5 Tips to change the way you think about data security

Even veteran data security experts are learning new tips, tricks and strategies in today’s risk landscape. Companies of all sizes and in every industry are facing heightened security breach risks. Worse, many are detecting breaches that are weeks or even months old. News headlines are overflowing with examples of “what not to do” when it comes to protecting your data, which begs the question: Is there a right way to reduce the effects of a breach?

Although there’s no foolproof method to preventing data exposure, there are common threads between the security approaches that keep employees and customers safe. Ultimately, protecting your data hinges on your company’s ability to know what data it has, where it is, and who is accessing it. There are many ways to arrive at this data-aware goal, however, and the same strategy won’t fit every company. Below are five tips to help your team change its approach to security and find a solution that fits your data:

1. Shine a light on dark data.

Dark data – operational data that is not being actively used – is most often comprised of human-generated unstructured data such as Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, emails and notes. It’s hard to categorize and classify, and it can occupy terabytes of space, bury untapped ideas and insights, and help mask security risks. In a blog post titled “The possible risks and probable rewards of dark data,” you’ll learn how to quantify the costs of dark data in your system, cut its risks and start putting its insights to work.

2. Know that your storage must evolve to meet your data’s needs.

The storage industry is going through a time of change, and as DataGravity CEO and Co-founder Paula Long predicted, the industry is focusing on data intelligence as it evolves. For this shift to take place, and for major storage pain points to subside, IT pros will need to rethink storage’s role in the IT landscape. In “It’s your data, you need to know what’s in it,” Paula dives into the historical role of storage and shares tips for how it can begin to change.

3. Understand your IT team’s role in defending against data loss.

Traditionally, the concept of data loss was rooted in the physical aspects of data. A loss would take place when files were corrupted, exposed, misplaced or stolen. While the definition of physical data loss hasn’t changed since the 80s, the threats against data have grown exponentially and the most prominent ones are now virtual. In a blog post titled “Protecting against data loss has gotten even harder,” Paula explains how to protect data integrity, availability and privacy with a strategy rooted in IT.

4. If your methods aren’t working, change them.

Every company is holding sensitive data on its servers, and perimeter security tools are not enough to fully protect data at its core. In “Inverting the security conversation,” DataGravity President and Co-founder John Joseph challenges IT pros to change the way they’re thinking about storage and security, and align their security measures with the point of data creation.

5. Focus on user behavior and data access.

To avoid becoming the next big-name company to suffer a major breach, organizations should adopt a four-pronged approach to improve security, as suggested by Paula Long in a blog post titled “Data theft.” By reducing network access, tightening credentials checks, securing sensitive data and tracking user behavior, companies can get proactive about security and start reducing the impact of breaches before they occur.

Learn how to find confidential and sensitive data hiding on your network.

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Jeff Boehm

Jeff Boehm

Jeff Boehm was the vice president of marketing at DataGravity for 2 years. Jeff brought more than 20 years of experience with a rare combination of marketing skills, organizational leadership and technical background to DataGravity, having shaped the BI and search markets working for industry pioneers and disrupters.