Any business or organization stores sensitive data on its computers, storage devices, websites, and on the cloud. While stored data is critical for business functions, it can also be a liability if left unprotected. Without an adequate data protection policy, sensitive information could fall into the hands of attackers, allowing them to gain access to your network, execute corporate espionage, or expose the personal information of your employees or customers. In this article, we’ll introduce you to data security and the different methods and tools you can use to secure your data and prevent a catastrophe.
Note: This article is part of a series about Data Protection.
What Is Data Security?
Data security is the process of securing digital data and preventing the loss of data through unauthorized access. It includes protecting data from attacks, such as ransomware (which prevents access to information) or attacks that may modify data, making it unreliable. Data security also assures that data is available to everyone in the organization who is authorized to access it.
Some industries require a high level of security as part of data protection regulations . For example, organizations that handle payment card information must use and store the data securely, or face legal repercussions. However, even if you are not obligated by law to comply with stringent regulations, the survival of your business often hinges on the security you offer your customers. Data security is essential for organizations of every size and type.
Types of Data Security
You can apply the following approaches to protect your data:
Data storage security—deals with securing storage systems and infrastructure, along with the data they hold. It also covers disaster recovery and business continuity.
Data loss prevention (DLP)—deals with making sure that end users do not send sensitive or critical information outside the business network. It also gives the network administrator the tools to control what data end users can transfer. Data loss prevention works by monitoring all data currently flowing through the business network, identification of sensitive information and preventing it to fall into the wrong hands.
Cloud storage security—provides control over how data can be moved to and from the cloud, ensuring that data access is limited to authorized parties only.
Data security techniques used for data security include:
Encryption—data encryption technology encrypts data on a hard disk drive to protect it from theft. It prevents unauthorized people from using this data, even when it falls into their hands. Data should be encrypted both in transit and at rest in the storage systems. Encryption tools also provide a secure key management system for tracking encryption keys.
Access controls—regulate who or what can view or use resources in your computing environment. It works by identifying an individual or entity, verifying that any person or application trying to access any data is what it claims to be. Access control systems perform identification authentication and authorization of users and entities by evaluating required login credentials that can include passwords, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), biometric scans and security tokens.
Secure storage and backup—replicate or backup data across sites or to a hybrid cloud model to ensure data can be recovered quickly from another source.
Data Security Tools
Data security tools are capable of improving both the prevention and recovery processes involved in data breaches. They can also help monitor user activity and detect intrusions. Here are some data security categories and selection of products which implements each category:
Data loss prevention tools—these tools detect and prevent data vulnerability by analysis of network traffic, identification of sensitive information, control of information flow between users and devices and monitoring of archived data, data currently in use by user, and data currently flowing through the system. Some of the products implementing DLP are CheckPoint’s Data Loss Prevention Software Blade, Digital Guardian Endpoint DLP, and Symantec Data Loss Prevention.
Endpoint protection tools—endpoint security software protects a TCP/IP network by monitoring gateway access requested by devices connected to the network, such as computers, phones, and printers. Endpoint protection tools usually include malware threat detection, activity monitoring, and data encryption. Three products implementing endpoint protection are Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Advanced, Symantec Endpoint Protection 14 and Malwarebytes Endpoint Security.
Access management—this category of tools ensures that only authorized people are able to access your data. Access management tool includes password and access manager, workflow automation, provisioning, single sign-on, and multi-factor authentication. Products that implement access management are IBM Security Identity and Access Assurance, IAM products from Core Security, and Oracle Identity Governance.
Secure Data Storage with Cloudian Hyperstore
Cloudian Inc. is the leading provider of on-prem enterprise storage solutions. For enhanced data protection, data can also be replicated to public cloud using the built-in hybrid cloud management tools. Cloudian systems feature unlimited scalability across multiple data centers, remote user access, and data redundancy. It is also compatible with best in class data protection software, like Rubrik, Veeam, Commvault, and Veritas.
Cloudian HyperStore offers an optional WORM (Write Once, Read Many) feature to protect data from change or deletion for the retention period you specify. During that time, the data cannot be either modified or deleted, creating an additional security layer.
Cloudian’s policy-based data protection features also let you replicate that data to multiple sites, or to the public cloud.