By Noah Johnson, Co-Founder & CTO of Dasera
In today’s digital age, data is the lifeblood of business growth. With large amounts of data sprawled across multiple platforms, companies must catalog and organize their data to derive actionable insights. But with data’s value comes risk, and companies must ensure the data they collect and use is secure.
To start, companies must inventory their data and catalog it, both structured and unstructured data, whether in databases, cloud storage, or on-premises systems. This step is crucial to identify all data sources, including shadow data lurking on unsecured devices.
Once the data has been identified, it must be classified based on sensitivity so that data such as PII, PHI, and financial data can be secured accordingly. Companies should work with data owners and stewards to classify the data and determine who should have access.
Access control must be implemented to limit who has access to sensitive data, both internal and external, to the organization. This includes limiting access to those who need it for their job functions and implementing multi-factor authentication to ensure only authorized users can access the data.
Auditing and monitoring tools should be implemented to track all access to sensitive data, both successful and unsuccessful attempts. This can help detect potential breaches or data misuse, enabling a quick response to mitigate the risk.
Finally, policies and procedures should be implemented to ensure ongoing compliance with regulations, such as GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA. This includes reviewing access controls, auditing logs, and conducting regular vulnerability assessments.
Securing data in today’s environment requires an approach that aligns business objectives with data security. Companies can mitigate the risks associated with operationalizing their data while driving business growth by taking inventory of data sources, classifying data, implementing access control, encrypting data, monitoring access, and ensuring compliance.
While many solutions are available to help companies achieve these goals, it’s important to carefully evaluate each solution to ensure it meets the company’s specific needs and aligns with its goals. Ultimately, the solution should provide complete visibility and control over all data sources, identify sensitive data, assess risks related to data usage, access privilege, and misconfigurations, and enable automation of business policies with a no-code policy framework.
Utilizing data to its full potential can be a game-changer for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve. By harnessing the power of data, companies can optimize their operations, personalize customer experiences, identify new market opportunities, and a million other use cases that can affect growth. However, this growth potential also brings new risks, such as data breaches and regulatory compliance violations proving security teams must take a proactive approach to data security. By cataloging and securing data from the start, companies can confidently use their data without fearing exposing sensitive information or regulatory non-compliance. By implementing a comprehensive data security solution that aligns with their data-driven goals, companies can mitigate these risks and maximize the value of their data. The benefits of a robust data security strategy are clear: improved operational efficiency, increased customer trust, and reduced risk. With the right tools and processes in place, companies can unlock the full potential of their data and drive business growth.
About the Author
Noah Johnson is Co-Founder & CTO of Dasera. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and founded three companies based on his academic research, including Dasera. Noah developed the first practical system to provide differential privacy for general SQL queries. This work was featured in Wired and Gizmodo, and serves as the technical foundation of Dasera’s products.