Data security with a holistic approach

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Data security with a holistic approach

With a continuous news stream about security incidents and new regulations for privacy protection, it’s more important than ever for organisations to think seriously about data privacy and data security together.  

By: Ekron Dries

If we look at IT security, most organisations have a strong focus on perimeter defence: building walls to block external threats from entering the network. While this is of great importance, businesses still have limited visibility on where data is stored and who has access to it. Without knowing their data, organisations cannot know what to protect, where it is, who can access it, when it was created and so on.  

For that reason, more organisations now recognise the need for a holistic approach to data security. Adopting this approach requires discovering, identifying and classifying all sensitive data as a first step in this process.  

Focus areas implementing a holistic approach

Illustrated by our experience working with many CISO’s and other security peers, we learned that a data-centric security approach must be part of the DNA of the organisation.  

Data security is both a mindset and a coordinated, concrete set of efforts and software solutions deployed throughout an organisation designed to comprehensively protect data transmitted each day at all stages of its journey. 

For comprehensive data security, organisations need to add a layer of protection, so that each stage of data is protected throughout its journey for end-to-end security. 

To adopt this approach to data security, organisations are advised to do the following: 

1. Discover and classify your sensitive data 

Identifying and prioritising the data you need to protect, including critical unstructured data, such as intellectual property, is the critical first step in the holistic approach. By identifying the business value of data, organisations can make more informed decisions about security, data sharing, data access and vulnerability management. Combined with risk analyses, a solid data security foundation becomes reality. 

2. Detect and prevent data leaks

With your data discovered and classified, you can determine the risk and mitigating measures. So, the next step is to apply the optimal security treatment based on data’s content, context and required regulation policies. Software solutions allow organisations to apply real-time data redaction, blocking or deleting and protecting against sensitive data leakage in images or files. 

3. Secure and protect your data 

No business is an island because we all must deal with an outside world and communicate with our partners, suppliers, other branches and eventually customers. After you have ensured your data is identified and classified, scrubbed of potentially sensitive data and approved for sending by authorised users, that data now needs to be protected as it is sent or transferred for true end-to-end data security. The encryption of data needs to be applied down at the point it is most vulnerable – when it is being used by others and while traveling to its destination into unmanaged domains, devices or applications.

When you understand what and where critical data resides within your organisation, you can determine the risk and set mitigating measures with the tools that are available, such as access control, encryption, data loss prevention and secure file transfer.  

If you would like to learn more about how BlueFinch can help your organisation protect its sensitive data and about our Data Security Suite? Please contact sales@bluefinch.com and take a look at our solutions. 

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