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How to practice safe data and avoid security threats

NetworkTigers on how to practice safe data and avoid security threats.

Your data security is crucial to the well-being of your organization because you may suffer financial and reputational damages if compromised. Data security breaches can cause unexpected downtime and a loss of client trust and impact your organization negatively. Implementing data security best practices gives your business a multi-faceted approach to dealing with new threats and reducing the potential of zero-day attacks.

What is data security?

Data security is the process of protecting sensitive business information from risk. This includes protecting your information from attacks that corrupt or modify your data and attacks that can encrypt data like ransomware. Proper data security also requires real-time monitoring and reacting quickly to suspicious events to make your information resilient to fraudulent activity. 

Some industries, such as healthcare organizations and financial institutions, must implement tight data security policies to comply with data protection regulations. But even if your business is not subject to a compliance or regulation standard, the survival of your organization depends on data security, which can affect your company’s valuable assets and confidential information belonging to customers.

Why is data security important?

According to a Cost of Data Breach Study conducted by Ponemon Institute and IBM, the average cost of security threats reached $4.35 million in 2022. Over 25,000 user accounts were hacked, which means apart from financial losses, most data incidents lead to reputational damage and loss of client trust.

Fines and lawsuits related to security threats are also rising, with many countries requiring businesses to implement more stringent regulations to safeguard private data. While you can implement security measures to defend against threats, there is no easy solution to data security.

However, your IT personnel can improve security by identifying data protection challenges. It’s also essential to analyze the cost of your current security measures, their impact on data security, and the expected ROI from additional investments.

5 data security best practices for your business

Your workforce records, financial records, and business secrets all need protection. Data breaches highlight weak security policies and information vulnerability in small and large companies. Here are ways to mitigate risks and position your company for security success.

Implement a zero-trust architecture

Traditionally, network security has been thought of as bad actors outside versus good actors inside. However, with access to networks by laptops, desktops, and smartphones plus the rise of the cloud, it’s no longer feasible to have that kind of separation. 

Instead, businesses should implement a zero-trust architecture, a network-wide suspicion of devices or people outside or inside the perimeter. Rather than giving each vendor or employee complete network access, begin with minimal permissions that require authentication on all network planes.

This makes lateral movement difficult should bad actors have a key or gain access through the door as it establishes more layered security. 

Use endpoint protection, antivirus and anti-malware

Companies should ensure endpoints like mobile phones, cloud systems, and employee workstations have adequate protection because malware is the most common vector of modern cyber threats. The primary measure is antivirus software. However, it’s not enough to mitigate zero-day malware and file-less attacks. 

Endpoint protection platforms take a comprehensive approach to endpoint security. The platforms offer endpoint detection and response (EDR) functionalities that help your IT department identify threats on endpoints as they occur, evaluate them, and respond by locking down impacted endpoints.

Have strong authentication methods

Enforce multi-factor authentication when external or internal users request personal or confidential information. Businesses should put in place robust authentication methods like OAuth for web-based servers. Additionally, companies should have a well-designed authorization framework that ensures all users have access rights to use a service or perform certain functions.

Automated tools and periodic reviews should be used to clear permissions and remove authorization for people who no longer require them. 

Conduct data security audits

Organizations should conduct security audits every few months to identify vulnerabilities and gaps across the organizations’ security posture. While you can run a security audit in-house, performing the audit through a third-party expert, for instance, in a penetrating testing model, is recommended. When the audit exposes threats, set aside resources and time to address them.

Encrypt your data

Data encryption involves converting data from plain text (a readable format) to cipher text (an unreadable encoded format). The data can be processed or read after decrypting the encrypted data. Remember that you don’t have to share the decryption key in public-key cryptography techniques since the recipient and sender have their own key. Data encryption is crucial for most security strategies as it prevents criminals from accessing private data. 

How NetworkTigers can help enhance data security

NetworkTigers security solutions protect your information wherever it lives, whether in hybrid environments, in the cloud, or on-premises. If you want to learn more about how we can prevent threats and improve data security in your organization, Call us today.

Maclean Odiesa
Maclean Odiesa
Maclean is a tech freelance writer with 7+ years in content strategy and development. She is also a pillar pages specialist and SEO expert.

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How to practice safe data and avoid security threats