Data security guards the data of organizations and systems from unauthorized access, use and modification. This helps to avoid data breaches that could lead to business disruption, financial losses as well as compliance penalties and reputational damage. Modern methods of protecting data consist of a combination of tools technology and best practices that are based on three pillars: Confidentiality and Integrity.
Data security begins with a thorough inventory and mapping. This involves cataloguing all data stored in your data centers, network-attached storage as well as mobile devices, desktops, third-party cloud services and software applications. It is also essential to take into account physical storage devices, like external hard drives, USB sticks, as well as removed printed documents and printed files. They are often ignored but could contain a wealth of confidential information. Cybercriminals can take advantage of this.
Once you have visibility into your data sets the next step is to classify your sensitive data so that you are aware of how and where it exists within your infrastructure. This lets you prioritize your security efforts by making sure that the most valuable data is protected while less critical information remains readily accessible. It also lets you adhere to regulatory and industry standards, like those applicable to finance, health care and communications.