks. The IT team must regularly update the systems with the latest operating systems as well as with some anti-virus products. Also, there must be a configured firewall to combat external attacks on the network.

Moreover, the organization should make sure that every software installed on the computer is up to date. It includes security patches that protect against the newly developed attacks and threats.

2. Take audits seriously

Remember that data security plans are not complete without regular audits. An audit is a proactive approach that allows organizations to detect loopholes in the existing security strategy. The audit based on data gathered in a post-attack helps in providing a better understanding of the mistakes that lead to the breach. The information can be essential in the development of a more robust data security plan along with more effective data security policies. Thus, companies must conduct regular audits to improve compliance and eliminate potential risks.

3. Enforce multi-factor authentication

Most people in an organization are quick to change their login details following the public disclosure of a data breach. However, it comes too late when the damage is done. Experts believe that many of the targeted businesses don’t recognize a data breach until weeks and months pass. This gives hackers ample amount of time to take advantage of the exposed accounts before anyone knows what happened.

Admitting the risks and dangers of threats, organizations must take additional steps to protect client’s business accounts from hackers. They can do so by implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all administrative account access. Also, they should encourage their users to deploy MFA across their web accounts.

4. Design a data-centric security strategy

Cloud services, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) have all dissolved the traditional boundaries of the network. Enterprises now need to approach network security from a holistic strategic viewpoint. Security experts emphasize organizations to explicitly embrace a data-centric approach by which they can develop a vital understanding of what data they have and how valuable that data is to their business operations.

Once organizations have an idea of what they have, they should protect it by robust encryption. They must establish a robust data backup strategy and test that strategy along with their backups frequently.

5. Invest in cybersecurity

Many security experts accept that investing more money and time on data security is imperative as the lack of it continues to be a significant risk to the IT infrastructure. Many giant tech companies are hiring chief security officers to secure and protect sensitive business data. This is a clear sign that cybersecurity is an integral part of all business processes.

6. Regular backups

Regular backups must be an essential part of the IT security strategy. With secure backups, you can survive everything from unintentional file deletion to a ransomware lockdown. Backups are among the best security practices. Thus, they should be stored in a secure and remote location away from the primary place of the business.

7. Educate your staff

There are several ways to ensure the protection of data, along with the growth of IoT. Among the most important is to educate the staff on the latest security practices. By knowing the current security trends, you can play an active role in keeping your company secure. Be sure to limit who is authorized to the information and set passwords that get changed often. Also, if you identify any slight shortcomings, act quickly.

8. Store your data in cloud

Now more and more companies are keeping their data in the cloud. If you wish to store your information online then, you must consider the added risk that your data might become accessible to others, possibly including people who you don’t want to have access. It is highly recommended to put strict permission levels so only specific individuals that need to see those folders have access to them.

9. Pay attention to insider threats

It is quite easy to imagine threats that originate from outside the organization, as these are presented in news and television as the most sophisticated and alarming threats. But, the reality is that it is the insiders that can potentially harm you the most. Due to their nature, insider threats are difficult to detect and combat. It is as simple as an employee clicking on a phishing email they thought has come from a reliable source and releasing a ransomware worm. Such threats are the most prevalent across the entire globe so, stay safe!

Final thoughts

Ideal data security and compliance can be achieved by implementing a security culture across the organization. Safety should be treated as the top priority and all the employees should be trained and educated accordingly. It can only be achieved by endless efforts that an enterprise can meet at a sustainable level of resilience.

 

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