How Does Your Organisation Safeguard its Confidential Data?
Client data is one of the most significant assets for any business in the modern market, and businesses need to protect client data consistent with Personal Identifiable Information regulations. PII or Personal Identifiable Information refers to credentials such as the name, address and SSN of clients, which, when accessed by third parties with malicious intent, can harm clients and businesses that store this data. Therefore, data protection is an essential operation practised by the IT department of businesses, and the government issues several guidelines that businesses need to adhere to maintain data privacy. Data security is enforced by safeguarding digital information from corruption, unauthorised access by third parties, and theft. Let us understand how businesses carry out data protection and why data security is a concern for businesses and clients.
What is data protection?
Data protection encompasses several aspects of information security, including the physical security of storage devices and hardware and the administration of access to sensitive data within an organisation. Data protection also includes the formation of strategies, organisational procedures, and policies that can help enhance the security measures employed by a company to protect sensitive information. Businesses with the appropriate deployment of security measures face lower chances of data leakage, which can lead to loss of business, fines, and market status. To ensure robust data protection within the infrastructure of a business, several tools and technologies are deployed, which limit the number of people who can access sensitive data while allowing organisations to monitor the flow of data within it and to mask or encrypt digital data. The masked data can be accessed only by authorised personnel. This implies that employees only get to know what they need to. As businesses become more dependent on data generated, stored, or administrated by them, the number of vulnerabilities also grows. Therefore, growth in cyber risk becomes unavoidable, which deems robust data security provisions necessary for every business. Let us look into the kind of data that needs to be protected by organisations.
What kind of sensitive data does an organisation process?
Both service and product businesses store confidential client data, which is crucial for the seamless flow of business processes. Let us find out what comprises this sensitive data we are referring to:
- Client-related data: Businesses process data obtained from clients, including PII, bank information and medical records, among many others. This kind of data, when put into the wrong hands, can lead to disastrous consequences. Cyber frauds that lead to loss of money, private data, and identity theft are the most common data security risks. It is, therefore, important for businesses to be able to protect sensitive data available on their servers. Customers need to be aware of the data security provisions employed by a business before they opt to share their information. Sharing confidential data with businesses that deploy inadequate security can lead to losses of several kinds.
- Business-related data: Business-related data that needs to be safeguarded with efficient security measures include credentials of websites that facilitate essential business operations. Moreover, financial estimates, information regarding clients that competitors can use to poach clients, and information regarding employees that head hunters can benefit from need to be protected. Leakage of the information mentioned above can lead to loss of value from the business, which is undesirable.
What kind of risk is organisational data susceptible to?
The cyber attacker manipulates the victim to control their computer system or steal confidential data.
Do not install remote control software such as TeamViewer and Anydesk or allow a third party to view your screen until you verify their credibility completely. Even if they are credible, refrain from handing over access to your system.
The party behind the cyber attack makes organisational data inaccessible, halting organisational processes immediately.
Do not install software onto your computer from an unofficial website or a link you might have received over emails, social media, or text messages.
A malicious attempt by a third party renders the regular traffic of a server unusable. The attacker directs overwhelming internet traffic towards the target server and its infrastructure. Cyber attackers usually launch a DDoS attack to deem online services, network resources, and host machines unusable for regular internet users.
Verify your users by asking them to perform security checks like solving the captcha or answering security questions that require human judgement.
Unintential or lack of action related to data security practices that leave the infrastructure vulnerable and ready for an attack.Disclosing IP addresses to untrusted parties, using weak usernames and passwords and
Keeping IP addresses hidden, be careful while carrying out crucial tasks that can affect the flow of work within the organisation and make sure that all operations are carried out efficiently.
With industrial advancements, and the advent of advanced technologies such as AI and the blockchain, security measures are becoming more robust. However, the chances of a business falling into cyber attacks are also rising. Cyber attackers ask for financial compensation or other benefits to allow these businesses to reaccess their data. Data, when held hostage by the attackers, can also be stolen and used for monetary benefits that are primarily untraceable.
Businesses often focus on external threats and ignore the internal threats and accidents that can make their data vulnerable. Studies suggest that almost 94% of organisations have breached their data because of an insider. 84% of organisations that have faced security incidents have been identified as caused by employee mistakes. Moreover, businesses need to maintain a data access hierarchy within their infrastructure. Employees must have access to data that they need when they need it. A flat network that allows employees at all levels to access confidential company data magnifies the vulnerabilities of the same. These, among many others, are the risks to which organisational data is susceptible.
Businesses suffer majorly at the hand of cyber attacks that compromise the data security measures of a company. Losing client information at the hands of a competitor can lead to loss of business opportunities, which in turn can lead to huge losses. Moreover, several regulations, including Europe’s GDPR, CCPA in the USA, and data security provisions such as the HIPAA and SOX, provide a safety net for consumers and shareholders against heinous acts such as financial fraud and accounting errors. If a business fails to comply with the regulations and provisions mandated by the government, they are often subjected to hefty fines. It is, therefore, important for businesses to exercise data security procedures that ensure a data protection standard within their infrastructure to function in the market without any issues.
Methods to safely store and transfer data
There are several strategies, as well as security measures, that a business can resort to enhance its data security, some of which are mentioned below:
- Encryption: Normal text characters that make up sensitive information can be encrypted and made unreadable with the help of an algorithm. This allows businesses to restrict data access to authorised personnel aware of the algorithm.
- Data Erasure and masking: Software can overwrite data stored on a device instead of wiping it, rendering previous data sets unrecoverable. Data masking refers to the masking of PII, wherever necessary, to ensure data security compliance in a working environment.
- Monitoring of organisational files and data: Organisations can analyse the data used by employees and keep track of the employees accessing the data. Spot anomalies and identify risks within the infrastructure to detect ongoing misconduct.
- Try enabling firewalls, and staying up-to-date backup policies, if you use cloud services for your business to add an extra layer of protection to your organisational data.
- Multiple-factor Authentication allows organisations with only authorised personnel to access the data and digital resources available to the business.
How NSKT Global can help
Businesses must be aware of their security vulnerabilities and the tools and technologies that can help address these issues. However, these tasks might appear to be overwhelming for businesses that do not have a dedicated IT team that can solve these issues. This does not take anything from the fact that even small businesses need organisational security. This is something that the professionals at NSKT Global are well acquainted with. Book an appointment, and learn how the auditing services offered by the company can help you understand your vulnerabilities and allow the experts to suggest ways to curb these data security issues at the earliest. Navigate to the official website of NSKT Global to learn more about the services offered by a team of experienced and dedicated officials!