Data security is the safeguarding of data and systems against unauthorized access, modification and use. This helps prevent data breaches which can cause disruption to business operations financial loss or compliance penalties, as well reputational damage. Modern approaches to protecting data consist of a combination of tools technology and best practices that focus on three pillars: Confidentiality and Integrity.
The first step in effective data security is creating and maintaining an inventory and mapping of your data sets. This involves cataloguing all data stored in your data centers, network-attached storage as well as mobile devices, desktops as well as third-party cloud services and software applications. It is also essential to consider physical storage options, such as external hard drives and USB sticks, as well as discarded printed files and documentation. These are often overlooked but they could contain a wealth confidential data. Cybercriminals will take advantage of this.
Once you have visibility into your data sets the next step is to categorize your sensitive information so you are able to better understand how and where it exists within your system. This will allow you to prioritize security measures, making sure that only the most vital data is protected and that less important information is accessible. This allows you to adhere to industry and regulatory requirements like those applicable to the health care, finance and telecommunications industries.