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The importance of data security

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The importance of data security cannot be overstated.

The importance of data security

Continue reading as knowing is truly key, to making more informed decisions

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.
In order to protect and prevent sensitive and confidential information from falling into the wrong hands, it is important to know, understand and pay close attention to data security.

Table of Contents

Digital assets take various forms and must be protected at all times.

What are we talking about when we say digital assets?

When it comes to digital assets, various factors come into play.

Types of 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
  • 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…
  • Financial institutions: we’re looking at everything related to big money, credit reports, credit card information and more.
Protecting digital assets and protecting against hackers in general are key aspects of cybersecurity.

Digital assets must be protected!

Digital assets can take many forms and are not just limited to the above mentioned.

Of critical importance is knowing the fact that, ALL are important, and ALL must be protected from intruders, at all times.

Data security concerns us all

It is critical that safeguards abe in place to ensure data security.

The better and more effective the security measures in place are, the more secure your confidential information is.

Basic data protection

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.

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.

New and refurbished tape and disk backup systems

When everything you've tried to get your data back, fails!

Your local backups are there to save the day!

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

Hackers lurk in every corner of the Internet and elsewhere. We must all be aware of the risks and protect ourselves.

Protecting and securing information

Important and absolutely necessary factors, that can't be neglected!

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.

TAKE NOTE: The perils associated with data breaches

Data theft has serious and often disastrous consequences!

Whether we are talking about businesses or individuals, we all need to pay attention to cybersecurity and put in place measures to protect against cybercriminals.

The perils associated with data breaches are real and should be taken seriously

WARNING: Data breaches can have far reaching consequences!

Just to name a few, they can result in the following;

Damaged reputation

Should your customers and / or your suppliers learn that your systems have been breached, your company's reputation will be negatively impacted.

Loss of confidence

A damaged reputation may result in customers and / or suppliers loosing confidence in your company. Some may even choose to walk away from you.

Loss of data

All depending on how and what happened, a loss of data affects your reputation, customers' and suppliers' confidence as well as, employee productivity.

Revenue losses

Bottom line, a damaged reputations, a loss confidence, a loss of data and finally, lost productivity absolutely results in REVENUE LOSSES. Something no business wants!

How can the situation be remedied?

In order to protect against hackers, a cybersecurity policy that applies to all must be implemented.

Infrastructures and security policies

Unless you have a computer that is 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

Below are some very basic and simple as well as, depending on what exactly your business requires, cost effective security measures, that can be quickly and easily implemented.

Some can be implemented by using off-the-shelf inexpensive security software, whereas others require more sophisticated, and more expensive, applications and / or hardware appliances.

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.

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.

Protects your data against malicious code. These must be installed on all your devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phone and servers).

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.

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.

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.

Several good data security management software exist. These software have various settings that can be configured to monitor specific sets of data and notify you when suspicious activity occurs.

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 nor open attachments, as these may send you to sites that can put malicious code on your systems or worse.

In conclusion

Educate your employees. Help them learn about cybersecurity and how to beat cybercrimes.
Data security is something that cannot be taken lightly under any circumstances! Protect your digital assets as well as your employees.

Data security is a never ending task.

It’s time consuming and in the case of large corporations and governmental entities, it can be costly. BUT, it’s something that must be done AND, in order to stay ahead of cybercriminals, 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 and firmware revisions installed on them at all times.

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, VPN and intrusion detection appliances.

Since they are your last and best option to get your data back and resume normal operations, we can also supply disk and tape backup systems as well.

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