Since a few decades, computers have become a growing integral part of our workplace. Businesses depend upon computers for their daily activities to go on such as emails, financial transactions, networking, etc. If this technology is endangered or even compromised in a business, it can have a harmful effect.
What is data security?
Computer security or data security means protective measures or procedures that should be performed in order to keep the data secured from unapproved access and corruption. The data should be secure through its whole lifecycle. Data security is also called computer security, information security, and system data security.
Main principles of data security are:
- Availability – The data and the systems must be available to the authorized users whenever needed.
- Integrity – The data should remain in its original form. It must not be altered to retain its integrity.
- Confidentiality – Only authorized users must have access to sensitive or confidential data.
Why is data security important?
Whether it is an organization or an individual, data is an important asset to everyone. Due to its value, it is necessary to protect the data from cybercrime. Data security is a computer fundamental that is required in every industry that uses computers in its operations. Companies from all over the world invest in IT(Information Technology) to deploy the best cyber defense practices. Protecting three common elements namely technology, processes and people is the main focus of these companies. This can help to protect critical infrastructure, intellectual capital, brand, customer information, etc. Data security is important for individuals also as the target of cybercriminals may be personal computers, tablets, and mobile devices as well.
To hit the sensitive information, cyber attackers usually target remote devices that connect with a company. Endpoint protection comes into play in such circumstances to safeguard the devices connecting to the network. Data security is going to be needed at a large scale in the due course of time as the network infrastructure grows. Deploying the right data protection practices is important in order to cope with the upcoming security threats.
Types of data security:
- Data leak protection
Data leaks are one of the most widespread and personal security threats which can be extremely harmful to both a business and an individual. Sensitive information like employee data, client insights can easily be put at risk if required steps for protection are not taken on time. In order to make sure that data is protected from a data leak, the amount of personal information available in the public domain should be limited. Another method is to create a burner email. A burner email is a fake email account that we can use when signing up for a site or service to whom we don’t want to give our real email address. The benefit of a burner email is that we can set it up in such a way that any replies can be forwarded onto the real email address making it sure that our email address is not being passed on.
- Ransomware protection
Ransomware is a kind of malware that encrypts data belonging to someone. The data can only be decrypted in exchange for money. Not only data stored in local computers but data stored in cloud services have also become a target to such type of attacks. A huge number of organizations are now opting for cloud for their data storage needs. But there is a misconception that cloud storage services are safer than local data storage. In order to protect ourselves from such ransomware attacks, we should make sure that the data backup is kept at multiple places. These multiple places should also include local storage and portable storage. Malicious software continues to develop and so does the security software to tackle these threats. So, it is important to keep the antivirus software up to date.
- Phishing protection
Phishing is present since the early ages of computing. But as time passed, the methods of phishing have also evolved. Phishing means attempting to gain someone’s information by fraudulent methods to exploit the account that the information is linked with which may be an email account, banking account, etc. Using AI, criminals can now automate these tasks and they no longer need to do it manually. People should not respond to emails that ask for personal information, ID, password, etc. Also, no personal information should be posted online which could lead to its misuse and exploitation.
Impacts of a security breach on an organization
- Financial repercussions – A victim organization in a data breach has to deal with many costs associated with the data breach. It may have to pay back the money lost during the breach. It may have to compensate the affected customers. The value of company shares can go down significantly. The company will have to pay for the right protection to make sure that such a breach would not happen in the future. Also, the organization could be fined as per the laws and rules.
- Reputational damage – After the financial loss, the company will have to deal with the reputational crisis. The company’s customer base is hugely impacted, specifically if the data breach involves sensitive data. Customers will lose trust and confidence in the company. Customers won’t feel secure in sharing their data with the company. A lot of potential customers are also lost as they back off feeling insecure.
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