How to protect data through proper management
Safeguarding data is something that all companies are now prioritizing, given the fact that recent security breaches have demonstrated the damaging effects that come with such incidents. However, it's important for decision-makers to understand that threats to enterprise data no longer come solely from outside the organization's walls. Insiders too can place mission-critical information at risk.
"Whether accidentally shared or intentionally taken, the loss of vital information and documents has the potential to result in a nightmare for any business," stated a recent ZDNet report. "Companies face the loss of customers, lawsuits, tarnished reputation and sizable fines."
It's not surprising that the implications of a security incident have sent many companies scrambling to deploy advanced measures and strict policies aimed at keeping data safe. However, according to the ZDNet report, an organization can also take a closer look at its data management practices as another security method.
ZDNet identified several areas that should be addressed.
1. Take a look at data
Protecting data is certainly made better when a company is aware of not only the type of data they have stored, but also where it is housed. According to the report, "the location of physical or digital information is often overlooked by companies."
It's not uncommon for an organization to have a physical storage room filled with cardboard boxes of paper documents and a data center where electronic information is stored on servers. Leveraging the use of a third-party storage provider may be a better option, ZDNet stated.
Entrusting data to professionals and storing it offsite allows the company to implement strict controls over it. That way, exactly who can and can't access it is completely determined by the organization.
2. Conduct regular audits
Data management is not a one-time practice. Needs change and the amount of information stored by the company is likely to only go up. As a result, according to ZDNet, that first tip needs to be repeated regularly in the form of audits of both physical and electronic data.
"With a uniformed understanding of where critical data exists across all departments, the number of employees who may notice a problem will increase," the news provider noted.
Audits can also ensure that information hasn't been altered or changed in anyway without the company's knowledge. Should it be found that information was changed, decision-makers may want to take a closer look at policies and procedures that are in place and tasked with restricting access.
3. Don't forget about compliance
The current regulatory environment has never been stricter for most organizations, so very few are likely neglecting the issue entirely. Still, some organizations may not be paying attention or keeping up with new requirements they are facing on what seems to be a daily basis.
But it's important to keep abreast of compliance, as any changes to regulations may force an organization to alter or implement new policies for data management. If a company fails to keep ahead of compliance trends, it may find itself facing sanctions and widespread deployment of new measures.
A recent report from Dark Reading also addressed how companies can prevent their mission-critical data from leaking outside the organization's walls and falling into the wrong hands.
According to the news provider, decision-makers must address the "human factor" when working to lock down information. The process starts with crafting well-defined and easy-to-understand policies that are followed by extensive data management training. In doing so, the report said, the company not only arms employees with the appropriate knowledge but also promotes the safe storage and handling of data.