In today’s data-intensive business environment, security is among the highest priorities, regardless of the size of the enterprise. The success and even survival of the business depends on protecting and effectively managing data related to every aspect of running the company. From the C-suite and IT department to operations, sales and every other function, data security should be rigorous and regularly updated. Following are important steps that can be taken:
Data Backup – maintaining an effective data backup system with redundancy is also essential. Cloud-based backup utilizing qualified data centers and service providers is strongly recommended for optimal security and data recovery, if necessary.
Password Protection – while it seems obvious, far too many businesses fail to require strong password access to all data and networks. This is absolutely necessary.
Data Encryption – an encryption system can greatly reduce the likelihood damaging security breaches. Security professionals should recommend and implement an encryption system.
Real-Time Network Monitoring – all networks and data should be under constant monitoring for breaches, errors, failures and other issues that compromise security. All activities should be carefully logged and reviewed. A high-quality intrusion prevention system (IPS) and intrusion detection system (IDS) should be implemented.
Data Standardization – following ISO best practices simplifies data management, avoids errors and helps eliminate security concerns.
Asset Inventory & Tracking – inventory all software, hardware, data, media and applications. Include user, location, security priority and other relevant information.
Security Audits – a regular schedule of data security audits will help ensure compliance and effectiveness. An annual third-party audit is strongly recommended. Much more frequent internal reviews are essential.
Staffing – because more than 50% of security breaches are internal (negligence or sabotage), it is essential that proper employment screening, training and policy adherence are implemented. Assigning appropriate permission levels and monitoring access are also vital actions. One of the most vital concerns is employees who leave the business, voluntarily or through dismissal. All permissions and access should be immediately revoked. They should also be updated when staff assignments are changed.
Security System Design – implement a security system that has the scalability and flexibility to accommodate the changing needs of your business.