With the rise of technologies such as Internet of Things and cloud storage solutions, data concerning almost every aspect of our lives are highly connected, making us and our businesses vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Since we are way past the point of turning our back to new technologies, we need to learn how to protect our data while keeping up with the recent developments.
The aim of IT security is to cover three basic principles also known as CIA triad:
Confidentiality: This principle aims to protect the data from being available or disclosed to unauthorized viewers. Such viewers can be individuals or processes.
Integrity: This principle aims to maintain the completeness and accuracy of the data. It means that only and only authorized users can change the information and such changes are tracked carefully.
Availability: This principle aims to provide that the security controls for protecting the data must function correctly, so that the information is accessible when the authorized people need to access it.
In the light of three principles given above, we can define IT security as the practice of preventing unauthorized access, modification, duplication, use, or destruction of information.
There are numerous practices in IT security that are tailor-made for specific businesses or industries in accordance with their needs yet we can still talk about few implementations that apply to all.
Provide a balance
What is the use of data if you cannot retrieve it? One of the biggest challenges IT security specialists need to overcome is providing a balance between availability and security of the information. Resources must be protected from threats but security measures must not get in the way when authorized users need to access the data. In addition, some software trace authorized user activity such as changes and modification as well.
Don’t give more than necessary
This principle goes for many aspects of the business management but it is crucial especially in security. Do not assign any user more privileges than they need to perform their task properly.
Prepare for the worst
Have an emergency protocol.
Facing undesired situations is part of life. Whichever precautions you take, there will be a breach as hackers too learn and improve themselves. Therefore, do not leave out real-time data protection and build a system that can take necessary steps to stop a security event from infecting other parts of the network and triggering another issue.
Moreover, have a plan for the event of breach; this way you can have back-up systems and minimize the damage.
Test everything frequently
As mentioned above, hackers never stop getting better at what they do, so should you. Regardless of what means of security your business prefers, you need to run frequent security tests (penetration tests, malware analysis, port and network scans and such), discover and recover your weak points, improve your doomsday plan, and conduct risk assessments.
Utilise several independent defences
If you have more than one serious defence up, a hacker or attacker must come up with more than one strategy to bring you down. Employing a complex system doesn’t necessarily mean a safe system but having a solid security system means having a complex system.
Regularly back-up all the information that you and your business might possibly need, so that in the event of an emergency or a major breach, you will not lose valuable data and will be able to recover quickly.
Encrypt your data
Whether the back-ups or the actual information that flows on a daily basis, encrypt your data. This way you will add one more layer of defence. It means that if somehow your data is compromised, the perpetrators will not be able to view or use it right away.