Data protection aims to mitigate financial losses brought on by a lack of availability and verified data integrity. Data lifecycle management, which is the automated transfer of crucial data to online and offline storage, data risk management, data loss prevention, data backup, and recovery are some of the practices to consider while creating a data protection plan. A data protection strategy should safeguard data from being harmed or discarded by any internal or external risks or threats.
Data breaches have affected companies and caused them heavy losses in terms of losing proprietary consumer statistics and insights, along with the overhead costs that went into crisis management and litigation. However, in the modern world, people's information and business understandings derived from it are a competitive edge for a company to carry out its operations.
Types of data needing protection
Business functions largely rely upon consumer contact details and buyer personality comprehension, which is often derived from their purchasing behavior. Data such as customer engagement, behavior inputs, and attitude data form an entire data landscape through which the organization operates.
For instance, if a company has gathered information on specific demographics where its products are sold maximum, it builds up future investment plans for such locations. If it picks up that a specific type of advertisement, online or offline, is converting a particular set of people into buyers, those statistics hold value for the business.
Why is protecting data important
As per the report, which pointed out that more than 65% of consumers lose trust in businesses that have been victims of such cyber incidents, and about 85% wouldn't want to deal with them again, leading to a revenue crash.
With a dearth of insights into the very buyers of a product, a company's business functions can run astray without knowing how to further market and sell their products. Suppose such information lands on the internet as part of an untoward cyber incident, it can cause heavy losses in terms of losing data and being held down in competitive edge.
Such information takes years to collect, store and translate into intelligent statistics, from which a data breach can occur.
Identifying loopholes as the first step to cybersecurity
Mapping all those areas in an organization where data flows in and out of your servers and locating all such loopholes is the first step. While threat actors might not always be ready to pounce with sophisticated mechanisms, ordinary negligence can be the biggest reason for leaks. For instance, having a standard email with common passwords known to many is an inadvertent threat.
Employees can be careless with choosing suitable passwords and use common keywords throughout the company, which are often predictable for outsiders. In addition, insider threats, improper configurations, and default login credentials are common reasons for becoming easy targets to threat actors. Therefore, all such areas need to be mapped out by Information Technology experts in your organization before they plan to invest heavily in data protection tools.
Set data protection policies and standard procedures.
Protecting an organization's valuable data is often more than just the job of cybersecurity experts. All employees must be sensitized towards inculcating behaviors that promote overall watertight protection. Having essential intermediate seminars and workshops for all employee stakeholders is the key to bringing everyone on the same page so they can operate in line with IT objectives.
A set of pre-approved policies and procedures to deal with such threat incidents is the key to preventing untoward incidents. When everyone understands the value of essential data, sensitization will avert them in the first place. Following a particular set of preliminary regulatory compliances would put you on a sufficient pedestal for data protection. An end-to-end procedural adherence will pre-set a bar towards privacy objectives.
Putting access controls in place
It should be imperative to prepare a list of data points that are to be made accessible to everyone and those which are to be made accessible to a specific set of audiences. The data type available should be analyzed, and a protective environment, such as control parameters, must be set around them. Higher availability and accessibility to sensitive data make it more prone to data breaches by threat actors. Thereby pre-defined restrictions can be in place, and quick authorizations can be granted to those needing it in the time of requirements.
Nutshell and way ahead
Data is an important asset that holds the lead to a company's revenue generation models. It is directly proportional to how a company runs its business and how much revenue it can generate by using the insights derived from it. A sound data protection strategy starts with basic steps such as awareness and setting access control points. Commonalities in the setting of passwords must be reduced and kept in check. Before using big cybersecurity firms' services, the company's IT experts must adopt the basic thumb rules to prevent cyber incidents. A solid internal data protection strategy is foundational to effective cybersecurity in the modern and fast-paced universe of advanced computing.
The author is Senior Vice President, Arete. Views are personal.