The amount, complexity, and relevance of the data that companies handle has increased rapidly over the years. Today the data stored by organizations can contain information from buying and selling transactions, market analysis, ideas for future technological innovations, customer, or employee information (salaries, health information) and more.
As a consequence, confidential and sensitive information has become one of the most valuable assets of organizations and today, more than ever, it is necessary that it be protected throughout its life cycle without this altering the pace of the business.
In 2020, with the rise of remote work caused by the COVID-19 quarantine, many companies have been exposed more to security incidents and cases of hacks have continued to rise. With the new year just beginning, it's a good time to consider what you can do to ensure your company data is protected and your business is not the victim of a data breach.
When thinking about data security strategies in 2021, here are 10 tips to keep in mind:
1. Replace FTP Scripts
Many companies still exchange information with clients, partners, or other offices using scripts or custom-developed programs. However, it is not recommended to do so as these outdated methods are a threat to your organization’s security.
In regard to security, the first point to note is that the architecture of the FTP scripts used to send information is usually highly vulnerable. In addition, they do not offer enough control over the data, their traceability is lost, and they are not accepted by the main compliance regulations (PCI-DSS, SOX, and others).
We recommend that you stop using scripts and implement a Secure FTP solution that works with secure protocols that guarantee the confidentiality of the information is centrally managed, allows you to have full control and traceability of data movements for audits and compliance with regulations, automates processes, and more.
Related Webinar: Replace FTP Scripts with a Managed File Transfer (MFT) Solution
Related Reading: Beyond FTP: Securing and Managing File Transfers
2. Encrypt Data in Transit and at Rest
Encryption helps the information that is stored and shared to keep its confidentiality (only accessible by those who must access it) and integrity (everything that is encrypted remains complete and unaltered). Furthermore, by encrypting your data, you ensure that even in the event of improper access, the information will not be readable. This is why encryption is essential to protect your data against cybersecurity threats, even more so because it must be used to comply with regulations or standards specific to each industry.
Although there are many encryption software’s, even some free ones like Open PGP Studio, it is necessary to know the different options and choose the right one for your specific case. File transfer software can encrypt data in transit, and digital rights management solutions can control and revoke document access, no matter where the data is located.
Do you need personalized advice on encryption and data security? You can contact an expert to help you analyze your specific case.
3. Use Secure Collaboration Tools Between Employees, Customers, and Partners
On a daily basis, it’s often necessary to share information with business partners and between employees located in remote locations; this situation has additionally increased with the rise of remote work caused by the pandemic.
To protect information, it is key that your company uses secure collaboration tools that are agile to use and allow you to perform key tasks for daily operations, such as some of those offered by GoAnywhere MFT:
Secure Folders: This allows employees to securely access corporate documents housed in folders on the company server.
Secure Forms: Is used to create forms to be used as an interface to request and/or share information through legacy applications or databases.
GoDrive: It offers users cloud storage with strict security mechanisms to protect data and data traceability.
Secure Mail: Is used to send messages and files by email, encrypted and without size limitations.
4. Avoid Common Mistakes When Sending Large Files
Many organizations share large files that are critical to the business and only when transfers get stuck or are “undeliverable” do they realize they have a problem. Or worse yet, employees continue to use unsafe methods, generally free, continuing to avoid the inevitable.
This is a serious error because in those cases the information can be easily compromised as it usually travels without being encrypted, secure protocols are not used, and the organization loses traceability of the data. In addition, if the file does not reach its destination due to its large size, users do not usually receive notifications. And if they do receive them, they must rerun the process again manually, which entails a notable loss of time.
Our recommendation is to use a Managed File Transfer tool that offers a way to send large files safely, with automatic resumption in case of errors, notifications, traceability and audit reports. GoAnywhere MFT allows you to send large files encrypted using secure protocols and in an automated way.
Watch this video to find out how it works.
