One of the essential assets of a company in the contemporary business environment is data. Storing, managing, and protecting such data are some of the hallmark activities of successful companies in the modern economy. Data collected and stored by the organization may include credit card records, personal information, customer preferences, and records of user activity. Such data is highly confidential, and it is imperative that organizations prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Innumerable organizations report data breaches, in spite of the importance of data. The large and damaging data breaches demonstrate the scale of the challenge involved in data management from Equifax, the credit bureau, to the Office of Personnel Management.
Such incidents demonstrate the need for more sophisticated responses to risk. For businesses without the significant resources of such organizations, protecting against breaches and responding to the data breaches may seem like an impossible feat. One mistake that companies should avoid is to presume that their information is insignificant to hackers. All organizations institute proper protection and management mechanisms. Additionally, part of a company’s security policy should include scheduling a breach inspection.
Importance of Scheduling Data Management Activities
Some of the examples of activities involved in data management include:
• Data Security
• Sharing Data
• Data Destruction
• Business intelligence
• Storage of records
• Record Management
A data management policy can be a complicated process. Companies should consider the intricacies of different protocols and should factor in the fact that the policies should be industry-specific. Such policies should act as a guide while implementing a data management policy. It may be prudent to outsource components of a management policy to more experienced and established firms if a company lacks the necessary tools and know-how. Such outsourcing business models could be crucial for information such as credit card information. The scheduling of proper data management activities also guarantees the protection of data and ensures that a firm can prevent data breaches and adequately respond to a breach if it occurs.
Also, data management enables companies to make sense of the data they hold to improve profitability and competitiveness in their marketplace. For example, managing customer information such as preferences and purchasing behavior can aid a company in positioning itself to appeal to different customer needs. Data management also involves activities such as deleting all unnecessary data. Any data collected that is no longer being used should be deleted immediately. Some metadata could also be completely stripped before saving the data while still retaining the usefulness of such data.
Importance of Breach Inspection Measures
Part of the different inspection measures is ascertaining that the data you hold is safe. Some of the primary issues to consider are encryption mechanisms, security of premises, and legal requirements. Also, a security assessment is carried out by qualified experts reviewing the entire system. The evaluation is then used to create a suitable security policy as well as drive recruitment efforts for data management roles.
The scheduling of data management and breach inspection regularly assists a firm to:
• Identify sensitive data
• Develop, document and maintain procedures for data backups
• Develop a testing framework for all aspects of data management.
• Map out security risks and demarcate security responsibilities.
• Promote a security conscious mindset within the organization
Activities Involved in Inspection
Service providers often test systems for vulnerabilities and loopholes. These penetration tests are designed to find and eliminate vulnerabilities before invaders posing high-security risks can exploit them. Activities that may be inspected to bolster infrastructure defenses include:
• Automating security procedures by installing firewalls, antivirus, and Intrusion detection systems.
• Enforce good authentication procedures. The firms could develop and implement two-factor authentication for different users.
• Encrypt during transfer as this encryption ensures that communication is only transmitted over encryption protocols like SSL.
• Restricting access to information within the company by assigning roles and responsibilities to the IT team and giving the users different levels of access to information.
• Training the staff to respond to threats.
• Minimize the attack surface by keeping the infrastructure separate.
• Tracking and monitoring; where the company tracks all requests and user activities on the networks to prevent unauthorized access and unintentional use.
An inspection of data breaches also determines the type of audit that an organization should take to mitigate damage. This is especially important since there are a variety of reporting mechanisms and procedures for different regions and industries. Some examples of regulations include:
• Federal Law on Protection of Personal Data Held by Individuals by the US
• Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015
• Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014
These international data compliance laws are adhering to enhance the overall security of business systems. For some companies, like global multinationals, compliance involves adhering to regulations from many different agencies which further increase the complexity of security laws that a company needs to follow. Scheduling an inspection is thus vital to a company’s overall data management policy. Consequently, the additional input of experts strengthens a company’s protection safeguards while ensuring compliance with regulations and laws. They also provide an opportunity for companies to audit and make changes to their security policies.
Have questions or concerns about breach inspections or data management? Call or contact us on our contact page. We’d love to help.