Guide to Data Protection - Essentials and Best Practices

Guide to Data Protection - Essentials and Best Practices

Introduction

The meteoric rise of IT industry and the increase in our dependency on its products has made our lives much easier. But as we know, everything has its pros and cons; the blooming IT sector has also given rise to cyber criminals who make use of the same technology to cause harm to society and individuals present in it.

Cybercriminals can make use of the stolen data to blackmail their victims into providing them with monetary, or other kinds of benefits.

In order to prevent becoming a victim of cyber-attack, you should be aware of the things that cybercriminals are capable of and keep up with the latest trends of cyber security.

Data protection is a process through which companies or individuals safeguard their data. When we talk about data protection, we also think of cyber-threats that are capable of stealing our data by getting past our data protection strategies. Cyber security and data protection go hand in hand when it comes to protecting our personal data against cybercriminals.

We require both cyber security and data protection strategies in order to effectively safeguard our confidential data in current times.

Learn about the fundamentals, purpose, and best practices of data protection from this article.

 

The Need to Know About Data Protection

All companies have data, such as personnel files, customer data, product information, financial transactions, etc. Data is one of the most important assets a company has. For that reason alone, data protection should be a top priority for any company.

Regarding customers, ensuring their data is held safe is the minimum people will expect from companies they deal with or invest money in. Adequate data governance builds trust. It safeguards the reputation of your business, establishing you as a brand that people can trust with their data.

Here are a few related terms:

Data protection IMG1

Your online presence

We enter our name, first names, and home address in a variety of forms along with telephone numbers, and information on past education and employment. We search for information about articles we are interested in, we buy online, we enter all kinds of information and opinions on social media.

In short, there is plenty of information about you on the internet that can be used against you, if you are not cautious.

Your online profile

There are companies linking together all of those little tidbits of information about you that you have entered in various websites over the years.

This data leads to a very detailed personal profile, which greatly helps to personalize direct marketing very specifically to you. This way advertising can be directed to the products and services you have thought about

Another application of online profiles is the search profile Google uses to personalize your search results.

Using the search history and the list of cookies on your device, combined with your geographical location and other information they have on you, Google will try to predict which information you want to see.

Filter Bubble

Here is a section from Eli Pariser’s book called Filter bubble-

“As a result, each of us will live increasingly in our own, unique information universe: the ‘filter bubble’. We will receive mainly news that is pleasant, familiar and confirms our beliefs – and since these filters are invisible, we will not know what is being hidden from us. Our past interests will determine what we are exposed to in the future, leaving less room for the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation and the democratic exchange of ideas.”

This implies that though the presence of our personal information makes things convenient for us, it can also be used against us and can cause severe damage to our personal and professional lives.

 

Data Protection Essentials

Let us get familiar with the basics of data protection

Principle of data protection

The principle of data protection is to deploy methodologies and technologies to protect and make data available under all circumstances.

Storage technologies can be used to protect data by using disk, tape, or cloud backup to safely store copies of the data that can be used in the event of data loss or interruption.

Additional software tools (e.g. cloning, mirroring, replication, snapshots, changed block tracking, etc.,) are providing another layer of data protection in addition to traditional backup.

Technology advancements mean that it is now common practice to provide continuous data protection which backs up the data whenever a change is made so that recovery can be near-instantaneous.

Cloud backup is also becoming more prevalent as organizations frequently move their backup data to public clouds or clouds maintained by third-party service vendors.

These backups can replace on-site disk and tape libraries, or they can serve as additional protected copies of data to provide a disaster recovery facility.

Key Elements of Data Protection

One very important data protection model is the CIA triad, where the three letters of the name represent the three elements of data protection: confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

This model was developed to help individuals and organizations develop a holistic approach to data protection. The three elements are defined as follows:

Data Protection IMG2

  • Confidentiality: The data is retrieved only by authorized operators with appropriate credentials.
  • Integrity: All the data stored within an organization is reliable, precise, and not subject to any unjustified changes.
  • Availability: The data stored is safely and readily available whenever needed.

 

Best Practices of Data Protection

Here are a few practices that you can start practicing to protect your data from now on

  • Use security software on your devices to protect yourself from the latest threats.
  • Protect your accounts with powerful, unique passwords that contain a combination of at least 10 uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Do not write them down, not even in a password-protected file, but use a good password manager.
  • Do not open personal data or accounts on social media via unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
  • Use a spam filter, to filter the most obvious unsolicited e-mail. Note that the filters are not perfect. They can miss some, or mark a message you did want to receive as spam.
  • Think carefully before you click on random links or open unsolicited messages and attachments. Often you can see where links lead to by hovering your mouse over the link, without clicking it. If you think to receive an e-mail from your bank with a link to a website registered in some faraway country, you should not click the link, and destroy the e-mail.

To minimize your online profile, you should never enter any personal information in a web form which is not relevant for your purpose.

If you order something on the internet that must be delivered, the supplier needs to know your address details and transfer that to a courier service.

They need your credit card details or bank account number to check payment. If they ask for more personal information, you have a right to ask why.

Just call them. If you do not get a convincing answer, or if you cannot reach them during office hours, you do not want to trust them with your personal data or your money.

 

Conclusion

We have almost reached the end of this article, before giving out the CTAs, let us recap what we learned from this article.

We learned about the actual meaning of data protection, why should we know what it is, how will it help us protect our data, its fundamental principles, and elements, and lastly the best data protection practices to keep your data safe.

As we mentioned before, data protection is closely related to cyber security and to protect our data from all kinds of cyber threats we have to utilize all kinds of strategies that combine the principles of both data protection and cyber security.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity you can start by going through the courses that we offer at our website.

Links to some of them are given below-

CISSP

CISA

Want to know about the entire list of courses that we offer?

Visit Sprintzeal to learn more

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Prajwal

Prajwal

Our technical content writer, Prajwal, is an experienced writer, creating articles and content for websites, specializing in the areas of training programs and educational content. His writings are mainly concerned with the most major developments in specialized certification and training, e-learning, and other significant areas in the field of education.

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