5. Identify Compromised Devices on the Internal Network
Hackers are becoming increasingly dangerous and the advancement of technology seems to be working in their favor. Nowadays any device with an Internet connection can potentially be hacked, from a personal smartphone to an MRI machine for institutional use. And thanks to that first step, attackers can breach your security infrastructure and access the corporate network to steal your information.
Unfortunately, in 2021 we have seen that cyber-attacks of this type have increased, with several multinational companies becoming victims of hacking. It is essential for your company to identify with certainty compromised devices in the internal network, but that alone is not enough. To properly protect your data, we recommend you have an advanced network traffic inspection threat detection solution, such as Core Network Insight. To learn more about it, you can request a live demonstration without obligation, by a cybersecurity expert, who will advise you on what you need to take into account in order not to be a victim of a data breach.
Request a live demo of Core Network Insight.
6. Inspect Your Data Content Using DLP Technology
Even if your company prioritizes access, user permissions, and encrypts the channels for sending information, you still need to prevent sensitive information (such as credit card data, personal data, etc.) from being incorrectly sent or received and stop files containing ransomware from being circulated in your company. To minimize these risks, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technology can be applied over email, web, and file transfers to inspect incoming and outgoing content and automatically remove any unauthorized sensitive data or active code.
Unlike other DLP technologies that simply ‘stop and block’ content from being sent and received, HelpSystems’ Clearswift solution sanitizes the files (including any images and scanned documents) of any offending content before allowing them to continue on their way. This permits the flow of information to continue but protects the organization from potential data breach threats.
7. Classify Your Data to Protect It
A very common mistake in all data protection strategies is to treat all everyone the same way. Contrary to what may be believed, this complicates the processes and reduces their effectiveness. A salary listing is not the same as a marketing file or an annual sales estimate, so effective data management and protection begins with a good data classification. It must be known what types of data your company has, where it is hosted, and what level of criticality and business value it has to determine which ones should be protected, how to do it, and who should have access and control over them.
Request a meeting to learn more about them.
8. Create and Implement a Cybersecurity Program
If you do not have one in place yet, you should create and implement a cybersecurity program that will help you to not only protect your data, but any company assets that could be compromised by hackers.
A security program essentially establishes what must be done to understand particular assets (information and systems), what must be in place to take care of them, and how to act in case of an attack. It is very important that this program involves all the employees of the organization and is explained to them in a language that everyone can understand (beyond the technical details).
In addition to the specific recommendations that we have already made in the previous points, depending on the industry in which your company operates or the criticality of your information, it may be necessary to perform pen testing of your environment. A solution like Core Impact allows you to implement tactics similar to those used by hackers to test the security of the organization very easily.
If you want to know more about Core Impact, you can request a demo. Or watch the video: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Penetration Testing
9. Try the Data Security Solutions You Want to Implement for Free
In times when budgets have been greatly shortened and resources diminished due to the pandemic, software purchases must be made meticulously. For this reason, we recommend that before deciding on a data security software, you download a free trial version of it that allows you to learn how to use it and analyze if it is the right one for you. You can also request a demo tailored to the needs of your company so that the software provider can help you analyze if it meets the functionalities you are looking for and meet your expectations.
All the data security HelpSystems solutions that we mention in this blog offer one of these options (or both) and our team of professionals speak your same language.
10. Trust in a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Provider
One of the best tips to improve the security of an organization is to use compatible solutions, whose functionalities integrate well with each other. This will avoid headaches for IT teams and ensures that they can be implemented without stopping the business.
The best way to ensure this is by trusting a comprehensive provider that can offer all the cybersecurity solutions you need according to your specific case.
The HelpSystems portfolio includes all the key areas mentioned in the previous points and is consistently incorporating more cybersecurity products.
Meet with a Cybersecurity Expert
Did any of the previous tips give you ideas on how to improve the security of your data in 2021? Dig deeper and get advice from a HelpSystems security expert.