What is Data Security in 2020
How secure is your data? Data theft is a common vice that continues to thrive with technological advancement. To run a successful organization in 2019, it is imperative that you secure your data environment encompassing collection, storage, transmission, and manipulation of company data.
Some of the sensitive digital data you need to guard with care includes employees, stakeholders or customers personal and transaction details. So, what is data security in 2019?
Definition of data security
You can also refer to data security as computer security or information security. It is correct, therefore, to define data security as the protective privacy measures and policies put in place to safeguard digital data from corruption, unauthorized access, transmission, use or manipulation.
Your digital data whether residing in websites, computers or databases is prone to both internal and external threats. Hence the needs to analyze your data environment to not only manage the risks but also, to remain up to date with the ever-evolving information security standards.
How Data Security relates to businesses and start-ups specifically
Information security is not a preserve of the large corporations but rather a responsibility of all companies irrespective of their scale of operation. Data security breaches are common to start-ups. Nevertheless, with proper data security measures, your new business benefits from the following;
- Business Continuity
Data is the heartbeat of nearly all companies. You will use the data in your start-up to make critical decisions such as how to scale and the finance options available to you. Data breaches may wipe off your data from your storage.
Complete loss of data will render your business inoperable. To avert such crises, ensure that you back up your business data routinely. Your start-up can, therefore, continue its functions by use of the backup when the original is either lost or inaccessible.
- Prevents Data Breaches
As a business owner, you must safeguard sensitive business data. Landing of such information in malicious hands will have the following adverse effects to your start-up;
- Financial losses
- Negative public image
- Reduced future profits
- Destroying your brand image
- Legal consequences for data breaches
Properly secure your business data to prevent the data breaches.
- Block Unauthorized access
Hackers are after your small enterprise because they believe you have an easy-to-penetrate system. To scare the hackers, outdo their smartness by advancing your information security systems to include a variety of different secure layers. The additional layers will help block unauthorized access to both your equipment and business systems.
Steps you can take to ensure you’re keeping data secure.
With the increase in data theft, find solutions to close your front door from which frauds can access your digital data. Consider the following steps to data security;
1. Limit Data Access
Work with your admin to identify which employees have privileged access to your sensitive data and if it’s necessary. An Inability to determine why each of the employees has privileged accounts is sure proof that your business risks losing data to hacking or theft.
Next, limit data access for each department. Give access to specific individuals who genuinely need it and that is substantiated by the value that access adds to your organization. A human resource manager can get access to employees’ records but not everything else. Limited data access improves information security.
2. Identify Most Important Data
While all the data in your company is valuable, only 5 to 10 % of it is sensitive and most important thus called “Crown jewels.” Any compromising on the crown jewels will result in considerable revenue and reputation losses. Therefore, identify your most important data and where it lies.
Besides restricted access to your crucial data direct more efforts and resources to develop procedures and measures aimed at protecting your data.
3. Create a data security plan/policy
Creating a data security plan is also inevitable if you must improve your computer security. This plan should indicate measures and procedures to undertake in response to an attack when protecting your organization from the extreme effects of the attack.
The stated policies foster preparedness and employees’ organization since they are aware who has access to which data and who is more prone to breaches. Data security is dynamic; hence keep updating the policies as technology evolves. Also, encourage your employees to enforce the rules to the latter for improved data security.
4. Develop Strong and different Passwords for every Department
Guide your employees into developing complex but easy-to-remember passwords. The best passwords should comprise of numbers, capital letters, and special characters because hackers can hardly crack them no matter the software they use.
How many characters have your password? They should not be less than 12 and, avoid words in the dictionary.
5. Update and Backup your data regularly
For advanced security of your data from loss, learn to update and backup your data daily. The backup can either be manual or automatic. Reinforce data security by using excellent software as well as designing a strong IT department to manage all data threats professionally.
Running a successful business is a significant challenge especially when it is a start-up dealing with data breaches and theft. Ensuring you protect your business data from unauthorized access and corruption by malicious people can hedge problems that can arise later down the road.
Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at ReciprocityLabs.com.