Sensitive Data Management Guide For companies and Individuals
Keeping sensitive data secure against theft and vulnerability should be a priority for most organizations. However, this isn’t as easy as it may seem especially with new technologies and evolving digital world. Even with the right precautions, sensitive data management can still be breached and information can be stolen by those with bad intentions.
In order to help individuals and corporations with sensitive data management, we talked with several different cybersecurity experts regarding their thoughts on proper data management and protection. We have compiled the most prevalent answers to the following questions:
What is the Biggest Mistake that People and Companies Make in Sensitive Data Management?
First major mistake of companies is to not classify their data. Without proper classification, they are not aware that certain data needs extra protection. This leaves the data vulnerable since no security measures are in place. Basically, a lot of users can access the data.
Encryption is another big issue with companies and employees. Sometimes, even they know that the data being handled is sensitive, they neglect to encrypt it during storage or transit. This leaves the data vulnerable and easily accessible to anyone which is not proper sensitive data management practice.
And last is not having the right protocols and policies in place in order to safeguard sensitive data against external and internal threats. Knowing what to do and how to act at certain points are critical in protecting sensitive information within the company. This has become a huge challenge for both private and public organizations.
How should Companies Address Data Security?
Companies need to address sensitive data management depending on their own needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution in terms of securing important information. But, there are steps that every company and organization need to take in order to address the most common data security challenges.
Phishing, malware, ransomware, and many other types of attacks are reliant on an employee making a mistake in order for these malicious programs to take hold and be able to steal data. The best way to avert this is to train all employees about sensitive data management.
The training would include learning about the different types of attacks, what to look out for, and what to do in case they notice something suspicious.
Social engineering should be a huge part of these trainings as well. As attackers develop more sophisticated and well-thought about attacks, employees should be trained about them to sniff them out.
Implement Security Measures
It is always important to have the right security applications within the system. This includes firewalls, anti-virus protection, anti-malware programs, and detection systems. These allow for immediate screening and blocking of potential threats against the company.
Keep Software Updated
Companies would be using different kinds of software. From operating systems to spreadsheets, all these programs can be targeted by malicious software. In order to prevent that from happening, it is recommended to update every program as part of sensitive data management as soon as new versions are available.
Updates from the makers of these programs would usually involve security. They add patches for vulnerabilities found so that malicious attackers can no longer exploit that weakness.
A simple but still very powerful aspect of sensitive data management is the password. Employees and users should be made to use strong passwords that contain both upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. They should be about 10 characters in length at least. And, all users should be made to change their passwords at regular intervals to keep them safe.
All in all, sensitive data management should be a conscious effort from each member of the organization. Top-level management should buy-in to the idea of protecting their sensitive information to allocate the proper resources to achieve that goal. All employees should also do their part in order to protect the organization.