11 Mar

Complying With Data Security Mandates

The purpose of this article is to help end-users understand the importance of keeping their personal information and sensitive data continuously safe and secure. Some topics will cover essential security measures that will help protect an individual’s personal information and data at a corporate level. Organizations will benefit from implementing physical and technical safeguards and gain critical skills in data security compliance. 

Staying compliant is not an easy task, especially since the internet itself will never be 100% secure. This is because new technology is evolving every day, which causes the growth of new cybersecurity threats, costs, and legal activity. 

The reality is that all organizations have the potential for a security breach in their infrastructure. Often, that point of entry is located within the end user’s ecosystem. This is what cybercriminals are looking for, and this is the reason why data breaches and identity theft have grown across all industries..

What is enterprise data security?

Everyone plays a part in a comprehensive data security strategy. Committing yourself to keep up with the latest technological procedures and implementations will help you understand the true scope of secure data security. This practice will keep your personal information secure and protect that data from corruption and threats. 

 To deploy physical and technical safeguards at an enterprise level, individuals must thoroughly understand the particulars in data security. This includes understanding the process of delivering, managing, and monitoring security across all data repositories and objects within the organization. It also includes completely understanding the latest organizational policies and procedures. 

When robust data security strategies are implemented correctly, an organization’s assets are properly protected against a higher percentage of cybercriminal threats and activities. These strategies also guard against human error, which is essential because it is the leading cause of today’s data breaches. 

Physical and technical safeguards

Any physical device you carry personal information on can cause a data breach. This is why it is always important to maintain control over your valuables and avoid using any devices you do not trust. This will give you overall access and management control and is the best practice for any device. 

Technical safeguards should provide compliant policies and state-of-the-art technologies that protect data. Each industry needs to determine what safeguards are necessary and appropriate for the organization’s network perimeter. Technical safeguards must provide the highest industry protection against destruction, loss, and misuse of confidential information. 

Types of data security 

In doing our everyday jobs, we come across various platforms that we are continually feeding information to and requesting data from. This means there are many different ways we can ensure that our data is secure. 

Email. Organizations need to communicate with each other and their clients. To protect all the content and communications against malware, spam, and phishing attacks, organizations have to use solutions like multi-factor authentication to ensure that all email accounts are safe and secure from any unauthorized recipients. 

One technique that helps protect our safeguards is encoding and encrypting all valuable data. This method is commonly known as Ciphertext, which uses an algorithm that transitions standard text characters into an unfamiliar format that only users with authorized access can decrypt. This usually requires access to the correct tokenized key for management capabilities. 

Web browsers. Sensitive data may be captured by the web browser every time it communicates with a website. This makes browser security vital. If proper browser settings are bypassed, the web browser will have security vulnerabilities that affect the computer system’s health and performance. This can cause browser components, plugins, and networked data to be exposed and hacked. To prevent this from happening, individuals will want to enable proper settings to keep their operating system and applications up to date. This will help minimize vulnerabilities and security flaws. Monitoring data usage platforms helps identify who is accessing what data and give you the ability to spot any unknown risk. 

Mobile app security. There are numerous components in mobile devices that require an extreme amount of protection across all mobile applications. Just like Windows and Linux devices, the overall goal is to prevent data leaks. Enforcing strong authentication and patching up apps and the operating system can help protect your device’s data. Other common vulnerabilities for mobile devices include loss or theft of the device itself and architectural flaws.

Payment Security. There is no doubt that the growing number of online payment transactions creates a massive opportunity for cybercriminals. To ensure your data is safe, individuals must understand web browser security and how it can protect payment data and other sensitive information. This will provide your highest level of payment security. 

When we make purchases throughout web browsers and applications, it’s common sense to look for security indicators, such as a green padlock symbol in the address bar next to the website address bar. This usually depends on the browser; overall, we are looking for a valid security certificate that verifies the legitimacy of website ownership and connection security. 

Hardware security modules. This is a physical computing device that makes it difficult for criminals to steal your sensitive information, ensuring your personal keys are securely stored at all times. Furthermore, to gain access to the data, you will need a unique tokenized key or a digital signature solution that is only available to the owner. 

The cost of non-compliance 

A single data breach can incur millions of dollars in damages and require weeks or months to mitigate. Overall the long-term costs will not only be monetary but can also impact corporate reputation and expose sensitive data that can be exploited over a considerable period. Worst of all, the affected business can suffer from loss of sales and customers. Stock prices for publicly-held victim companies may suffer as well.

With the company’s reputation on the line, it will be challenging to work with future investors unless they love your company and/or have no knowledge of the security breach. 

Disclosure and recourse. There are laws in almost every state outlining corporate responsibility regarding data breaches. Usually, the organization’s CEO makes the final decision when it comes to dealing with ransomware and resulting legal activity. The CEO is the one responsible for complying with the law. He or she is also the one responsible for making other people responsible for certain exemptions. The CEO has one of two options. The first option is to listen to their trusted advisor(s) – their “CTO” in most cases. They put their trust in this person in hopes that they will be able to recover or restore most of their lost data. 

If the technology department fails to recover and back up the organization data, the CEO may have little choice but to resort to the second option. Option two is dealing with their cyber insurance company. This usually involves the direct involvement of an executive from the insurance company. Their goal is to negotiate with the criminals for the reduction or removal of the ransom demand. 

A ransomware victim should never negotiate directly with cybercriminals. In most cases, they will see it as a point of weakness and end up raising the ransom because they now know you have funds to negotiate with. If the insurance executive is lucky, they may find that they are dealing with an amateur and take a win. This situation is infrequent, and no company should keep their hopes up in this case. 

Know the rules. Most of today’s corporate agreements contain language regarding data breach responsibility. These agreements spell out who should have access to what data and what data should and shouldn’t be accessed. This agreement also complies with provider responsibility outlining what they have to do to make all things secure. This agreement should have methods of relief available.