Why is data security important?
Data security is the practice of protecting digital information from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft throughout its entire lifecycle. It’s a concept that encompasses every aspect of information security from the physical security of hardware and storage devices to administrative and access controls, as well as the logical security of software applications. It also includes organizational policies and procedures.
When properly implemented, robust data security strategies will protect an organization’s information assets against cybercriminal activities, but they also guard against insider threats and human error, which remains among the leading causes of data breaches today. Data security involves deploying tools and technologies that enhance the organization’s visibility into where its critical data resides and how it is used. Ideally, these tools should be able to apply protections like encryption, data masking, and redaction of sensitive files, and should automate reporting to streamline audits and adhering to regulatory requirements.
Digital transformation is profoundly altering every aspect of how today’s businesses operate and compete. The sheer volume of data that enterprises create, manipulate, and store is growing, and drives a greater need for data governance. In addition, computing environments are more complex than they once were, routinely spanning the public cloud, the enterprise data center, and numerous edge devices ranging from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to robots and remote servers. This complexity creates an expanded attack surface that’s more challenging to monitor and secure.
At the same time, consumer awareness of the importance of data privacy is on the rise. The business value of data has never been greater than it is today. The loss of trade secrets or intellectual property (IP) can impact future innovations and profitability. So, trustworthiness is increasingly important to consumers, with a full 75% reporting that they will not purchase from companies they don’t trust to protect their data.
Types of data security
Using an algorithm to transform normal text characters into an unreadable format, encryption keys scramble data so that only authorized users can read it. File and database encryption solutions serve as a final line of defense for sensitive volumes by obscuring their contents through encryption or tokenization. Most solutions also include security key management capabilities.
More secure than standard data wiping, data erasure uses software to completely overwrite data on any storage device. It verifies that the data is unrecoverable.
By masking data, organizations can allow teams to develop applications or train people using real data. It masks personally identifiable information (PII) where necessary so that development can occur in environments that are compliant.
Resiliency is determined by how well an organization endures or recovers from any type of failure – from hardware problems to power shortages and other events that affect data availability. Speed of recovery is critical to minimize impact.