5 Simple Steps to Increase Data Security

Why Everyone Benefits from Improved Data Security

Why is information security important?

Whether you happen to be a small-business owner or somebody with a lot of pictures and documents on their smart phone, everyone can benefit from better Increase data security. With so much personal information stored on our various devices, it’s imperative to take basic steps to protect that information from online dangers.

Better Increase data security isn’t just about better personal protection, either. Everything we do online involves connections, from social media followers to banking and business transactions. Information security fundamentals therefore protect not only you but everyone connected to you on the internet. By securing your data, you’re also helping to secure the data for all your connections.

This can be accomplished with five simple steps: identify potential Increase data security risks, reinforce your servers, understand what counts as critical data, keep user access permissions limited, and be vigilant for any suspicious activity.

Identifying Data Security Risks to Increase Data Security

So what is the first step in information security? According to netwrix.com, cybersecurity data solutions follow a basic equation to determine risks:

RISK = Asset X Threat X Vulnerability

The formula also provides a step-by-step plan for assessing risk to an individual’s personal data and operating systems.

  1. Start with the assets.

Specifically, consider what an individual user considers to be an asset, and then make a list of those assets. The obvious answers would include things like medical information, tax returns, bank account information, contact lists, and personal correspondences. But an asset might also be a collection of photographs, downloaded music, or specific programs that get frequently used by the individual user.

  1. Consider the possible threats.

Don’t stop with the concerns about identity theft or hacking. Does the individual live in an area that frequently experiences natural disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes? How often do blackouts occur, and do any hardwired machines have a surge protector?

  1. Take a hard look at the vulnerabilities.

Who else has access to the information other than the user? And how hard would it be for someone without access to get it?

Check the Servers, Or Why The Information Store Could Not Be Opened

So now that we’ve established how to identify risks, the next step involves checking the servers used by an individual or a company.

Obviously, this step involves a bit more than locating the server’s location, checking to see all the lights haven’t blinked out, and flicking it to make sure it’s still running. Servers should not be treated like automobile tires but rather like information stores that could not be opened.

To do this, avast.com recommends taking a layered approach to reinforcing server integrity. Users and business alike can accomplish this by not cutting any corners on server defense, both virtual and physical. All passwords should be strong and make use of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. The communications handled by the server need to be encrypted, have backups in place, have firewalls and antisoftware running and constantly updated, and remove any unnecessary programs.

And make sure the server itself has been placed in a safe, secure area. For a business, make sure the servers can only be accessed by the correct personnel. For individuals, don’t set up a server in a bathroom or laundry room.

Identify Your Critical Data

Cybersecurity always starts with understanding the problem, and sometimes that involves getting to the finer points of data usage. While it may be tempting to lump critical data in with the assets, it’s important to understand what qualifies as the data that has to be maintained to ensure an accomplishment. For businesses, that data may involve anything from payment histories to upcoming projects. For individuals, it might be a list of people included in a last will and testament.

Regardless of who uses it, identifying critical data starts with breaking down what the data is and how it gets used. This allows the user to gain a better understanding of the information they store and how they put it to use.

With that knowledge, the user can start to assess the risks to that data and make plans for how to secure it from any dangers, such as beefing up their access restrictions or making use of an SEO migration service.

Restrict Access

This step comes down to following basic information security fundamentals. Anyone that’s ever seen a heist movie understands the importance of restricting access to places where valuable things get stored. And since this holds true for physical objects like valuable paintings and safes full of gold, it’s equally important to restrict access to digital data, too.

User access permissions start with knowing, and limiting, the number of people that have access to the data. Think of it like the reverse of sharing passwords for streaming services; with critical data, you’re controlling access to something more important than online movies and shows.

Restricting access also limits the possibility of user error, such as leaving account and password information at an insecure location. Even done unintentionally, such an error can have drastic consequences for the individual and everyone connected to their network.

Also Read: How Can I Make My Internet Connection Poor Intentionally?

Be Aware

Any steps taken to improve data security should not be treated as a one-and-done solution. Whether it’s a hacked account or a server that got hit with a surge during a thunderstorm, even the most secure systems can be broken.

The best solution to such an ongoing challenge? Constant vigilance and adaptation.

For individuals, that means monitoring the system, making updates and corrections as needed, and never getting complacent about following information security fundamentals. 

Everyone Benefits

By understanding the value and risk to important data, anyone can take the steps necessary to ensure that data stays protected. And because of the potential connections involved with that data, everyone can enjoy the benefits of one person or organization taking better care of their data.

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