Don’t think your data is safe, know it is.
Securing data and sensitive information can be a monumental task. It can make or break your business. In 2020, the average data breach costs a company $3.86 million, according to IBM. Because companies do not budget for this event, the financial impact can be significant if a breach occurs — not to mention the disruption to operations, employee access and potentially supply chain or inventory issues.
Security has become critical if you want to thrive and become a market leader in your industry. Not only is it important to avoid downtime and the cost of a breach, but, even more importantly, you need to serve your clients and maintain their trust by not losing your data or theirs.
Good information security provides protection for all business, sensitive and personal data, no matter where it is — on local servers, your network, storage devices, computers, mobile devices or in the cloud.
IT Security should be thought of as an onion.
The more security layers you can build into your environment, the more layers a bad actor has to hack.
That is why we use a holistic approach in assessing your information security. Both our Foundational Security and Enhanced Security services give you peace of mind knowing your data is protected. Having either of these plans in place has the potential to lower your insurance premiums (or keep them low). Our Foundational Security plan includes 10 important security measures including our 137 point layered security assessment. The Enhanced Security Plan goes deeper to provide even more protection.
How Strong is Your Organization’s Security?
Answer these 10 questions about how your IT is set up, and we can tell you your current level of data security.
How’d you do? If you score 9 or 10, then you probably don’t need us. You’ve got a robust information security setup. But chances are the quiz got you thinking about some areas where you could beef up data security.
Roadmap to Secure Your Data
Identify Data in Motion
Understanding how data flows into, within, and out of the organization is the first step. By creating “data in motion” maps we can see where data flows and how it gets there. Taking a closer look at the systems transmitting the data, and their configurations we get visibility into the security gaps and where industry standards are not met. (i.e., ISO 270010).
Anytime data is moving, you have interception, corruption, or transfer failure risks points. Perhaps the best example is email. It is ubiquitous in modern business and is often not thought about as a big risk. But all it takes is a single email. A rogue employee could export thousands of files or someone could click on a dangerous link that allows access and encrypt the whole database. Often you don’t even know you’ve had a breach.
Identify Data in Rest
We also look at where data is stored. Most organizations today have data in numerous places:
- Computers (hazardous for both data loss and breach)
- Storage networks
- Cloud systems & storage
- External drives
- File cabinets (not something we manage, but should certainly be part of the conversation)
Although this looks like a manageable list, consider how many computers and devices can be connected to each of these. In some cases, departments have their own cloud storage or instances.
Identifying all the place that data is stored can help to consolidate to fewer locations that can be more effectively managed with robust security including appropriate backups and redundancies needed to prevent data breach or loss.
Develop Standard Operating Procedures
Clearly defined Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that outline how you store, secure, backup, and delete data not only helps secure that data, but allow employees to more quickly access information increasing productivity and minimizing frustration.
Additionally, there are IT tools that enable to identify, secure, and remove data from data storage systems that can help to streamline and automate information management.
Next, we turn our attention to applications.
Protect Software Assets
Part of building a secure environment is understanding and configuring software used throughout the organization to allow access needed, but keep it and your data protected. Here are the steps we follow to make sure you have the protection you need.
- Review access management policies. Who should have access to what and at what level?
- Create an application inventory that outlines your business IT infrastructure
- Assess onboarding, offboarding, and audit permissions within each application. Make sure all enabled accounts should be. We pay special attention to privileged accounts and review those with key stakeholders to ensure their validity.
- Identify any application accessible through single-sign-on services within your organization. Any of those that cannot use SSO should be set up MFA (explained below).
- Discover feature overlap and redundancy of applications. Do you have unplanned redundancy? That’s somewhere you could save money.
Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Most people are familiar with MFA as it is commonly used when logging into online banking or sensitive financial accounts. With so many devices and access points, companies can no longer assume that the person who has the password or logs in, even from an identifiable device, is the owner of that account. Using one-time codes or secure ID tokens helps ensure account or access security.
Phishing is the most common way data breaches occur. In a recent security blog, Microsoft states that MFA can prevent 99.9% of account breaches within an organization.
Protect Hardware Assets
Protection for access points is just as important as for software assets or email account. Here are a few of the ways we help to secure and protect your hardware
- Identify the current and latest versions of firmware installed on network devices and servers and plan to install the latest versions across the environment
- Ensure patches and antivirus are current across all infrastructure
- Create a security checklist for mobile devices, including laptops, to ensure they are secured appropriately.
Customize These Tips on Security to Protect Your Data
There’s no one size fits most solution when it comes to data security. We help you explore the most comprehensive and customizable solutions to optimize your information and keep your employees working efficiently.
We provide you with a complete gap analysis and security plan that fits your budget. Then, we deploy security measures to make sure your information is safe and secure by:
- Developing a zero-trust security model
- Implementing intrusion detection and intrusion prevention capabilities across networks
- Purchasing add-on services or products to strengthen email security
- Implementing data loss prevention solutions for data in motion
- Building a single sign-on platform that manages logins for applications across the enterprise