5 Steps to Follow for a Stronger Data Management for Cybersecurity

How can we protect our data?

Here is an interesting paradigm shift when thinking about data management for cybersecurity. Your focus should not be on keeping the intruders out. Rather it should be about threat detection and deterrent measures. The emphasis should be on proactive rather than reactive measures.

Think about it this way. You could have a 20-foot brick wall enclosing a building. Yet, for the bad guys, it is as simple as buying a 30-foot ladder to gain access into your premises. 

Are we saying that you should not build the 20-foot wall? The answer is no. It does make sense to put all the relevant security measures in place. But, you could achieve much more if you could detect bad guys approaching your premises. 

It gives you enough time to keep them away from getting anywhere near the wall. The analogy is the simplest way to explain data management in cybersecurity. 

We will explore some of the steps you can take to achieve this. Let’s dive straight into it.

 

1: Understand the Existing Cyber Threats

A solid cybersecurity strategy needs an understanding of what threats you face. There are many types of cyber-attacks that organizations must deal with. Malware, insider threats, and phishing are some of them. 

Also, pay attention to what cybersecurity experts predict as emerging threats. Cybercriminals are always working hard to improve their craft. They know how to explore areas of vulnerabilities to their advantage. 

You can only take proactive measures if you have clarity on the type of threats you face in the future. 

2: Have Clarity on Insider Threats

Insider threats are a significant challenge for many organizations.

Research indicates that over 34% of businesses deal with insider threats every year. There has been a 47% increase in such incidents over the last two years. In 2020, the cost to organizations was as high as $2.79 million.

A challenge in dealing with insider threats is they are difficult to detect and prevent.

It could be a simple action like clicking on an email attachment that has malware or ransomware. Employees could also be visiting sites that can expose the organization to hackers.

Companies must take the necessary steps to prevent such attacks. They include:-

  • Training employees on cybersecurity and data management
  • Installing relevant security measures such as antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware. It is also vital to enable firewalls to deny hackers access
  • Ensure privacy and anonymity with a proxy server. Take the example of a UK proxies service. The proxy uses IP addresses from an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The address ties to a physical residential address and device. The device could be a laptop or phone. Every time you’re browsing the internet, the remote server sees the IP address from the ISP. It does not reveal your real address, thus keeping you anonymous. Employers can also track employee activities while online. You can deny access to any inappropriate or dangerous sites.
  • Create a culture of data awareness within the organization. Everyone should know that they have a role to play. 

 

3: Establish Standards for Data Management for cybersecurity

Data governance incorporates the standards and processes that go into data handling. Do you, for example, know the source and content of all data? 

Every email, data centre and business application generate tons of data. But, how do you manage or handle such? Some steps to take include:-

  • Creating a data catalog that you always update 
  • Classifying data depending on sensitivity and value 
  • Establishing and documenting clear data management and cybersecurity policies. Some critical areas include handling and management of sensitive data. It also helps to know what to do in case of a breach. Every employee within the organization should get access to the document. It helps everyone understand their role and responsibilities. Also, put in place consequences to actions that could expose the organization to hackers. 
  • Digital contract management through the use of cloud computing to keep documents safe. In-house private servers can expose areas of vulnerability that hackers can take advantage of to access networks.   
  • Have clear policies on who can access data. Companies should lean towards a zero Trust policy. You do not give anyone access without authenticating, authorizing, or validating them. Another option is the least privilege policy. You only give as much access to data that is necessary for job completion.

 

4: Make It a Routine to Update Software and Backup Data

Developers are always rolling out updates for software. It provides a fantastic way to get access to the latest security features. They also pay attention to patches that hackers could explore to get excess. 

Organizations must ensure they keep up with such updates. It should be a routine practice for everyone.

The best strategy must also include data backup. In case of a security breach, the company will still have access to the data.

Keep the backups away from the primary server. It helps to have remote storage such as hard drives or secure cloud facilities.

 

5: Data Management Flexibility and Continuous Monitoring

The one constant when it comes to cybersecurity is that threats are ever-evolving. Hackers work hard to increase the sophistication level of their attacks.

Organizations also face many challenges when it comes to data management. There is greater vulnerability due to the large volumes and sources of data. Data organization and inadequate storage are other areas of concern. All these are areas of vulnerability that cybercriminals can exploit.

It is vital to have flexible data management systems in place. Data fluidity and constant threats need the ability to adapt, innovate and change.

The company must keep up with monitoring of security systems. You want to catch threat situations before they happen.

 

Final Thoughts

Proper data management for cybersecurity is critical. Every single day organizations generate and receive tons of data. Keeping the data safe from cybercriminals is of critical importance. 

The company must take time to understand threats, both present and emerging.

Only then can you develop proactive, rather than reactive strategies. A culture of cyber awareness means that everyone has an active role to play. 

Clear policies provide guidelines on data management and best cybersecurity practices. Data management and cybersecurity is an ongoing process. It needs constant updating and monitoring.

Remember, the best cybersecurity strategy is a living document.

You should change it anytime, depending on the prevailing situation.

 

Author Bio:

Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.

Find him on linkedin at Dan Martin, or on his website: linkdoctor.io

 

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About Gia MacDonald

Gia is our Junior Content Executive. Originally hailing from South Africa, she enjoys getting her teeth stuck into research, data and all things marketing.