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Data is key in today’s business world. Not just having it available but protecting it from those on the inside and outside of a business.

There is no escaping todays threat of cyber security incidents and businesses are being warned about data breaches in the media each day, The regulators are demanding an increase in information security and the public is getting more vocal when businesses make mistakes, especially when it was avoidable.

Some of the most effective data protection methods are relatively inexpensive and easy to implement. Here are 5 that can make a massive difference.

Create and implement a data policy

In simple terms secure data is a result of a great data policy. Nothing can take the place of planning, including data access tooling. Without one it is like the blind leading the blind.

Inventory your data

Like your physical inventory where you inventory it, you should do the same for your data. Know where and what your most sensitive data is. Know precisely who the people are who need access to it, who does not and how they are accessing it.

Access control policies

Another great foundation is to implement an access control policy. This outlines the controls placed on both physical access to the computer system and to the software in order to limit access to computer networks/data.

Data encryption

The no brainer is to ensure you use encryption, a strong stance is to encrypt everything everywhere. Most tools will offer this service free of charge, many will even allow you to control the keys that encrypts the data. This is really beneficial when working with cloud providers where the data is no longer within your companies walls. If the unthinkable happens, encrypted data is another layer of defence that will keep data safe from bad actors.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

DLP is a set of processes and tools used to ensure that your sensitive data is not lost, misused, or accessed by unauthorised users. DLP software classifies regulated, confidential and business critical data and identifies violations of policies defined by business, typically driven by regulatory compliance such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, or GDPR.

Conclusion

This is not an exhaustive list however shows some simple steps that can be taken to help increase overall protection of your data. We find one of the best products out there is Office 365, this comes with tools and reports to help ensure you are protected. As long as the correct licenses are purchased and services configured, this saves your business having to hire a permanent data protection team who watch you data 24/7 365 days of the year.

Here is a great video about DLP

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