Data Security Best Practices for Today’s Distributed Enterprises

By Erik Scoralick, Senior Manager, Sales Engineering at Forcepoint.

  • 2 months ago Posted in

In today's digital landscape, where every day seems to bring yet another alarming headline about a data breach, the need to safeguard sensitive information has never been more important for enterprises and government agencies. As organisations increasingly rely on a multitude of platforms to store and channels to transmit data, the importance of prioritizing robust data security is paramount. The reality of this seemingly endless news cycle is that so many of these breaches are preventable with the right strategy in place. 

Unfortunately, security solutions have struggled to keep pace with this ever-expanding data ecosystem, leaving companies vulnerable to potential breaches and regulatory compliance risks.

Amidst a seemingly daunting array of threats lies an opportunity presented by the cutting-edge technologies available to us now. It is imperative that the approach adopted by organizations is guided by a commitment to empower the whole company with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the complex landscape of cybersecurity threats effectively.

Best Practices to Consider

There are several data security best practices that enterprises can consider bolster their defences against potential breaches. From employee awareness training to cloud visibility and control, endpoint and BYOD protection, data security handling policy, certain steps are designed as a businesses first defence in addressing the most common vulnerabilities they face today.

Employee awareness training is the essential foundation for ensuring that teams understand the risks associated with unmanaged devices and know how to securely grant access to sensitive data. However, regardless of capabilities, you can’t protect what you can’t see. With the sheer amount of data that organizations hold today, manual discovery and classification presents a challenge as the data today is not the same amount of data tomorrow. Data discovery and classification is a critical component of any effective security strategy – enabling organizations to identify and protect their most valuable assets. Artificial intelligence can help level the playing field through automation to increase confidence level content detection, enabling organizations to run continuous data discovery with highly accurate classification as time goes on.

This brings us to the importance of considering innovative solutions such as Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) to deliver real-time visibility with pre-built data models to identify different types of documents (business documents, technical documents, HR documents, financial documents), but also classify if a file is either public or highly confidential, ease privacy compliance and minimize risks for data stored across multiple environments including IaaS, SaaS. Integrating DSPM with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Risk Adaptive Protection (RAP) capabilities into a unified data security solution can truly be a stepping stone to achieving data security everywhere, and a full data lifecycle management (discovering, classifying, prioritizing, protecting and monitoring sensitive data).

Unifying policy coverage can further help maintain compliance with regional and industry-specific regulations. Using pre-built data security policies and unifying coverage in the cloud, endpoint and unmanaged devices further yields time savings from not having to painstakingly configure each policy for compliance.

Protecting Users Across Platforms

Organizations and government agencies must remain vigilant in monitoring insider threats, which can pose a significant risk to data security. With the rise of remote work and the increasing use of cloud-based applications, the threat landscape has become more complex than ever before. By implementing real-time monitoring and policy adjustments, organizations can stay one step ahead of potential threats and protect their sensitive data from unauthorized access.

Security incidents stemming from insider threats could be purposeful or accidental. Real-time adaptive policies help enterprises stay one step ahead of their employees with real-time policy adjustments that can be set to self-educate users who make a mistake or block more nefarious threat actors. Adaptive policies empower businesses to achieve success by enabling flexible data security controls. This allows for one-to-one policy assignment (rather than one-to-many), where each user's risk score determines their specific security controls.

The need for robust data security measures has never been more apparent. And while there has never been more urgency to safeguard sensitive information, there has also never been a more opportune time for it. Cutting-edge technologies make sound data security best practices easy to implement and maintain – and when done right, without impacting employee productivity. By implementing best practices and leveraging the latest technologies, organizations can ensure that their sensitive information remains protected from potential breaches and regulatory compliance risks.

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