Data Safety: Four Great Ways of Keeping Sensitive Data Secure
Data security has become a critical issue for businesses globally but when it comes to implementing security methods the vast choice can make the decision an overwhelming one.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for guaranteeing data security but an organization can ensure that they take an approach whereby combining tools, establishing security practices and procedures and developing a security conscious culture, ensures the data can be maintained as securely as possible.
Here are 4 tips to help you maximize the security of your sensitive data which are not only effective but also simple enough for everyone to implement.
The encryption of data should be a priority. This remains one of the easiest and best ways of keeping data secure. Even if the data is accessed or taken it is of little value because the encryption means it cannot be read.
A layered approach should be taken to ensure that encryption is as effective as possible. For example, data in transit must be encrypted in addition to any stored data kept onsite. When transferring data to an end user it must be made unreadable to any potential hacker.
Get encryption software that runs closely with the storage hardware to keep things simple while maintaining system performance.
Protect the Database
Data is vulnerable at the point of entry and this will be where attackers will try to gain access to your system. If you are sending data into badly designed or insecure systems then this makes it easier for the data to be stolen through techniques such as SQL injection.
Building validation into the code at every step will increase the security of the data by lessening the database’s vulnerability. Manual and automated reviews are essential to keep this method effective and up to date.
As well as ongoing and monitored validation the database should only be able to accept validated data and the system should be continuously monitored so that anything that could be a potential attack is flagged. Identity management will limit the people who can access the data — less users means less risk.
Separate Your Sensitive Data Storage
Sensitive data needs to be kept in a specific area — if it is located throughout a system there are more chances it could be compromised. Access passwords should not be given to individuals, rather a central password manager should be used. Although it is sometimes the case that data is needed for testing, dummy data should be used for this and there are a number of tools available to generate it for this specific purpose. This allows for reliable testing without any risk to the data.
Making sure that the culture of your business has security at its heart is essential if you are going to implement security policies and reduce the risk of a successful harvest of your sensitive data. There are two main spheres where a company can work to build a good security-focused culture:
Policies — the enforcement of password policies like frequent password changes, rules on complexity, two-stage authentication and so on will help reduce the risk that someone can access the system without authorization.
Employee education — training on how to manage data, protect the organization’s devices and setting strong passwords helps employees keep the system secure. Training your employees regularly on issues like phishing attacks and other threats keeps their awareness levels high.
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