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Importance of Data Protection in Cybersecurity

Importance of Data Protection in Cybersecurity

The internet is revolutionizing and influencing people’s daily lives in a never-imagined way. It was once the means of allowing the US military to stay connected has not become a method of global communication.  With the increase in the dependency on internet usage, the protection and safety measures are equally important to reduce any disruption from the attacks on the data.

Also Read: Future of Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) in Cybersecurity

What does Data Protection mean? 

Data Protection refers to the strategic and procedural steps to protect the privacy, availability and integrity of sensitive data.

Data loss and corruption incur significant financial burdens on organizations annually, amounting to billions of dollars. Each cybersecurity incident carries a substantial price tag, averaging close to $100,000 per occurrence, with costs showing a persistent upward trend. In the event of a data breach, an organization is compelled to allocate funds toward covering litigation expenses, compliance penalties, and investments in new cybersecurity infrastructure. Thus, implementing robust controls to avert such incidents is deemed a judicious cost-benefit strategy.

The primary objective of data protection is to preempt data breaches, mitigating the consequential financial liabilities resulting from successful intrusions. Additionally, it safeguards clientele against the peril of data compromise by malicious actors, thereby reducing the likelihood of identity theft and fraudulent activities. Beyond mere risk avoidance, data protection initiatives enable enterprises to derive value from their data assets through systematic cataloging for future utilization.

Data Protection in Cybersecurity

Data breaches occur at various scales, with larger incidents often garnering more attention. Regardless of size, every organization confronts the potential threat of a network security breach. Such breaches pose risks to credibility and can result in substantial financial losses for small businesses lacking cyber liability insurance, adversely affecting customer service, productivity, and reputation.

Cybersecurity breaches compromise personal data and privacy. While cybersecurity, information security, and data privacy may appear synonymous, it’s crucial to differentiate between them.

Also Read: Understanding the Role and Mechanism of Encryption in Data Security

Combining Cybersecurity and Data Protection

A data breach impacts not only the security department and enterprise stakeholders but also the organization as a whole. Accodring to the Forbes reports a recent breach targeted the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, endangering the personal information of approximately 46,000 veterans. Cybercriminals attempted payment diversion from the department through social engineering tactics and exploitation of authentication protocols. Recent reports suggest that personal data, including Social Security numbers, may have been compromised.

This incident underscores the simultaneous vulnerability of personal data and system protocols. Such occurrences warrant analysis from an integrated perspective encompassing data protection and cybersecurity.

Given the multifaceted impact of data breaches on organizational operations, the response must be comprehensive. Collaboration between cybersecurity and data protection experts is imperative to mitigate the risk of data breaches proactively.

Benefits: 

  • Mitigate data breaches by simultaneously overseeing data and systems, minimizing vulnerabilities and exploits.
  • Address emerging digital threats that endanger both data and systems.
  • Strengthen your information security management system with a unified ISMS. This provides enhanced control over data compared to separate infrastructure for data protection and cybersecurity.
  • Enhance compliance by reducing the likelihood of data breaches, thereby ensuring adherence to regulations and mitigating potential compliance violation penalties.

Top Data Protection Companies

  1. Check Point
  2. Palo Alto Networks
  3. Cisco
  4. Fortinet
  5. IBM
  6. BigID
  7. CrowdStrike

Best Practices to Protect Companies Data

#1 Encryption — the process of encoding information that converts an original representation of information that is a plaintext to an alternative form as ciphertext.

#2 Data Backup—Backup and recovery measures are critical data protection components. Once data is created, it must be adequately backed up to avoid data loss. A copy is created as a backup for recovery.

#3 Access Control—Valuable data often have restricted availability. If the data is accessible to all, it is not protected and is vulnerable to attacks.

#4 Network Security — helps to keep sensitive data confidential and prevents unauthorized access and data breaches.

#5 Endpoint Security — an antivirus and antimalware protection solution that offers devices and data safety with features to reduce risk from increasing.

Top Trends for Enterprise Data Protection

Hyper-Convergence

With the advent of hyper-converged systems, vendors now o**** devices that integrate compute, networking, and storage infrastructure into a single unit capable of providing backup and recovery. These hyper-converged systems replace numerous devices in traditional data centers and deliver cloud-like capabilities on-premises.

Ransomware Protection

Ransomware is malware that encrypts a system’s data and demands a ransom for its release. While traditional backup methods protect data from ransomware, newer strains can infect backup systems, rendering them ineffective. To counter this, modern backup solutions are designed to be completely isolated from the corporate network and employ measures such as data encryption at rest to prevent ransomware from compromising backups.

Disaster Recovery as a Service

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a cloud-based solution enabling organizations to create remote copies of local systems or entire data centers. These solutions ensure operational continuity by continuously replicating data from the local data center, offering a low recovery time objective (RTO) that allows for rapid restoration of services within minutes or seconds after a disaster.

