The Importance of Data Security

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All businesses have data, so all businesses need data security. A data security plan, therefore, needs to form part of your wider cyber security strategy. The concept of securing your data focuses primarily on safeguarding your sensitive data from hacks, corruption, accidental loss, and theft. Security can be created by taking such measures as encryption and masking.

This article will highlight the importance of securing data, detail security measure types, and define how this focus fits into your wider cyber security infrastructure.

What is data security?

Data security describes the process businesses take to secure their digital accounts, databases, and files from security breaches. While your stored data will be provided with a high degree of cloud-based security, it’s vital that you provide an additional layer of protection for your sensitive information and documentation.

Securing your data is important during all stages of information holding – from transferring the data to your information database to maintaining and retrieving it.

Not only is data security about maintaining the confidentiality of your data, but also its availability and integrity.

You need your data to be available to use whenever you need it; you also require it to maintain its integrity and reliability. Otherwise, there’s no point storing the data you produce. The only way to satisfy all three of these goals is to implement a solid data security plan.

The confidentiality, availability, and integrity of your data can be lost in several ways, such as:

  • Corruption
  • Theft
  • Cyberattacks
  • Accidental loss
  • Modification

Like most security-related processes, data security is an ongoing process. According to Statista, 328.77 million terabytes of data are produced each day. Given the rise in businesses switching to entirely cloud-based processes, it’s safe to assume that the working world accounts for a large portion of that statistic.

It should become standard practice for your business to encrypt, mask, and backup all the new data you produce on a daily basis.

The difference between data security and cyber security

Data security deals primarily with the safeguarding of data, while cyber security concerns the protection of your entire computer system and digital assets. Of course, there is a degree of overlap between these two terms, but they can’t always be used interchangeably.

Cyber security is an umbrella term that refers to providing security for your entire cloud and computer-based operations. This includes protecting your cloud network, software applications and programs, hardware, and other digital activities from hackers and other digital threats.

Data security forms part of this umbrella term. By imposing cyber security measures on your data centres and technologies, you’re providing some degree of data security. Your data will be produced and stored in these components, so making sure they’re secure is definitely essential to securing your data.

Also, data security is generally considered to fall under the wider-ranging term of cyber security.

Why is data security important?

Data security is not only important for your own business’s sake, but it’s also a legal requirement. The Data Protection Act 2018 states that businesses have a legal obligation to ensure that personal data is kept secure and protected against unauthorised access. This act also outlines how long you can legally hold personal information and what purposes you can use it for.

So, as a business, your HR department is legally responsible for the safety of the data you store related to your employees. Without a data security plan in place, it would be impossible for your business to comply with the law.

 

Types of data security

When it comes to devising your data security plan, there are several types of security measures you can place on your data to ensure its protection from threats.

In order to carry out these measures, you can invest in data security software, which encrypts and masks your information. It can also be used to impose data loss protection measures and perform routine data resiliency checks.

The main types of secure data measures you can use in your business include:

Data encryption

Data encryption involves using an algorithm to logically scramble a dataset to the point where it is incomprehensible. This renders it useless to hackers, as they won’t be able to understand the data should they gain access to it. The only thing that can unscramble the information is a decryption key. Encryption is useful at all stages of the data lifecycle, particularly storage and transference.

Data masking

Rather than scrambling the entire data set, the process of data masking involves blocking out key aspects so that the information cannot be understood. Sometimes, specific values are replaced by random ones, which further renders the data useless to hackers. To restore the data back to its original form, a password must be entered.

Data erasure

As the name implies, data erasure involves totally removing the data from your company’s database. This is to be used in instances where you no longer need to store the data, but it still contains private information that cannot fall into the hands of hackers. Not only does data erasure free up storage space, but it also ensures that you’re keeping sensitive information hidden.

Data backup

Data backup should not be confused with data storage. This measure involves making a secondary copy of your information and storing it on an external database. So, in the event of you losing information as a result of human error or accidental modification, you can retrieve this secondary copy to replace the corrupted primary copy. This is a form of data resiliency, as it guarantees continuity in the event of a data loss.

Data tokenisation

Like a mix of encryption and masking, tokenisation gives each number or letter in your dataset a unique symbol or token. Obviously, this code cannot be read by any unauthorised personnel.

The benefits of securing your data

 Besides keeping your business practices lawful, securing your data through the likes of encryption and masking holds a wide range of additional benefits, such as:

  • Organisation and availability – By implementing security measures, you’re also bringing uniformity to your datasets. Each dataset should be treated the same and be stored in the same way. This makes accessing and retrieving the data as easy as possible.
  • Accuracy – With rigid measures in place, you can ensure the data you put into your data centres is the same as the data that comes out. With minimal risk of corruption, you can guarantee that all retrieved data is accurate.
  • Time saving – Cyber breaches are costly and time-consuming to recover from. Not only do you lose all your data, but you also have to replace it. This situation can be avoided with a professional data security plan in place.
  • Scalability – Security tools are designed to take on large-scale datasets. With a process in place, you can provide the same level of security for a large dataset as you can for a small one.
  • Brand trust – Nobody wants to be affiliated with a company that has experienced a major data breach as a result of negligence. In order to gain and maintain customer trust, you need to have a solid security measure in place.

How YourShortlist can help

Would you like to secure your data further but are not sure where to begin? There are a lot of data security providers out there, each offering unique security methods and features.

Your business is unique, as is the data you store. In order to maintain your data accordingly, you need a security provider that meets your needs precisely.

This is where YourShortlist comes in…

Not only are we experts in data security, but we’re also professional software procurers. We can provide you with a list of data security solutions that are guaranteed to meet your needs exactly.

Get in touch today!