Data security means protecting data from unauthorized users that have the intent to use the data for nefarious purposes. A data breach can cause considerable harm to a business and its customers. Security breaches cause harm that isn’t only financial. If a business relies on customer trust, then security needs to be a top priority. Good data security keeps information safe, as well as ensuring you comply with relevant data security rules and principles. In order to practice good data security, put systems, procedures and policies in place to reduce the chance of a data protection breach. Ultimately, you need to create a culture of responsibility to ensure strong data security. This doesn’t just mean writing policies and procedures for staff to follow. It also means offering guidance and training so they understand why data security rules matter.
Below are 10 tips to ensure you’re following the best practice of a multi-layered approach to providing data security:
1. Implement a removable media policy. Restrict the use of external hard drives, disks, thumb drives and USB drives.
2. Use a spam filter on email servers. Malware is often attached to spam email that can be identified and blocked by spam filters.
3. Secure the network. Use firewalls, intrusion detection devices, segmentation and monitoring to screen for all types of attacks.
4. Use a robust endpoint security solution. Use a solution with antivirus and intrusion detection.
5. Maintain security patches. Most attacks exploit known vulnerabilities. Make sure to invest adequate time in patching systems.
6. Encrypt data. Data encryption is very important. Encrypt all data stored on any device and while in transit.
7. Implement an access management policy. Limit data access to only what staff need to do their jobs and no more.
8. Implement Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and auditing. Use DLP and file auditing to monitor, alert, identify and block the flow of data in and out of the network.
9. Use digital certificates. Save certificates to hardware devices such as routers or load balancers and not on the web server as is traditionally done. Obtain your certificates from one of the trusted authorities.
And last but not least (I saved the most impactful tip for last)!
10. Educate users. This is likely the most impactful way to ensure good data security. Have a well-organized, well-understood, well-maintained and well-monitored security policy for both insiders and outsiders, and make sure they undergo periodic training.
This blog was authored by CBE’s Security Team.