The Three Pillars of Data Security

Data security protects organizational data and systems from unauthorized access, use and alteration. This can help prevent data breaches that could cause disruption to businesses, financial loss, compliance penalties and reputational damage. Modern approaches to data security include a combination tools, technology and best practices that are based on three pillars: Confidentiality and Integrity.

Data security begins with an extensive inventory and mapping. This includes cataloging all the data stored in your data centers, storage devices that are network-attached and mobile devices, desktops, third-party cloud services and software applications. It is important to think about physical storage such as USB sticks and external hard drives, as well as old documents and printed documents. They are often ignored and can contain a wealth of confidential information, making them a prime target for cybercriminals.

Once you’ve gotten a better understanding of your data sets, you will need to classify sensitive data to understand what it is and where it’s situated within your infrastructure. This will enable you to prioritize security efforts, ensuring that only the most vital data is secured and that less important information is accessible. This also allows you to be in compliance with regulatory and industry standards, like those applicable to finance, health care and communications.

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