10 Easy Solutions to Protect Your Data

The most valuable asset your company has is arguably business and customer data. With the rise in data leaks and breaches, developing ways to prevent data loss is the priority of every business owner

You can’t just assume that information stored on your devices is safe from malicious access. A data breach or leak can result in severe damages like financial loss, a damaged reputation, and legal issues.

The first line of defense in data protection is you. You need to stay abreast of current threats and take the necessary measures to safeguard your company data. Here are ten easy solutions you can implement to achieve just that.

Firewalls

A firewall is software that keeps malicious access out of your network. It filters incoming and outgoing traffic, using organizational guidelines to identify and block threats. A firewall solution should be a vital part of your network security. Some types of firewalls are packet-filtering proxy, stateful inspection, and next-gen firewalls.

User Rights Management

The risk of exposing confidential personal data increases with the rise in storage devices. So, organizations should have policies that control users’ access to tasks that would usually be restricted to the root role. User rights management is designed based on the employee’s role and daily activities. As a result, organizations can divide superuser roles among different administrators. 

Organizations should also enforce the principle of least privilege to grants employees the least access they need to perform their job. This way, organizations can better control access and movement of data.

Data Masking

Most organizations use data for less secure activities like software testing, training, or even third-party use. Without adequate protection, your data might be at risk. The best way to solve this issue is with masking. Data masking creates a fake but realistic version of your data. This way, you can allow access to data while protecting sensitive information. 

Data masking aims to develop a version of your information that hackers can’t decipher. You can mask your data in various ways, including character stuffing, encryption, and word substitution. Some examples of data masking include:

  • Substituting your personally identifiable information like name and details with characters and symbols
  • Randomizing sensitive data like account numbers, names, and credit card numbers
  • Scrambling your data by swapping around components in the same dataset
  • Deleting sensitive data records
  • Encrypting data to mitigate malicious threats and prevent access without a decryption key

Data Encryption

Encryption is another data protection method. It’s a secure measure that transforms data into encrypted code that only users with the right key can access the data. There are various solutions like this. Some request a password each time you access information stored on an encrypted storage drive. 

Other solutions encode specific folders and files or provide a folder to keep and encrypt all sensitive data. While data encryption can be daunting, choosing good data leak prevention software helps keep your data safe.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

The importance of data loss prevention can’t be understated. It’s a security measure that ensures users don’t send confidential information outside of a corporate network.

A good data loss prevention solution uses business guidelines to identify and block malicious outbound traffic, such as when an employee attempts to send confidential information to an outside email address. Email security best practices are also a vital part of any data protection plan.

User Behavior Analysis

This data protection method uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to track, collect, and access users’ data. Unlike firewalls and antivirus solutions, user behaviour analysis focuses on what the user is doing: Software launched, sites visited, network activity, and confidential files accessed.

It looks at when and how a file or email is accessed, who accesses it, and the usage. This technology identifies patterns of use that indicate unusual or malicious intent. 

User behavior analysis uses a baseline of normal behavior, flagging any activities that deviate from it. For example, if an employee downloads 50MB of files every day but suddenly downloads a 2GB file, the system alerts the admin.

Data Discovery and Classification

Organizations must classify information to identify critical business data from irrelevant data. Data protection using discovery and classification can help organizations scan offline and online repositories to detect sensitive information and organize it accordingly. This won’t only help you identify and remove duplicate or unwanted data, but also fosters proper data access control, visibility, and usage.

Database Activity Monitoring

Database security solutions identify and report database activities. As such, you can identify fraudulent, undesirable, or other illegal internal and external activities. 

Database activity monitoring systems offer real-time monitoring and data protection by analyzing, logging, and capturing data activity.  Policy violations are flagged without impacting system performance. It’s one of the best ways to protect data privacy.

Alert Prioritization

An intrusion detection system monitors network activities and alerts you when abnormalities are detected. However, the number of alerts generated can be overwhelming for security personnel to analyze. 

This is where alert prioritization comes into data protection.  Security personnel must be right every time, while cyberattackers only need to get it right once. The system arranges threat alerts in the order of urgency using alert priority scores. As such, security experts can attend to the most pressing threats first.

Final Thoughts

What is data loss prevention? It’s just one data protection measure. Firewalls, user rights management, data masking, and encryption are just as important and relatively easy to implement. User behavior analysis, data discovery and classification, alert prioritization, and activity monitoring are other effective methods, and should form part of your data security plan.

Data security is vital for every organization. When hackers get hold of sensitive information, they can sell it or use it for targeted attacks and cybercrimes. Keep your data safe and protect your business with these data protection measures.

 

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