The importance of data security

Data security must be a priority for all as cyber criminals are becoming smarter and their arsenal of tools is constantly evolving.

Confidential data locked and secured

What is data security?

In its most basic and simplest form, data security means the protection of your digital assets from unauthorized access and data corruption.

What are digital assets?

  • In the case of companies, we’re looking at corporate data such as financial information, employee records, customer information, research and developments (R&D), marketing strategies, etc…
  • In the case of government bodies be it federal, provincial/state or local, we are looking at things such as national defense plans, social security numbers, tax reports, population statistics, etc…
  • In the case of financial institutions, we’re looking at everything related to big money, credit reports, credit card information and more.

Digital assets can take many forms and are not just limited to the above mentioned. All are important and must be protected at all times.

Basic data protection

Regardless of who or what you are, data security must be a priority for all
You wouldn't leave the door to your house unlocked when you're not there would you? A locked door provides protection against intruders.

Protecting your confidential information is JUST AS IMPORTANT! Regardless of who or what you are, data security must be a PRIORITY for all!

Nowadays, computers are an integral part of our daily lives. Virtually everyone has a smartphone and/or some form of a computer (tablet, laptop or desktop) or both at home and, in the case of businesses and institutions, even more so.

Regardless of whether you’re an individual, a company, government body or something else, the information you have on those devices needs to be protected.

The first steps to take in protecting yours data, not to mention the easiest to implement and often times the least expensive, are having:

  • An antivirus and internet security software in place.
  • A good on-site backup solution in place.
HPE MSL8096 tape library
When everything you've tried to get your data back fails, your local backup is there to save the day

Antiviruses with internet security protects you against malicious code that can infect your computer resulting in corrupt data or worse, open a backdoor allowing intruders to access your system and its data. The internet security built-into it provides basic security for devices on your network and blocks intrusion attempts.

Backup solutions protect your information against both data corruption and hard drive failures. They allow you to save your data on external medias such as tape cartridges and, by having it on-site,  enable you to retrieve that data quickly and easily at any given time.

This being said, it doesn’t stop there. Especially when looking at large network infrastructures with petabytes of data! Data which more often than not, is of a confidential nature, and must be protected from unauthorized access.

Business data protection

Businesses and industries have massive amounts of data they need to keep confidential and protected against unauthorized access.  Not to mention that as outline in our article the “The importance of data storage”, that information is growing at an exponential rate which makes protecting it a priority and, at times, a challenge as well.

Depending on the size of the organisation, some businesses have a dedicated team of IT security experts whose sole purpose is to manage the data and insure it is secure.

The continual growth of data requires local storage more than ever before. Local storage completes cloud computing
In the wrong hands, information can be misused and cause harm It must therefore be protected against unauthorized access

Why protecting and securing information is important?

Bottom line, in the wrong hands, data can be misused and cause serious harm.

Data breaches are nothing new. They’ve been occurring ever since the first computers where built. This being said, it seems that they’ve been occurring more and more these days. Although most businesses and organizations keep quiet about data breaches they’ve suffered, often times, when you turn on the news, you hear about another breach that occurred somewhere. It’s a problem and it’s a problem that must be mitigated as much as possible.

Perils of data breaches

Data breaches can have far reaching consequences. Just to name a few, they can result in the following:

  • Damaged reputation
  • Loss of confidence
  • Loss of data
  • Lost revenues

Infrastructures and security policies:

Unless you have a computer that’s completely isolated, cut off from the outside world and accessible to no one, total data security is a myth!

This being said, by combining both software and hardware platforms, as well as having strong data security policies in place,  there are ways to reduce security risks down to an acceptable levels.

Security measures

  • Strong password policies: Strong password combining both letters and numbers that are easy for the user to remember but hard for others to guess provides some level of security. Two-factor authentication such as RSA Security’s hard token two-factor authentication solution are even better.
  • Strong firewalls/VPNs and intrusion detection systems (IDS): Firewalls/VPNs protect your data from unauthorized access both from within and the outside world whereas intrusion detection systems are just that. Systems that detect and warn that unauthorized access attempts have occurred. These can be implemented through software, specialized hardware appliances or a combination of both.
  • Antivirus protection: Protects your data against malicious code. These must be installed on all your devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phone and servers).
  • Data encryption: This is especially important for mobile devices as these can be stolen. Most manufacturers of mobile devices provide a built-in solution to encrypt data stored on their products.
  • Regular local backups: As previously mentioned, a good backup solution protects you against lost data and having it locally enables you to retrieve it quickly at all times. As part of a good backup policy, full backups should occur at least once a month and those should be kept in a secure off-site location.
  • Data monitoring software: Know where your data is at all times, where it is stored on your internal resources, where it’s going on your network as well as when it’s being sent to the outside world (ex: via email) and by whom. There are a number of good data security management software available and these can be configured to monitor your data for specific information data sets leaking out.
  • Safely surf the web: Common sense prevails here. Do not enter any personal information, banking and/or credit card information on sites that are unsecured. When receiving emails from an unknown source, do not click any links or open attachments as these may send you to sites that can put malicious code on your systems or worse

In conclusion

Data security is a never ending task. It’s time consuming and in the case of large entities, can be costly but, it’s something that must be done AND, in order to stay ahead of hackers, it must be done on a continual basis

Make sure that all your security tools and hardware devices are up to date and have the latest software/firmware revisions installed on them. In other words, buy the license update support contract. If your security software licenses are not up to date, they are useless and you become vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches.

If you follow those simple rules, the chances of suffering a data breach will be greatly reduced.

Being an IT hardware broker , Data Telcom can assist you with your needs for firewall and VPN appliances as well as disk and tape backup systems.

Data Telcom specializes in selling and buybacks of networking and telecommunications equipment, servers, storage systems and associated peripherals from industry leaders such as Cisco, Juniper, Avaya, Extreme Networks, Brocade, Polycom, HPE, IBM, Lenovo, Dell and many others.

If you ‘re looking to buy reliable, efficient and above all inexpensive equipment or, you have equipment on hand that you no longer use, take advantage of our services. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

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Do you have old equipment you’re no longer using? Discover how, through our buyback program, you can
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