What Are Data Security Risks and Solutions

What Are Data Security Risks & Solutions?

What is data security? Data security involves the protection of information from exposure, corruption, and theft throughout the entire data life cycle, from inception to deletion. Data security includes software, hardware, policies, controls, and storage devices.

What Is Data Security?

Data security protects data within an IT infrastructure against potential theft, corruption, or loss.

This is a rather expansive definition, but for a good reason. We often use “data security” synonymously with cybersecurity or data privacy. There is a significant overlap between the terms, but security encompasses a much larger cross-section of contexts in which data can be threatened or undermined. Privacy may touch on protecting data from unauthorized access, but security also refers to recovery and integrity protection practices.

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What Are Different Forms of Data Security?

The aforementioned leads to a number of different forms of data security. Data security within an IT infrastructure will often cover one or more categories:

  • Obfuscation: Obfuscating information via encryption is a crucial part of data security. Encryption protects data from unauthorized access as it is stored and while it is in transit to ensure that only the intended, authorized recipient can access it.
  • Perimeter Protection Solutions: Firewalls and access controls can help create perimeters around data storage areas, minimizing the risk of outside attackers accessing those systems. Firewalls and role-based access controls are often the foundation for basic internal security for hardened sessions.
  • Data Masking: Masking is the practice of hiding portions of data to render it unusable outside of specific situations. The best example of masking is when credit card companies hide the first 10 to 12 digits of a card number to prevent disclosure to internal employees.
  • Resilience: Data is vulnerable not only to breach or theft but also to loss, and massive enterprise organizations have a significant undertaking in protecting their data from loss. Resilience infrastructure includes regular backups and cloud-based hot or cold storage for emergency recovery operations.

What Are Some Benefits of Data Security Practices?

Across these different categories exist several tools to support security, each of which protects information differently. Modern IT systems often contain or deploy every single one of these tools if they value the safety of their stored data—and, essentially, if they value the data of their customers or partners.

Some of these tools and practices, and their benefits, include:

  • Inventories and Classification: Maintaining a complete list of all data storage systems, the types of data stored in those systems, the users and employees who touch that data, and the regulations or standards that protect that data is the heart of security. You cannot protect information if you don’t know where it is, where it is going, and who is accessing it.
  • Encryption: There are several types of modern encryption, all of which can protect data in different states. The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), serves as a strong foundation for many encryption modules and standard at-rest encryption for servers.

    Transport layer security (TLS) does the same for information in transit between computers. Some advanced platforms may include end-to-end encryption to protect data for the entirety of its journey from one user to the next.

  • File and Activity Monitoring: Data integrity is a critical part of security. Guaranteeing the legitimacy and integrity of stored data calls for comprehensive activity monitoring and logging that automatically records any system or user event that results in file access, modification, or deletion.
  • Vulnerability Assessments: Most modern security regulations and frameworks include some requirements for vulnerability scans to ascertain any potential threats to data. Not only do these scans help security experts determine the security problems in the system, but they can also support proactive data protection from emerging or persistent threats.
  • Compliance: Modern regulatory compliance often touches on a great series of best practices for securing and protecting data. These include basic security control implementation requirements, risk assessment techniques, personnel and training practices, and ongoing monitoring and auditing requirements. By following these regulations, you’re at least getting a start on solid data security.

What Is Zero-trust Data Security?

Zero-trust security is one of the strongest forms of data security, outside of backups and recovery.

As outlined in NIST Special Publication 800-207, zero-trust principles simply assert that security practices must revolve around the notion that no system, identity, or resource should be implicitly trusted as secure. This may sound impossible in practice, but it isn’t. Instead, it shifts the burden of security away from end-users or administrators and onto engineers and security experts where it belongs.

The core tenets of zero-trust principles include:

  • Never Trust, Always Verify: Nothing—no user, application, device, piece of data, or hardware resource—should never be implicitly trusted. Each and every one of these entities must be authenticated with strong security measures, and each should be authorized any time they move into different parts of a system (and on a per-session basis).

    Authorization should only exist within the principle of least privilege (or, the minimum authorization necessary to do their job).

  • Always Assume a Breach Has Occurred: No networked system or resource should be assumed secure. This means regular and ongoing monitoring is an absolute must, and users/data streams/hardware/applications must be continually evaluated. This is especially true after any configuration or user-level changes.
  • Data Collection for Improvement: A system’s security posture should continuously evolve. Security and administration should continually collect data on users, activities, and vulnerabilities to improve safety and modify system access.

Promote Strong Data Security With the Kiteworks Private Content Network

Data security is paramount in our modern information landscape. Security experts and administrators must assume it is under threat regardless of where data moves, where it is stored, or how it is used.

The Kiteworks Private Content Network provides a robust, reliable platform your enterprise needs to share information internally and externally, while implementing strong, zero-trust principles. Our end-to-end encryption methods, secure email and secure file sharing servers, and private cloud infrastructure are the foundation for robust data security that can meet the most stringent compliance and regulatory demands.

With Kiteworks, you get the following benefits:

  • Security and Compliance: Kiteworks utilizes AES-256 encryption for data at rest and TLS 1.2+ for data in transit. The platform’s hardened virtual appliance, granular controls, authentication, other security stack integrations, and comprehensive logging and audit reporting enable organizations to easily and quickly demonstrate compliance with security standards.

    The Kiteworks platform has out-of-the-box compliance reporting for industry and government regulations and standards, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), SOC 2, and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    In addition, Kiteworks touts certification and compliance with various standards that include, but are not limited to, FedRAMP, FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards), FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act), CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification), and IRAP (Information Security Registered Assessors Program).

  • Audit Logging: With the Kiteworks platform’s immutable audit logs, organizations can trust that attacks are detected sooner and maintain the correct chain of evidence to perform forensics.

    Since the system merges and standardizes entries from all the components, Kiteworks’ unified syslog and alerts save security operations center teams crucial time while helping compliance teams to prepare for audits.

  • SIEM Integration: Kiteworks supports integration with major security information and event management (SIEM) solutions, including IBM QRadar, ArcSight, FireEye Helix, LogRhythm, and others. It also has the Splunk Forwarder and includes a Splunk App.
  • Visibility and Management: The CISO Dashboard in Kiteworks gives organizations an overview of their information: where it is, who is accessing it, how it is being used, and if data being sent, shared, or transferred complies with regulations and standards. The CISO Dashboard enables business leaders to make informed decisions while providing a detailed view of compliance.
  • Single-tenant Cloud Environment: File transfers, file storage, and user access occur on a dedicated Kiteworks instance, deployed on-premises, on an organization’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) resources, or hosted as a private single-tenant instance by Kiteworks in the cloud by the Kiteworks Cloud server. This means no shared runtime, shared databases or repositories, shared resources, or potential for cross-cloud breaches or attacks.

Additional Resources

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