Copy Data Management

Copy Data Management (CDM) solutions enhance data protection by minimizing the number of data copies an organization stores. This approach reduces overhead, maintenance, and storage costs. Through automation and centralized management, CDM accelerates development lifecycles and boosts productivity across various business processes.

Emerging Data Protection Trends

Alignment Gaps in Business and IT Service Delivery

The disparity between business unit expectations and IT’s capability to fulfill its Service Level Agreements (SLAs) is becoming increasingly evident:

    • 85% of organizations report an ‘availability gap’, indicating a difference between expected IT system resilience and actual recovery capabilities post-interruption.
    • 76% report a ‘protection gap’, highlighting the discrepancy between acceptable data loss levels and the methods IT employs to safeguard data.
Persistent Threat of Ransomware

Ransomware attacks continue to be a significant threat, with 75% of organizations experiencing at least one attack in the past year:

    • 25% of organizations claim they were not attacked, a statistic that warrants caution as dormant attackers could remain undiscovered in systems for up to 200 days before causing damage.
    • 26% reported being attacked four or more times within the same period.
Cyber-preparedness and ESG Influencing Digital Transformation

Compliance and governance initiatives, including cyber-education on p******* prevention, are prioritized alongside digital transformation by organizational leadership. Cyber threats and environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) objectives are now major concerns, overshadowing typical challenges like skills shortages and economic issues.

Challenges in Meeting Cyber/Disaster Recovery SLAs

Most organizations find it challenging to meet their cyber/disaster recovery SLAs due to the substantial financial and reputational impacts of large-scale crises:

    • Only 58% of servers were recoverable within expected timeframes in the latest large-scale cyber/disaster test.
    • Just 32% of organizations believe that IT could recover 50 servers within one business week.
Reconsideration of Backup Strategies in Hybrid Production Architectures

The shift towards hybrid production architectures necessitates a rethink of backup strategies, especially for cloud-hosted workloads:

    • Reliability and protection of IaaS and SaaS workloads are paramount, as 74% of organizations use third-party backup products or services for data protection.

Conclusion

The repercussions of cybersecurity or data protection failures can be challenging to quantify, particularly in the short term. However, trust is a fundamental asset in business. An organization experiencing a cyber-attack due to inadequate defenses will inevitably erode some degree of this trust.

While customers might not immediately abandon the business, they may reconsider their loyalty when renewing services. Potential new customers could also be deterred from engaging with a brand that lacks robust data protection and cybersecurity measures.

This erosion of trust extends to business partners, investors, and affiliates. Research conducted by Fortra in 2020 with CISOs from global banks highlighted that supply chain vulnerabilities pose significant cybersecurity risks. Given the interconnected nature of modern business supply chains, organizations with weak cybersecurity are less appealing than those prioritizing data protection.

Additionally, a strategic focus on cybersecurity and data protection supports an organization’s digital transformation initiatives. Since the pandemic, digital transformation has accelerated, prompting organizations worldwide to adopt digital service delivery, migrate applications to the cloud, and update legacy systems. These efforts are critical for business success, and neglecting robust cybersecurity in this context could jeopardize the entire transformation project.

FAQs

1. Why is data protection important for organizations?

Data Protection prevents fraud and cybercrimes. Applying strong data protection measures and safeguards protects not only individuals’ or customers’ personal data but also your organization’s data, avoiding considerable problems that may damage your reputation or your organization’s confidential information.

2. What are the potential consequences of a data breach for an organization?

Depending on the type of data involved, the consequences can include the destruction or corruption of databases, the leaking of confidential information, the theft of intellectual property and regulatory requirements to notify and possibly compensate those affected.

  • Toll on Financial Loss
  • Impact on Reputational Damage
  • Disruptive Effect of Operational Downtime
  • Legal Implications and Actions
  • Impact of Sensitive Data Loss

3. How can data protection help organizations comply with regulations and avoid penalties?

Data protection helps companies prevent data breaches and damage to reputation and better meet regulatory requirements. Data protection solutions rely on technologies such as data loss prevention (DLP), storage with built-in data protection, firewalls, encryption, and endpoint protection.

4. What is Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), and how does it help in data protection?

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a cloud computing service model enabling organizations to back up their data and IT infrastructure within a third-party cloud computing environment. Through a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, DRaaS provides comprehensive DR orchestration, facilitating the restoration of access and functionality to IT infrastructure post-disaster. The as-a-service model absolves the organization from the necessity of resource ownership and management for disaster recovery, as it relies on the service provider for these aspects.

5. What is Copy Data Management (CDM), and how does it enhance data protection?

Copy Data Management (CDM) centrally controls the data generated by applications within the company. It captures and consolidates all production data from various sources into a single global data pool. Following the initial storage of data, only incremental changes are preserved. Also known as “Copy Data Virtualization” (CDV), CDM eradicates redundancies and offers a unified management console for configuring copy frequency and retention time for all data types. Actifio, headquartered in Boston, is a trailblazer in this domain.

[To share your insights with us as part of editorial or sponsored content, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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