Data is a vital aspect of the modern online landscape and it’s equally important to protect it for the sake of your organization, your employees and your customers. Each organization will have different methods and tools for protecting its data, but there are some overarching best practices you can follow. Here are some of the most practical tips for protecting your organization’s data.
1. Gather Expert Opinions
There are several ways to gather expert opinions. You can speak with different experts in the field in isolation, have your security or IT team complete its own research, or establish a Security Operation Center (SOC). Expert opinions provide an excellent knowledge base for how best to protect your organization’s data. They can also help direct you toward the most applicable best practices for your organization, tools that make the most sense for your needs and processes that may be best suited for meeting your security and privacy needs.
2. Establish And Maintain Your Security Plan
The first thing you must do is establish a security plan. It should be comprehensive and include all tools, procedures and processes your employees will have access to and be expected to understand. All employees should know their roles in your security plan and how the plan affected them. Once you’ve established your security plan, make sure it’s available for employees to review as needed and that there is an accompanying training program available for employees to take. You should review and update your security policy regularly. Most organizations do so annually. All related documentation and training courses should be updated simultaneously.
3. Stay Updated on Risk And Privacy
The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving as cybercriminals attempt to stay ahead of security advancements. You need to make sure your organization stays up-to-date with these changes and advancements so you can update your security policy and tools accordingly. You also need to stay updated on potential risks to your organization’s data privacy and security. You and your employees need to be aware of new strategies cybercriminals have for attacking organizations and individuals.
4. Utilize Additional Cybersecurity Tools
You should always use basic necessary cybersecurity and privacy tools, such as antivirus software, firewalls and data backups. However, you shouldn’t leave it at that. You need to look carefully at your cybersecurity toolbox and consider what else you might need. Certain organizations may require more robust encryption while others may find network segmentation useful, for example. You should also incorporate privacy measures such as multi-factor authentication and storage that isn’t kept within your network.
5. Always Use Encryption Tools
Encryption is one of the most useful data protection tools available to organizations. You can encrypt specific types of data, including text messages, emails, and data files with specific related tools, such as encrypted apps. You can also encrypt the entire connection between each device and network with tools such as virtual private networks (VPNs). Encryption ensures that your organization’s data or your customers’ data is only accessible by employees and recipients who have the appropriate access credentials.
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6. Develop Strong Overlapping Security Measures
Remember not to only use one particularly strong method of privacy protection or security. The strongest security measures are typically made of multiple overlapping tools and strategies. Instead of relying solely on a firewall, pair that firewall with network segmentation and incorporate other security tools such as access controls and network monitoring to create a tighter web of security. The more compatible tools you are able to employ, the more difficult it is for cybercriminals to break into your network or steal data. The more difficult it is to do so, the less likely cybercriminals are to keep trying.
Make sure your organization’s data protection capabilities are strong and multi-faceted. You need to protect the data itself as well as any related tools, storage spaces and networks or communication channels. You also need to ensure your employees are aware of your data security policy and their roles in maintaining that policy.