Data Security Management: Definition, Threats, Best Practices

Security breaches are an unfortunate reality that many businesses, both big and small, go through every day. If a breach occurs in your business, all your financial and employee records could leak, not to mention your trade secrets. And that would, in turn, almost certainly ruin the business.

As much as 95% of cybersecurity breaches are a result of human error. If you don’t want your business to be compromised and become a victim of a data breach, you need to focus on data security management.

What Is Data Security Management?

Data security management is a part of data management practice that your business should exercise regularly. It’s a combination of practices, techniques, and processes that keep business data safe and inaccessible to hackers and any unauthorized parties.

Data security management systems are there to protect business-critical intellectual property, the personal information of staff and customers, and other sensitive data. 

Some of the things related to data security management involve:

  • Identifying security risks
  • Creating policies on information security
  • Spotting security threats to a company’s IT system
  • Educating all of the organization’s employees on the best data security practices

Why Is Data Security Important?

If you want to protect your business’s intellectual property and reputation, as well as the welfare of your customers, the importance of data security is obvious. And if you don’t do your best to safeguard all of that precious data, a majority of serious problems could occur.

For instance, if a hacker breaks into your vulnerable system, they could steal your trade secrets and sell them to your competitors, causing your business to fall apart. Another scenario that’s very common is that your customers’ identities could be stolen and their trust in your business would be lost forever.

Data Security Threats                                                

The most common data security threats include:

  • Malware – malicious software that causes damage through unauthorized access
  • DDoS attack – attacks that try to make your servers unusable
  • Phishing scams – technique that tries to get users to open malicious attachments
  • Malicious insiders – employees who deliberately damage systems
  • Admins who unintentionally make mistakes
  • Spyware – malicious software that’s secretly installed
  • Trojan horses – seemingly harmless programs that are malicious
  • Adware – software that displays pop-up ads
  • Computer worms – self-replicating malware contained in hidden system files

Elements of a Data Security Management Plan

Every data security management plan needs to be detailed and contain the following elements:

  • Backups through which lost data can be recovered
  • Data masking to help obscure sensitive data and information
  • Data erasure
  • Encryption
  • Authentication
  • One-time passwords
  • Electronic security tokens that act as electronic keys
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Transparent data encryption (TDE)
  • Cloud access security broker
  • Active directory rights management services
  • Big data security
  • Internet of things (IoT) data security
  • Payments security
  • Mobile app security
  • Web browser security
  • Email security

Best Practices for Data Security Management

If you want to have an effective defense strategy, you need to implement the practices listed below.

Have a clear policy

Draw up a policy that explains how all sensitive data needs to be protected and what are the consequences for violating that policy. Make sure all of your employees read and understand it.

Focus on more than just the perimeters

Most organizations spend a majority of their budget on firewalls. But just in case someone breaks those defenses, you also need to have security layers on the data itself and not just on the perimeters around it.

Use strong passwords

Educate your employees and users on strong passwords and require password changes at least quarterly. For admins, require password changes at least once a month.

Back up data regularly

Have strong backups in place. That way, even if something like accidental file deletion happens, you won’t lose any important data. Just make sure it’s stored in a secure and remote location.

Have clear data classifications

Create an inventory of all the data your business has and classify it. Classify it based on value, sensitivity, and any other factors that are important for your business. The best option is to automate this process.

Delete any redundant data

Some organizations don’t dispose of their sensitive data. As a consequence, it ends up being forgotten about and in some cases stolen. To prevent this, make sure you have a disposal system in place that will erase or modify any redundant data.

Secure Online Forms as a Starting Point

One of the most important things when it comes to data security management is to have a good starting point with secure online forms. With 123 Form Builder, you can create secure online forms in just a few minutes that will help you keep all your data safe.

With drag-and-drop functionality, you can easily create all of the fields you need. And in the Security section, you can enable all of the protection measures you want your forms to have. All e-forms created with 123 Form builder have virus and malware protection, so you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Summary

If you don’t have a proper data security management plan in place, your business and all of its valuable data will be vulnerable to various threats, malware, spyware, and overall hacker attacks. Don’t let your business be the victim of a malicious attack and keep your data safe.