Enterprises that underestimate the guile of cybercriminals are facing an existential threat. The rise of cybercrime over the last decade is staggering, and it’s more challenging than ever to secure data for the enterprise. Gone are the days of unobtrusive key loggers – today’s criminals host virtual meetings where they plan and execute devastating attacks on enterprises.
Acting in groups, these cybercriminals meticulously map out enterprise architecture and orchestrate attacks based on any known vulnerabilities. As technology stacks expand, so does the threat landscape and the number of vulnerabilities contained in legacy or outdated software, third-party vendor solutions, and open source applications.
Compounding the problem is limited knowledge about:
- The enterprise security environment and current data sprawl
- The latest cyberattack strategies, capabilities, and motivations
- The evolving nature of the business including acquisitions, new partnerships, and growing digital operations
In the first half of 2021, enterprise data breaches decreased by 24% but exposed over 18 billion records. The number may change due to delays in reporting as per regulatory mandates, ongoing investigations, and breaches that enterprises are yet to discover.
How to Secure Data for the Enterprise in 5 Steps
To help protect your enterprise data, you need a proactive approach that enables you to stay ahead of cybercriminals. Data is a valuable commodity and any successful breach will cause reputational damage, especially if you host private information inside your environment. Below we discuss five steps you can take to ensure you secure your enterprise data.
1. Start with a Fresh Audit
Enterprises need to be agile to respond to shifting market trends by embracing emerging technologies that streamline operations. Implementation of these new systems and processes means that the threat landscape is always evolving. If you haven’t updated your security policies in a while, gaps likely exist in your perimeter and you’ll need to start with a new audit to identify new risks.
Your audit should:
- Identify all the systems, services, and architectures that could pose a risk to your data
- Include both your digital infrastructure and physical equipment in your environment
- Consider your disaster recovery plan and business continuity strategy for critical operations
- Clarify your compliance requirements and incident response communication plans
The outcome of the audit will give a clear picture of your current threat profile and show you where you need to spend additional time and effort to secure your data.
2. Develop a Layered Data Security Policy
With enterprise data security, it’s better to have overlaps than gaps. Your data security policy should take a layered approach based on system and information classification. The best implementation model is to take a layered approach by securing each level of data across the enterprise.
You should consider node level implementation for:
- Networks – Secures data during transit by encrypting the information both inside the network and across the public cloud infrastructure
- Applications – Software systems that contain sensitive information like payment data will require additional encryption and elevated authentication protocols
- Databases – Keeping data secure at the database table and column level by limiting read and write access to all enterprise data according to application and administration credentials
- Storage – Use either block-level (SAN) or file-level (NAS/DAS) to encrypt your storage systems throughout the enterprise
3. Educate Employees and Communicate Policy Changes
Whatever new steps you take, you’ll need to ensure your employees comply with your latest policy changes by educating them about the risks. Employees are the weakest link in your defenses, and making them aware of the new security controls will reduce the risk of human error granting cybercriminals access to your data.
4. Adopt a Zero-Trust Access Framework
Implement access controls that include multifactor authentication (MFA) for all users in your environment and ensure permissions remain granular enough to allow access to only the required data. If a user account is compromised, you can contain the damage to a specific area and prevent cybercriminals from exploiting other systems.
5. Build and Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan Frequently
Hackers may still intrude on your system and deploy sophisticated exploits that lock down your data with ransomware. A disaster recovery plan that covers all your critical data and systems will limit the damage and allow you to recover quickly in the event of a successful breach.
If you ensure all software remains up to date, you encrypt your backups, and you have a recovery plan in place, you can secure the data in your enterprise to survive any breach.
Securing Enterprise Communications with Wickr
Your enterprise communications require secure end-to-end encryption for all tools, including voice, video, files, and messaging. Wickr uses modern cryptographic encryption and key management to ensure your communications remain safe from any prying eyes.
As your technology landscape evolves with your enterprise, you need to ensure you adopt secure solutions that support your operations without exposing your data. Vetted by the NSA, Wickr provides the most secure communication and collaboration tools available on the market today.
To see how you can secure your enterprise data with encrypted communications, contact Wickr for more information.