Data Security 101 - Why Is it Important for Businesses?

Blog post

What is data security?

Data security refers to the process of protecting data from being accessed without permission, and from data corruption throughout its lifecycle. A data breach can be a significant issue for most organisations and for the people involved if personal data is compromised. Not only are there immediate cost implications, there is also the potential loss of revenue in the future as customers lose faith in an organisation.

Why is data security important?

Any information that your business stores digitally needs to be properly protected. From financial information and payment details to contact information for your staff and customers, data usage in the UK is protected by law.

As well as this, it can benefit your business in many ways. This includes:

  • Helping to reduce the number of data breaches your business can suffer
  • Helping to prevent loss of revenue
  • Helping to protect customer’s privacy
  • Supports your business’s code of ethics
  • Gives you a competitive advantage over competitors

What is data security management?

Data security management is the effective oversight and management of a business’s data to ensure the data is not accessed or corrupted by unauthorised users. A data security management plan includes planning, implementation of the plan, and verification and updating of the plan’s components.

What is data security in cloud computing?

The convenience of anytime, anywhere data availability makes the cloud a compelling alternative to a traditional data centre. Moving data to the cloud can also control costs, improve data redundancy and reduce shadow IT to improve data governance.

It’s important that when considering moving data and systems to cloud platforms that by making it easier for staff to login from anywhere and any device the internet facing “surface area” of an organisations infrastructure is significantly increased and it’s then easier for compromised credentials to be exploited to access data. The protection of data in a cloud platform needs to be a key part of the migration plan.

Protecting data in the cloud can be similar to protecting data within a traditional data centre. Authentication and identity, access control, encryption, secure deletion, data integrity checking, and data masking are all data protection methods that have applicability in cloud computing.

Data integrity checking is a crucial component of cloud data security, which prevents unauthorised modification or deletion, and ensures that data remains as it was when originally uploaded.

 Key causes of data breaches;

  1. Weak or stolen credentials - Basic controls such as account lockout on multiple failed login attempts and user training on appropriate passwords are recommended. A multi-factor authentication tool would have prevented 99.9% of breaches Microsoft saw in 2019.
  2. Application vulnerabilities - Keep software – especially servers connected to the internet and users PCs up to date. The recent flaw identified in Exchange server patched in March 2021 allowed anonymous connections to an Exchange server to download mailboxes and run commands remotely.
  3. Malware - Malicious software can be used to create a backdoor or log user activity, ensure all devices are running an AntiVirus solution.
  4. Staff error - Increasingly complex security solutions are needed to protect against hackers, who use different methods to deceive users into volunteering passwords or to install software. Running regular training and simulation sessions will keep your staff vigilant to these threats.
  5. Lost hardware devices - Data can end up being stored on portable devices such as laptops and phones, encryption tools such as Bitlocker are typically included in these – turning these on gives peace of mind that data is protected if a device is lost or stolen and can’t be accessed without the device password.

Why CT for data security? 

Here at CT, maintaining customer trust is a core priority. With the rise of cyberattacks, any breach can cause significant damage. We can deploy a strong foundation of backup, compliance, and intelligent recovery, and protect your data against attacks such as ransomware, and we can assure you that your data is safe in our hands. Highlights of our data security services include:

  • Specialists in design, supply, installation and maintenance of backup solutions
  • Technical support by Veeam certified engineers
  • Data is stored in secure data centres that comply with ISO 27001, of which we are only 1 of 7 IT seven IT providers in the UK to obtain this accreditation
  • 24/7 management of the datacentre ensures efficiency
  • Veeam Platinum Partner - you can find out more about our Cloud Services here.
  • NHS security standards are met with the Information Governance Toolkit