Achieving data security requires a comprehensive, more holistic approach

Protecting confidential data is a difficult task, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The consequences for security failures can range from lost competitive advantage, due to the exposure of intellectual property, to reputational damage, due to the loss of clients’ sensitive information, to ultimately fines and/or severe legal judgments.

Though it would seem this is a responsibility that falls solely on the shoulders of the IT staff, today’s cyber risk management issues require an organizational wide approach; starting at the top and integrating throughout the business processes. An effective risk management program also needs ongoing risk assessment efforts to identify and mitigate new evolving threat vectors.

As James Gaskin wrote in BizTechMagazine, the effort to effectively guard your information must be comprehensive and in many cases, the assistance of third-party managed IT services providers can prove vital. Another essential component involves the need to look at evolving threat vectors and continually work at enhancing your cyber risk management process.

Best practices

Gaskin asserted there are a number of preventative steps a business’s IT department should take in order to improve the organization’s overall data protection abilities.

One critical step, Gaskin explained, is ensuring the security of mobile devices. He noted that lost smartphones and laptops are among the most prevalent causes of data breaches. Fortunately, firms can mitigate these risks. By deploying full-disk encryption for laptops, businesses can effectively protect the information stored therein, while remote-wipe technology for smartphones can eliminate any data saved on a lost device.

Gaskin further recommended encryption for any and all solutions that store corporate data. Backup files, online data and all other information should be encrypted to ensure that even if an unauthorized individual gains access to the corporate network, he or she will not be able to view sensitive information.

To further prevent the loss of data, Gaskin argued that firms need to ensure employees are all on the same page when it comes to data security best practices. If workers engage in risky behavior, even the most robust, dependable data security measures will not prevent information loss or exposure.

Third-party help

Considering the potential damage that data breaches can cause firms, it is imperative for businesses to do whatever they can to improve their data protection. Gaskin’s recommendations are undoubtedly useful steps that can contribute in this regard.

However, for many organizations, implementing such efforts is easier said than done. They cannot easily dedicate the IT resources necessary to achieve these ends without sacrificing functionality in other areas.

For such businesses, third-party managed IT services providers are crucial. These firms have the experience, expertise and resources required to significantly impact an organization’s ability to secure their data. This typically starts with a risk assessment and goes on to provide remediation and proactive network support.

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