Organizations are producing data at record speed: It’s estimated that by 2025, worldwide data will grow to 175 zettabytes. Maintaining the right level of visibility and control over this data should be a top priority for all organizations across the globe. But doing so is often a major challenge. Why?
Widespread cloud usage and fast-growing data volumes, combined with hundreds of scratch-built applications and the use of various consumer devices, leave IT and security decision-makers without a clear or accurate view of who inside their organization has access to their data. This is a major problem when it comes to ensuring the security and privacy of your data.
In today’s digital age, organizations are continuously sharing data in order to collaborate and drive the business forward. Whether you’re working in an office environment or remotely, it’s easy to share files with a few mouse clicks. But, it’s just as easy for sensitive information to end up in the wrong hands without the proper precautions in place.
Sensitive data includes everything from customer personally identifiable information (PII), staff files, and emails to confidential R&D plans and proprietary information. Put simply, data is extremely valuable information that you should make every effort to protect because while sharing data can drive growth and innovation, it also comes with risks.
Data risk is defined as exposure to loss of value or reputation caused by issues or limitations to an organization’s ability to acquire, store, transform, move, and use its data assets. So, what does data risk look like?
Taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity is paramount to mitigating risks. Strong passwords and staff security training are steps in the right direction. But, you need higher levels of data security to protect sensitive business data. And, what if you operate in a highly-regulated industry? Extra layers of security are likely required for compliance with privacy regulations.
To improve your security posture, here are five tips and best practices:
Data management is the practice of managing data as a valuable resource to unlock its potential for your organization. Managing data effectively requires having a data strategy and reliable methods to access, integrate, cleanse, govern, store and prepare data for use. As an example, a healthcare provider in another office will need access to patient records before treatment. Ensuring those files are available to the provider allows them to do their job effectively.
Another important aspect of data management is proper cleaning and disposal. Organizations should set protocols for managing data that is no longer in use or necessary to retain, both in physical and digital format. For example, be sure to remove data from old devices and outdated computers before you recycle them and always use reliable and reputable sources for recycling and destroying unwanted documents and devices.
The regulatory landscape is an alphabet soup of security and privacy compliance programs. These regulations vary by industry but all have the common goal of maintaining the security and privacy of sensitive data.
Some of the key compliance programs to know are:
This looks different for every organization. For a large enterprise, it may be a Chief Data Officer, but for a small nonprofit it may be a Head of IT. No matter the title, this person should serve as an expert in protecting your organization’s most valuable data. Appointing an individual to be responsible for overseeing your organization’s data management will help identify vulnerabilities and reduce risk. This person should also be on the look-out for opportunities for and through data analytics, whether that’s predicting customer trends or finding new revenue-generating opportunities.
Maintaining the security of your organization’s data is a delicate balancing act. After all, your employees still need access to sensitive data in order to do their job. Gone are the days of having to choose between security and sharing of sensitive data. With a data-centric solution, you can reduce your risk while unlocking the benefits of digital workflows for your teams, partners, and other collaborators. Look for a solution that provides:
By now you know that sharing data is critical for business growth. But, how can you share data securely and ensure that your vendors and partners take data security just as seriously as you do? Training employees and establishing trusted vendor relationships are key.
Today, more employees are working remotely than ever before, making employee security training even more important than before. To ensure business operations continue to run smoothly when teams are spread out geographically, ensure your employees care and are informed about cybersecurity. Every employee should understand his/her responsibility in protecting sensitive data.
When developing your employee security training program, a few considerations might include:
A strict security policy protects everyone, including those you work with outside of the organization. At the beginning of a new vendor or partner relationship, verify what security measures they have in place to protect your data when they access it. Always conduct necessary research before allowing third-party network access. You can also include non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
Data, in its many forms, can uncover insights to optimize your operations and power growth opportunities, but it is hard to manage. And without the right protection and controls in place, data can be a major vulnerability.
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, it’s important to take a proactive approach to mitigating risk and identify technology solutions that can keep up with business needs so as not to slow down collaboration and innovation.
Based on security and privacy best practices, this checklist keeps essential evaluation criteria top-of-mind to ensure the successful implementation of a data protection tool that addresses data security concerns and helps to mitigate risk.
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