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Five Fundamental Data Security Tips

Data security is a combination of smart process and mindful thinking

Data security is no joke. Whether composed of clients, patient, or business information, your data is the lifeblood of your business, and can be one of, if not the most, important parts of achieving success. With so many threats facing your data, both in and out of the cloud, the scale of achieving data security can become overwhelming. Here are a few recommendations for getting your data safe and sound.

data security

Data security is a combination of smart process and mindful thinking.

Recognize the anatomy of a data breach: You need to understand exactly what impact will a breach have on your business. This varies from company to company, department to department. For example, if an online blog has a data breach, the impact criticality of that may be fairly low. Some user accounts might be exposed, but critical information has not been exposed. Compare this to the impact of data breach on a healthcare company (with its volumes of patient data) – you can see quite a significant difference in terms of how the data breach will impact an organization.

Security = best effort: There is no silver bullet or cure-all where security is concerned. Likewise, there is no piece of data that is 100% secure from everything. When you think about it like this and work your best to mitigate the most realistic scenarios of a data breach, you are more likely to safeguard your data. But don’t be satisfied. If you’re a government, a realistic scenario would be another country using its technological resources to breach your data and systems (looking at you China versus US). If you’re a music site and you also fear a foreign government seeking to breach your data, you might need to realign your focus. The more realistic threat in the latter scenario is having your content exposed outright through stealing it or someone creating a backdoor in your system that can accessed by non-paying users. Knowing what threats are realistic can give you a better sense of where they are coming from.

Having /following procedures: Procedure is key to data security success. This is a very important point because more often than not, the fundamental cause of a data breach is a failure to comply with best practice policies and procedures. There are many technological causes of data breaches – an exploit, or a bug internally. But too often, breaches are caused by missing simple steps in a procedure designed to ensure safety. While the outcome of human error, the impact on the business could be far worse than a simple code hick-up.

Don’t fall asleep at the wheel: Review your logs. Look at who’s utilizing your data. You can’t possibly keep the attackers out if you don’t know who’s accessing the data in the first place. Understanding when you have had a breach is part of this. Review is the fastest way to realize what problems may have occurred in the past to guard against potential problems in the future. If you don’t have a proper understanding about real world security you won’t be able to have the positive impact you need to have on your current and future security situation.

Don’t be arrogant: Don’t ever assume you have the ultimate best practices, procedures and policies in place or the premier technology installed and then become complacent. To be secure is to remain uncomfortable. No matter how good you think you are, there is always someone better. Be pragmatic and adapt procedures and policies to the changing state of security in the real world. All of the fundamental knowledge that you’ve built up in the past and structured into your current processes will have value, but if you don’t update your policies and procedures to reflect the current state of the industry, you will have gaps. And with gaps come the potential for problems.

What are your top security tips? Let us know on Twitter @CloudGathering.

By Jake Gardner

Read the original blog entry...

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