Ensuring Data Security
In recent years, businesses have become increasingly reliant on technology in order to perform basic operations. Web-based software, cloud storage, and internet-powered tools have become the building blocks of nearly every industry. As Web 2.0 empowered organizations to communicate with their employees and customers online, data transfer became a constant norm and the new reality of internet communication. This has led to more conversations about data security for teams, but the question still remains:
"what is data security and why is it important?"
What is Data Security?
Data security is the practice of protecting digital information from being accessed, corrupted, or stolen by anyone without direct authorization. It is a process that begins the moment the data is collected and continues on throughout the entire lifecycle of the data. Ultimately, data security encompasses every aspect of information security from the physical hardware collecting and storing the data, to the administrative and access controls, to the software used to control it all.
Data security ensures that businesses and their customers' valuable information is kept safe from those who might use it to harm them. Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field, due to the fact that new ways to steal and profit from data are being developed every single day.
Why is Data Security Important?
The importance of Data security is affirmed constantly, and after 2021, it is more important than ever to make sure that your business and your customers are protected from malicious intent. Let's review some statistics from the last 2 years:
44% of all data breaches were comprised of customer personal data (IBM)
2021 saw a 27% increase in cyber attacks compared to 2020 (Identity Theft Resource Center)
An estimated 15 billion credentials from 100,000 data breaches are available for purchase on the dark web (Digital Shadows Photon Research)
More than 90% of healthcare organizations suffered at least one data breach in the last 3 years (US Healthcare Cybersecurity)
Globally, it takes an average of 280 days and $3.86 million to find and contain a cyberattack (IBM)
The U.S. has the highest data breach costs in the world, with each attack averaging at $8.6 million (IBM)
There will be 55.7 billion connected devices generating 73.1 zettabytes of data by 2025 (IDC
70% of security executives believe that cybersecurity budgets will continue to decrease in coming years (McKinsey & Company)
The data speaks for itself. This is the new normal. Organizations need to protect themselves from these data breaches in order to maintain their reputations, avoid the hefty fines often associated with data breaches, and most importantly, to keep their customers' information safe from those who would use it to harm them.
Data security is important because it keeps our personal information private. It gives customers faith in the businesses they entrust with their sensitive personal details. It allows us to continue to do our jobs effectively.
How Do You Ensure Data Security?
Investing in data security doesn't necessarily mean shelling out thousands of dollars to hire developers and programmers. If you have a proprietary custom software, then that might be the case, but its more likely that you are already using other SaaS (software as a service) platforms to help your business run.
Luckily, many SaaS applications have taken various steps to make sure the data you collect, organize, and store within them are secure and compliant with current standards. But, let's take a look at some of the things you should be looking for in the applications you use to make sure they can withstand potential attacks.
In the U.S. there are various acts that have been passed that help citizens and their households have more control over their personal information. The most notable of these is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). A national equivalent in Europe is the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Additionally, there is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) which has a number of various information security standards. You should choose software applications that are compliant with these different regulations. Without going into detail on the specific requirements of each, you can be sure that any software with these official compliance badges have achieved high levels of data security.
Encryption is essentially when something is taken in plaintext, and then stored in an alternative form called ciphertext. This newly encrypted information appears virtually as random data, preventing anyone without the needed data key from viewing or deciphering the text. Encryption is essential for data security on the internet, because it ensures that only those within your organization and on the correct platform have the ability to view your data.
This allows only those with the correct clearance and administrative accounts to view sensitive data. This is similar to the way only medical professionals can view your records at a hospital, while the janitor cannot. Custom user permissions across accounts keep lower level employees from seeing sensitive data points or prevents customers from seeing the backend of the platforms you use to run your daily operations.
Passwords are only as secure as the person making them. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) makes sure that the people logging into an account are actually the correct person. This helps prevent accounts from being hacked into, so valuable data stays accessible only to those who are allowed access to it.
The Importance of Collation
Just because all the platforms you use are secure individually, does not necessarily mean that they securely communicate with one another. The more applications you use that share data amongst each other, the more likely it is for data to be taken while in transit. You should be minimizing the amount of software applications you use so that you can minimize the amount that data has to travel. If all your data is collected, stored, organized, and utilized on one single, fully secure platform, your chances of a breach drop dramatically. Plus, you get the added benefit of seeing all your data at once, giving you an easier way to make decisions about how to implement better data security practices.
If you find yourself using several different platforms to complete various tasks in your business operations, then it might be time to start looking at alternative options that are going to be more secure. The added benefit of doing this is that a single application that can effectively complete multiple functions is going to be much more efficient than switching between multiple software tools that only fulfill a single purpose.
Data Security. Powered by Array.
Array is a one-stop shop to power your business processes. Use it to collect data, store data, organize data, analyze data, and even share data. It is a suite of tools wrapped up into one package, and capable of automating your processes to make work easier. The best part? Array is fully encrypted, integrates seamlessly with thousands of other applications, GDPR and ISO complaint, utilizes multi-factor authentication and custom user permissions, and is fully committed to keeping your data safe.
Stop spreading your data out into different silos across different software services. Array is the bridge between those tools. It allows your data to remain safe and secure, while still performing the daily functions you need.