As tools like the internet, cloud computing, fifth-generation wireless technology and artificial intelligence come of age to form the modern digital landscape, more and more businesses depend on their relationship with data. Remote work has gone mainstream, a growing volume of commercial transactions and shopping happen online and companies rely on cloud data backup tools to keep their data safe from on-site mishaps. And as data becomes increasingly important, the threats to the integrity and security of your data multiply.
It makes sense: After all, as more commercial activity becomes dependent on the digital infrastructure, more potential profit and notoriety are available for criminal hackers who want to target it. IT data security is about counteracting those and other threats to the integrity of your business, and it’s a subject no company can afford to ignore.
Sensitive Data Is Your Most Valuable Asset
Vital information about your company is a high-value target for cybercriminals. It includes information about your financial and business plans, about the people who buy your goods and services and about dealing with your partners and staff. Beyond that, your data includes the kind of precious ongoing data that can be used to optimize your business practices and help guide your strategy.
It includes the raw materials you’ll need to spur growth at key moments or catch important trends in your analytics. Sensitive data is in many ways a modern organization’s most precious asset.
It follows, then, that the hacker who’s able to hold your organization’s data hostage or publicly expose valuable information in a data breach has the power to do significant damage. A large corporation can weather such storms, but businesses of any size can become targets. It’s far harder for a medium-sized or small local company to recover from the effects of a major data security breach.
The Risk Factors of Insecure Data
Don’t overlook implementing security measures for protecting data is an important step to take as early as possible when starting a new business. It’s all about complying with legal or regulatory requirements on data collection, taking steps to ensure business continuity in the event of a network outage and protecting your sensitive information and that of your customers. Protective measures are needed to avert a variety of possible security risks.
The era of automation has had effects across both the business world and the online underworld. In the latter case, it means it’s easier than ever before for cybercriminals to automate their cyber attacks on a network. These “bot” attacks, as they’re often called, can run over a large span of time without anyone needing to lift a finger from behind a keyboard. Data security measures need to be up-to-date to respond to such threats effectively.
Loss of Data Integrity
Threats to your data don’t necessarily come from hostile hackers. Sometimes, inconsistent internal procedures can be a problem, too. Data integrity refers to the reliability and accuracy of stored information. If your organization’s approach to such data security issues as having regular, reliable backups should prove ad hoc or out of date, vulnerable to human error or insufficient in providing redundancy, data corruption could easily cause serious problems without any help from outside actors. Ensuring IT data security solutions means having truly safe data storage at all times.
Threats to Reputation
More abstract than a direct attempt to breach your cybersecurity is the threat to your company’s reputation that successful security breaches could represent. Doing business online requires a lot of trust and goodwill from your customers and suppliers: They’re relying on you to adopt good security practices, have an alert security team and understand the importance of information security. Clients will feel less safe dealing with a company that hasn’t taken all possible precautions, which can become a threat to long-term growth and future profits.
Legal or Regulatory Consequences
Some jurisdictions, like the European Economic Area, require companies to observe specific standards for privacy practices, strong security and the collection and handling of personal data. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standard imposes stringent standards for interacting with customers and notifying them of their privacy rights as well.
The costs of failing to comply with those kinds of standards can get very steep very quickly, the more so if a data breach should expose lax standards or a failure to grasp the importance of data security privacy. Amazon famously suffered a fine of $877 million for violating GDPR regulations on getting consent for customer data, but a much smaller fine could spell the end of the road for a smaller business.
How Data Security Can Protect Business Operations
With an understanding of the possible threats in mind, it’s natural to wonder what the best measures are you can take to avert them. There are best practices you can follow as well as features you can look for in data security software.
IT Security Prevents Data Breaches
In order to reduce the risk of enterprise data exposure and avoid data breaches, companies should follow certain standard best practices:
- Quarantine sensitive files: Don’t keep sensitive information on any open drive or shared folder that your entire enterprise business can have easy access.
- Delete unused data: A mountain of sensitive data you’re no longer accessing can become an enticing hacker target, so it’s better to periodically delete data that isn’t in use much.
- Real-time monitoring and alerts: Always use software that tracks threats and alerts your team to them in real time.
These best practices are a good starting point for business purposes. However, they’re most powerful in conjunction with specific data security features.
A security suite should be powerful for:
- Blocking high-risk activities
- Securing data access with multi-factor authentication
- Tracking access controls from authorized users and flagging unauthorized users
- Performing standard data wiping
- Informing system administrators of regulatory compliance needs
Discover What Makes Your Data Security Important Through EIRE Systems
Of course, it’s always crucial to design your data security through someone with the right expert advice. Contact EIRE Systems to outsource IT services. We can help build state-of-the-art data security for your business today.