The burden of responsibility for an organization’s information and data security is heavy, particularly when it’s not a question of ‘whether’, but ‘when’ a cybersecurity attack will occur on the watch. If data is stolen in a high-profile data breach or the operation is turned upside down by human error, the financial and reputational consequences will last for years.
In terms of data protection, CISOs have their job cut out for them with information being shared at ever faster and greater volumes, often in hybrid, complex IT environments. The total cost of a data breach is projected to be $3.92 million, according to an IBM report.
While factoring in the remote worker situations, which seem to be here to stay in some form, it’s clear that business-critical data is now more fragile than ever. Luckily, there are also more options available to protect it against fraud, human error, and manipulation.
Data security initiatives are an example of a corporate balancing act, as all initiatives can fall in line with the overall organization’s strategy. As CISOs, having a better understanding of the business will help make organizational data protection practices more efficient. So, let’s take a look at some of the most essential qualities that today’s CISOs need to possess to be successful in 2021 and beyond.
Data security best practices
It’s critical that those in charge of compliance, such as CISOs and others, assess their specific threats and mitigate them using layered security initiatives and best practices.
All other security initiatives are built on the foundation of data security. Protection controls aimed at apps, endpoints, networks, and the perimeter will be weakened if they are not guarded against, right from the start. End-to-end protections around the business-critical assets can be achieved by both constructive and reactive measures.
Understand different types of data and where it is stored
It’s important to understand where all of the confidential data lives before taking action to secure it. Is it on-premises, in the cloud, or in collaboration with third parties? Organizations must audit the location of the data and then document it.
CISOs admitted that data visibility is their biggest cybersecurity vulnerability, according to a new 2021 HelpSystems report. After all, how can businesses continue to properly monitor and regulate their data if they have no idea what data they have, where it is stored, how it is shared, or who has access to it. A detailed understanding of this data will greatly improve a company’s ability to monitor and maintain its privacy, as well as contribute to a more focused and appropriate technology solution.
Organize the Data
Businesses may begin to secure their data by identifying and classifying the types of information they need to protect, including sensitive unstructured data such as intellectual property. This also aids them in securing the fundamental control and management parameters needed to ensure compliance.
Without context as to which data requires monitoring and security, the growing standards — compliance, regulatory, and legislative that companies must respond to can be daunting. If companies wish to secure public, financial, or personally identifiable information (PII) information, data classification may serve as the foundation for adding additional security layers as data travels.
Recognize the Routes of Data
Companies must first determine what data they have and where it comes from, as well as where it is going in terms of geographic boundaries. There may be several national and international regulations in place that govern how businesses manage data in motion and at rest, particularly when it comes to international data transfers.