By Tanhaz Kamaly – Partnership Executive, UK, Dialpad UK
As a tech business owner, you’re well aware of how critical data security is for the success and reputation of your company. But with all the different aspects of data security to keep track of, it can be challenging to know where to start.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of seven data security best practices for businesses in tech so you can ensure your company is as secure as possible.
Let’s get started.
What is Data Security?
Before we dive into the best practices, let’s take a step back and define data security.
Data security is the practice of protecting electronic information from unauthorised access, cybercrime or theft. Data security includes physical security (like protecting data centres from intruders) and logical security (like ensuring only authorised users have access to sensitive data).
Now that we know what data security is, let’s look at the best practices for keeping your company’s data safe.
1. Understand Your Data Architecture
The first step to any suitable data security plan is understanding your company’s data architecture. This means taking inventory of all the different types of data you collect and where it resides. This can be daunting, but it’s essential to know where your vulnerabilities lie and how best to protect your data.
Let’s say you own an IVR software company. Your data architecture might look something like this.
- Customer Data: Stored in a CRM system like Salesforce, or a content management system (CMS).
- Call Data: Includes parked calls, recordings, and transcripts
- Employee Data: Stored in an HR system like Workday.
Once you know where all of your company’s data is located, you can start to create a plan for securing it. If your customers have any questions about their data, you can have the best help desk software on the market to help them with their query.
2. Implement Data Ingestion Security Measures
What is data ingestion? It’s the process of collecting and storing data from various sources. You may be wondering,then, what’s data ingestion security and how does it differ from data security? Data ingestion security is a subset of data security that focuses specifically on the process of collecting and storing data.
There are a few different ways to secure your data during the ingestion process:
- Encrypting data at the source means encrypting data before it enters your systems. This can be done using tools like PGP or GPG.
- Data filtering: Data filtering identifies and removes unneeded or unwanted data before it’s ingested into your system. This helps to reduce the overall amount of data you need to secure and makes it easier to identify unusual activity.
- Data validation: Data validation is the process of verifying that data is accurate and complete before it’s ingested into your system. This helps to ensure that only quality data is stored in your system and reduces the risk of errors.
3. Secure Your Data Storage
Once you’ve collected and stored your data, it’s time to start thinking about how to secure it. Data storage security is protecting your data from unauthorised access or modification.
There are a few different ways you can secure your data storage:
- Data rights management: Data rights management controls who has access to your data and what they can do with it.
- Data backup and disaster recovery: Data backup and disaster recovery are essential for ensuring that your data is always available in case of a system failure or data loss.
4. Implement Data Access Control Measures
Data access control is the process of controlling who has access to your data and what they can do with it. This helps to ensure that only authorised users have access to sensitive data and helps to prevent data breaches.
There are a few different ways you can control access to your data:
- User authentication: User authentication is the process of verifying that a user is who they say they are.
- Data classification: Data classification is the process of categorising data so that you can control who has access to it.
- Access control lists: Access control lists are used to specify which users have access to which data.
5. Adopt Privacy-Enhancing Technologies
Privacy-enhancing technologies are tools that help to protect your data from unauthorised access or disclosure, such as your debit or credit card details when purchasing prepaid cards for online shopping. These technologies can be used to control access to your data, encrypt your data, or anonymise your data.
Let’s say you’re collecting data about your customers so that you can target them with relevant advertising. You could use a privacy-enhancing technology like anonymisation to protect your customers’ privacy by ensuring that their personal information is not linked to their data.
You could also take a data privacy survey to understand how better to protect your data.
6. Educate Your Employees About Data Security
Data security is only as strong as the weakest link. That’s why it’s important to educate your employees about data security and make sure they understand the importance of protecting your data.
There are a few different ways you can educate your employees about data security:
- Train them on data security policies and procedures: Make sure your employees are familiar with your data security policies and procedures. This will help them to understand the importance of protecting your data and will ensure they know what to do in the event of a data security incident.
- Conduct regular security awareness training: Security awareness training is designed to educate employees about cybersecurity threats and how to protect themselves from them. This type of training can be conducted regularly to ensure that your employees are always up-to-date on the latest data security threats.
- Make data security a part of your company culture: Data security should be a part of your company culture. This means that you should make data security a priority for your organisation anywhere, even when you register domain in NZ, AU, or AI. This ensures that all employees are aware of its importance.
7. Audit Your Data Security Practices
Regularly auditing your data security practices is the best way to ensure that they’re effective. During an audit, you will review your data security policies and procedures to ensure they’re up-to-date and effective.
You will also assess your data security risks and identify any areas where you can improve. Audits should be conducted regularly to ensure that your data security practices are always effective.
Data security is essential for any business that collects, stores, or processes data. By following these best practices, you can help to protect your data from unauthorised access or disclosure.