The Four Keys to Practical Business Data Protection

The Four Keys to Practical Business Data Protection

They say you never truly value something until it's gone. Picture that "something" as your business's secret sauce, resulting from a lifetime of development, documentation, and commercialisation. How would losing it affects your team, clients, and other stakeholders?

Data Protection is essential to safeguard sensitive information, ensuring individuals' and organisations' privacy and security. Implementing strong security measures and adhering to data protection regulations helps mitigate risks like unauthorised access, data breaches, and misuse of confidential information.

Discover the four essential "hows" of data protection and enhance your ability to safeguard valuable information effectively.

1. How much:

    • Identify data assets, including personal info, financial records, intellectual property, and sensitive data, to determine what needs protection.

    • Classify data based on sensitivity level: public, internal, confidential, or highly sensitive. This aids in prioritising protection and allocating resources efficiently.

    • Determine the size of your data assets and the rates of growth and change.  This data assists in developing the budget required.

2. How often:

    • Regular assessment of data criticality and vulnerability will assist in developing a per-data classification measure of tolerances for data loss and recovery times - these measures help formulate which approach is needed for which data set.

    • Implement real-time or near-real-time data replication for critical systems with rapid data-set changes to minimise the risk of data loss.

    • Make sure that backups are stored in appropriate locations - ideally, there should be three copies of any data available from disparate locations.

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3. How valuable:

    • Assess the value of your data to your organisation and potential attackers. High-value data is more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals.

    • Implement robust access controls, encryption and auditing for sensitive data. Limit access to required personnel only.

    • Mask (or de-identify) sensitive data in non-production environments to protect it during testing and development.

4. How to test:

    • Regularly conduct restore and recovery tests - ensure that each test targets a different recovery timeframe and area of data.

    • Test your organisation's security incident detection and response with data breach simulations and drills.

    • Establish a robust monitoring and logging system to track access and usage of sensitive data. Regularly review the logs to identify any suspicious or unauthorised activities.

Foster a security-conscious culture within your organisation by promoting strong password practices, conducting phishing awareness training sessions, and emphasising the importance of data security.

To mitigate data breaches, educating your employees about best practices in data protection is crucial.  

Human error can often play a significant role in such incidents. Foster a security-conscious culture by promoting strong password practices, conducting training sessions on phishing awareness, and emphasising the importance of data security throughout your organisation.

Remember that data protection requires continuous improvement and adaptation to address emerging threats and changes in your organisation's data landscape.

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