10 Data Security Strategies You Need To Implement

10 Data Security Strategies You Need To Implement

Are you worried that your antivirus software won’t protect your organization from a data breach? Do you have a cybersecurity risk management plan in place to protect your data?

FACT: On average, it takes companies 207 days to identify a breach and then another 73 days to contain it (IBM).

Having a data security strategy is crucial to detecting breaches early and minimizing their impact.

In this post, you’ll learn all about data security strategies as well as the technical solutions every organization should implement.

Table of contents:

What is Data Security?

Before we define what a data security strategy is, let's define data security. Data security refers to the practice of protecting digital information from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft throughout its entire lifecycle. It involves implementing a set of standards, technologies, and policies to make sure that data is stored, used, and transferred securely.

This can include strategies like access controls, authentication, and regular monitoring. The goal of data security is to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, whether it’s in transit, at rest, or in use.

What Is a Data Security Strategy?

Now that we’ve defined data security, a data security strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how an organization will protect its data assets from unauthorized access, data theft, and corruption. The plan outlines the policies, procedures, and controls required to safeguard the organization’s sensitive data and ensure regulatory compliance.

Why Is Having a Data Security Strategy Important?

There are a number of reasons why having a data security strategy is important. First, it helps protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, breaches, and theft. These, in turn, often result in significant financial loss, legal penalties, and reputational damage. Second, depending on your industry, a data security strategy may be needed as part of your compliance requirements. Third, it helps maintain business continuity by minimizing the risk of downtime and operational disruptions caused by cyberattacks.

10 Components of a Successful Data Security Strategy

There are a number of components of a comprehensive data security strategy, including:

  1. Risk Assessment: Identifying and evaluating potential risks to your data, including threats from both external sources (e.g., hackers, malware) and internal sources (e.g., employee error, insider threats).
  2. Data Classification: Categorizing data based on its sensitivity and importance to the organization, which helps in applying appropriate security measures to different types of data.
  3. Access Controls: Implementing controls to ensure that only authorized individuals can access sensitive data, using techniques such as user authentication, role-based access control, multi-factor authentication, and network segmentation.
  4. Encryption: Protecting data by converting it into a coded format that can only be deciphered with the correct decryption key, ensuring that data remains secure both in transit and at rest.
  5. Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Deploying tools and processes to detect and prevent unauthorized access, use, or transmission of sensitive data, helping to prevent data leaks and breaches.
  6. Incident Response Plan: Developing a clear set of procedures for responding to data breaches or security incidents, including steps for containment, eradication, recovery, and communication with stakeholders.
  7. Employee Training and Awareness: Educating employees about data security best practices, potential threats, and their roles in protecting the organization’s data to reduce the risk of human error and insider threats.
  8. Regular Audits and Monitoring: Continuously monitoring the security environment for unusual activities and conducting regular audits to ensure compliance with security policies and regulations.
  9. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: Establishing plans for data backup and recovery in case of disasters or cyberattacks, ensuring that critical data can be restored and business operations can continue with minimal disruption.
  10. Vendor and Third-Party Management: Assessing and managing the risks associated with third-party vendors and service providers who have access to the organization’s data, ensuring that they adhere to the same security standards.

14 Common Data Security Solutions

Having a data security plan is important; however, having the right security tools in place to protect your data is essential.

Here’s a list of common data security solutions every company should implement:

  1. Firewalls: Firewalls act as a barrier between an organization’s internal network and external threats, controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules.
  2. Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software: These tools detect and remove malicious software, such as viruses, worms, and ransomware, that can compromise data security.
  3. Encryption: Encryption converts data into a coded format that can only be accessed with the correct decryption key, protecting data both at rest and in transit from unauthorized access.
  4. Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS): IDPS monitor network traffic for suspicious activities and potential threats, alerting administrators and taking preventive actions to block attacks.
  5. Data Loss Prevention (DLP): DLP solutions monitor, detect, and prevent the unauthorized access, use, or transmission of sensitive data, ensuring compliance with data protection policies.
  6. Access Control Systems: These systems manage who has access to specific resources and data, using authentication and authorization mechanisms such as passwords, biometric verification, and role-based access controls.
  7. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): SIEM tools collect and analyze security-related data from various sources, providing real-time monitoring and alerting for potential security incidents.
  8. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs): VPNs create a secure, encrypted connection over a public network, ensuring the privacy and security of data transmitted between remote users and the organization’s network.
  9. Mobile Device Management (MDM): MDM solutions enforce security policies and manage the risks associated with mobile devices used for business purposes, protecting corporate data on smartphones and tablets.
  10. Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions: These solutions ensure that data is regularly backed up and can be quickly restored in the event of data loss, corruption, or a disaster.
  11. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): This adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two or more forms of identification before accessing sensitive data or systems.
  12. Password Manager: Generates, stores, and manages passwords securely, reducing the risk of password reuse and phishing attacks.
  13. Patch Management: Regularly updating software and systems with the latest security patches helps protect against known vulnerabilities and exploits.
  14. Dark Web Monitoring: Regularly monitor the dark web for any signs of compromised or stolen data related to your organization, and use this information to reset leaked credentials and session tokens before the data is exploited.

Each of these solutions plays an important part in your overall data security strategy. However, the general trend in data breaches is for attackers to leverage Living Off The Land (LOTL) techniques. This means that threat actors use legitimate tools and software already present on their target systems to bypass detection. In fact, according to Verizon, 86% of breaches involve the use of stolen credentials. Again, this is the easiest way to bypass detection and gain access to your network.

Does your security team need visibility into your organization’s leaked data? Book a demo to see how Breachsense can help.

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