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Importance of Data Protection and How Cloud Makes It Easy

Global spending on risk management and information technology solutions grew by 12.4% in 2021, according to Gartner. Organizations are growing more and more aware about the importance of data protection, putting efforts in discovering, classifying, and assessing sensitive data and personally identifiable information (PII). The end result is having an updated inventory, either in the cloud or on-premises.

By 2024, over 80% of organizations around the world will confront the need for modern data protection. So, how do organizations manage these evolving regulations? The set up and maintenance of regulatory programs are as challenging as managing a large volume of the data, its complexity, and number of users accessing it. This makes investment in modern data protection strategies imperative. However, before doing so, evaluating existing capabilities, ascertaining potential improvement areas to drive value, and planning compliance is a must.

Protecting the Data – Why Does It Matter?

With growing adoption of the cloud across industry sectors, as organizations desire to grow competitively in the digital world, handling the large volume of data being generating is daunting. Cyberattacks grow increasingly sophisticated and breaches often lead to a compromise of data security. Although it is the large organizations who face significant cyberattacks, small and medium-sized enterprises account for nearly half of overall data breaches.

Protecting the data is important because when organizations show lenience against security risks, their infrastructure is open to several vulnerabilities such as downtime, data loss, and financial losses due to regulatory actions. Hence, it is critical to

  • Create resilient data protection policies that communicate the expectations accurately and prompt remediation actions when threats occur.
  • Train and educate the in-house team about cybersecurity, phishing, and password protection best practices while maintaining consistency in following these.
  • Back up the data to prevent data loss in the case of breach, disaster, or system failure
  • Encrypt the data as another line of defence, which significantly ebbs the damage from breaches
  • Use reporting and monitoring tools to ensure that the implemented data security policies are effective

Cloud Is The New Norm

The cloud is the first preference for decision makers of data protection. Momentum continues to build among organizations globally, who move from on-premises solutions to the cloud backup services. However, it is imperative that solutions customized to suit requirements and considering scalability can truly help plan an effective cloud data protection strategy. Following are key best practices to follow for data protection in the cloud.

  1. Built-in security must be ensured for all data at all stages, which involves encryption before storing the data on the cloud
  2. Access rules must be implemented along with multi-factor authentication (MFA), centralized monitoring, and a governance tool
  3. Place the data protection engines and the user level in close proximity to achieve a good balance between security and usability
  4. Implement automated patch management, logging, and reporting of the data to make compliance audits hassle-free and facilitate configuring security updates
  5. Replicate and store the data in a secondary storage to recover it back in the case of disasters. The RTOs and RPOs of organizations must align with services provided by their CSP

Securing the Cloud Infrastructure

Newer and more complicated challenges arise as organizations move to the cloud to maintain business continuity and competitive edge. While convenience becomes priority most times where the cloud security hygiene gets procrastinated, cybercriminals see these oversights as breach opportunities. Securing the infrastructure is therefore crucial for organizations to take complete control of the cloud’s benefits.

Best Practices to Secure the Cloud Infrastructure

  • Data Analytics Pipeline – Value of the data is directly linked to the its processing capabilities of organizations, thereby making it essential to adopt protection methods that are appropriate. These methods must be implemented right from the process of ingesting unstructured data, through its refinement, to harness its maximum value.
  • Data Security Mesh – All elements of the cloud infrastructure, data and network storage, and application must be protected individually. This creates a security mesh, which protects the data records irrespective of its location. A relatively new solution, this helps stringently vet the potential technology partners and a data protection track record.
  • Responsibilities – The idea that CSP will take care of data security is a major error among organizations. Most CSPs roll out the shared responsibility model, where they are responsible for certain security areas whereas the organizations are for others. Understanding these responsibilities from the start of the vendor engagement is critical for seamless data protection.
  • Privacy vs. Security – Data privacy involves PII, with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. On the other hand, data security ascertains to key protection measures to prevent data theft. A proper mix of data privacy and security, which varies among organizations based on regulations they must adhere, is the master key to securing the cloud infrastructure.
  • DataSecOps – DataSecOps approach prevents potential issues, eliminating the need to mitigate them after. With this, the data scientists and IT teams work together while building the cloud infrastructure, with data protection as an integral part, stitching the security and privacy into the cloud.

To Sum Up

The patterns of data breaches, misuse, and exposure can educate organizations for prompt evaluation of controls and practices of protecting the data. This facilitates organizations in making informed decisions about technology investments and achieve the desired operational efficiency for enabling privacy by design and delivering value.

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