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Data is evolving, but is your data security keeping up?

The set-it-and-forget-it approach just doesn’t work with cybersecurity, it has to be an ongoing commitment.
25 June 2021 Michael Holtzhausen

Security practitioners know that cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to get around data security defences. As a company matures, it’s important to adapt security strategies and implementations to reflect organisational direction. A business leader must recognise the need to scale up cybersecurity strategies to stay in touch with changes in staff, processes and technologies.

Developing a data protection strategy is similar to choosing the right insurance policy for your home. No one likes to pay insurance premiums, but you’ll be glad you did when a storm hits.

When cybersecurity isn’t a priority

Employees and leaders may become apathetic if executives feel that data security isn’t important. It’s crucial to gain solid support if you want to achieve your security objectives.

Awareness is an indispensable tool for promoting more secure behaviour among your employees. Security professionals will often need to collaborate with HR departments on job descriptions, onboarding materials, training and performance evaluations to ensure that employee security responsibilities are included in these materials.

Is it clear to you why employee buy-in to cybersecurity is so crucial? If not, please note that data breaches are still primarily caused by human error. Your organisation is at risk if it lacks the appropriate knowledge that should be distributed throughout the office.

Minimal security awareness

Having an outdated policy and viewing security as an IT responsibility may result in your employees being unaware of acceptable uses or responsibilities. But the first step to a better sense of responsibility may be to put formal security awareness into policy.

Depending on your organisation's needs, you may wish to address the following topics in a formal security awareness policy:

  • Establish an awareness programme.
  • Define and update employee security responsibilities.
  • Create training content in security.
  • Regularly review the training and roles that are in place.
  • Measure the security awareness of your employees using metrics.

Not so protected

It's common for executives to feel that their organisations are well-protected. They feel secure in the knowledge that their legal and fiduciary obligations are being met. However, the real risks and threats are quite different. Compliance-oriented organisations may not be managing many of the threats that matter the most.

A common mistake that companies make is to equate compliance and security. This is what happened when a major retailer was hacked, exposing the personal information of several million people to the risk of theft.

The company said it had followed all the safety requirements outlined by credit card brands and others. Nevertheless, this didn't suffice. Many of its back-end systems were not patched, leaving them open to exploitation. Despite the firm's diligent compliance efforts, hackers managed to penetrate the company's systems. Thousands of fraud cases have been linked to the breach, exposing the company to legal, reputational and financial risks. The use of a layered defence could have prevented such an incident by using a risk-based approach.

Re-evaluate your protection needs

Your data protection strategy should be reviewed regularly for your organisation to remain compliant with the requirements. The policies, regulatory requirements and data values are constantly evolving and for many new data types, your previous protection strategy may not make sense anymore. Is your current data protection approach impacted by the increasing use of social media solutions such as chat, screen-sharing or other collaborative tools?

Communicating with relevant stakeholders regularly is key to addressing these concerns.

Choose the right tools for data security

Talking about and planning for data security is definitely important, but you need the correct tools in place once these talks are done.

You need help from a reputable vendor: Having experience is unbeatable, and a vendor will offer you a range of in-depth expertise. Data back-up vendors should know quite a bit about the varied industries they serve and their own technologies. The best possible back-up or storage solution for you will be provided by a vendor who understands the way you work with your data and applies it to serve customers.

Use an end-to-end approach: Using our end-to-end agnostic solutions approach, we help our clients decide on the best method to secure their company data. Besides offering customised backup and recovery products, STS can effortlessly scale with your business's growth. Countless terabytes of mission-critical data can be backed up and secured through our comprehensive portfolio of back-up and storage solutions – from small businesses to large enterprises.

We stay abreast of the latest trends to provide the best possible solutions to future-proof your business. Working with global technology vendors, we develop bespoke solutions customised to the needs of each customer. We can help you secure your data more effectively. Get in touch today.

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