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The Key Essentials of Corporate Data Security

May 10, 2024

Corporate data security is one of the most urgent threats facing businesses today. Cyber attacks are increasing, not just in frequency but in sophistication and severity, too. Damage costs from attacks are also on the rise, with annual cybercrime costs expected to exceed $13 billion globally by 2028.

Dyopath The Key Essentials Of Corporate Data Security

The stakes have never been higher for security teams, and it’s essential to stay on top of evolving and emerging threats, monitor key trends, and keep your security infrastructure updated accordingly.

The good news is that cybersecurity is also more sophisticated than ever before. Organizations that make a deliberate effort to stay informed, educated, and protected, with support from the right partners, will still be able to secure their data and prevent serious attacks.

In this article, we’ll look at why corporate data security is so important for businesses, some of the key threats and trends to pay attention to, and some central principles to guide your security in the right direction.

What Is Corporate Data Security?

Corporate data security covers a series of interconnected processes and methods — all designed to protect your organization’s data. This means defending against a range of threats, many of which are new and largely unknown.

Businesses face potential attacks from every possible direction — malware, phishing, ransomware, and many more. Without a well-developed, strong, and robust corporate data security strategy in place, your organization is a sitting duck waiting for a catastrophic attack.

Why Is Corporate Data Security Important?

Protecting your corporate data is incredibly important because there’s so much at stake. Suffering a data breach can result in multiple disastrous consequences, including:

  • Financial losses due to downtime, disruption, and the resources invested in recovery
  • Legal issues due to failing to comply with data privacy and security regulations such as GDPR
  • Damage to your reputation and erosion of customer trust

Recovering from a serious data breach can be extremely difficult, and some companies never recover. Preventing these attacks in the first place and ensuring your data is always secure is essential.

Corporate Data Security Threats & Trends

The data security landscape is constantly changing, and you need to be aware of the current trends and dangers in order to be prepared. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest threats right now.

Ransomware

Ransomware has been a common method of attack for years, and 2024 is shaping up to be no different.  Ransomware attacks involve cybercriminals encrypting your organization’s critical data and demanding payment for its return. If no payment is forthcoming, they may lock the data permanently or release sensitive information.

10% of organizations suffered a ransomware attack in 2023, a marked increase from the previous year. One example here is the criminal group Clop, which carried out wide-ranging ransomware attacks on multiple corporate targets including the BBC and British Airways. They used the MOVEit tool to steal huge amounts of data, proving that nobody is safe.

A ransomware attack can be devastating for your company on a financial level, while also destroying its reputation by showing customers and partners that their data is not safe with you. And if you pay a ransom once, attacks tend to repeat.

Credential Stuffing

Credential stuffing involves guessing customers’ login details, often bolstered by information from previous data breaches. A recent example involved the DNA testing company 23andMe, where 4 million customer records were stolen. For a company where user confidentiality is paramount, this was a catastrophic event.

Credential stuffing is tough to deal with because it relies on a unified effort across the organization. Everyone — not just security teams — needs to be aware of the importance of maintaining strong, regularly updated passwords. You should also be using multifactor authentication.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is a type of cyber attack that involves tricking or manipulating people into sharing confidential information or granting access to private accounts. A well-known example is the phishing scam, where criminals pose as trustworthy, familiar contacts to trick their victims into sharing information.

In 2023, the email marketing platform Mailchimp fell victim to a social engineering attack. Only 133 customers were affected, but due to the nature of the business, this consequently impacted thousands of other organizations.

Unfortunately for Mailchimp and its users, this was the second successful social engineering attack on them in six months.

AI-Driven Attacks

2023 witnessed an explosion in artificial intelligence, a trend which looks set to continue unabated in 2024. For data security teams, this represented a wave of AI-driven attacks and some new attack vectors.

In 2023, 85% of cybersecurity leaders said recent attacks were powered by AI. And 46% of leaders said generative AI would leave businesses more vulnerable to attacks.

Attackers are using AI to produce more malware, create more sophisticated and convincing phishing attacks, and analyze attack strategies to refine their methods.

Attacks on the Cloud

Cloud security has always been critical, and this is more true than ever before. In a recent report by IBM, it was found that 82% of data breaches involved data stored in the cloud.

Many of these breaches target web apps, like the 2023 attack on Toyota in which 260,000 customers’ data was exposed.

Cloud attacks take many forms — from DDoS attacks to malware injections — and require a multi-pronged approach to defend against. Strong encryption is critical, along with a focused effort to control access to critical information, and education.

Key Principles of Corporate Data Security

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the intense and never-ending struggle to maintain data security. However, there are some key principles that never change and can help you ensure stronger data security.

Dyopath The Key Essentials Of Corporate Data Security

Organize & Categorize

Security is much easier when you know exactly what you’re protecting and where it is at all times.

For this reason, it’s essential to organize your data carefully. Make a comprehensive inventory of all the data you have in your organization and organize it according to attributes like type, size, sensitivity, source, and age. It should be clear who has access to data.

You should be able to locate any piece of data extremely quickly and easily and know all the areas that need to be secured.

Always Be Aware of Regulations

Compliance with data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA is an integral part of corporate data security. Failing to comply with these laws can result in hefty fines and other legal penalties.

All relevant teams in your organization need to be aware of what these laws entail. Any action you take as a company relating to personal data must be lawful, transparent, and documented.

To stay in the loop here, it’s a good idea to follow cybersecurity regulatory experts on social media, subscribe to updates from news sites, and pay attention to updates from regulatory bodies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the European Data Protection Board (EDPB).

Be Careful About What You Store

Not all data needs to be stored forever, and in fact, in many cases, data should not be retained at all.

Unless you have a legitimate reason to keep data, delete it. In a similar vein, avoid using sensitive information unless strictly necessary. The longer you store data, and the more you use it, the greater the risk of it being compromised in an attack. By disposing of data you don’t need, you reduce the number of things to worry about and free up resources to protect what is necessary.

If you do have to keep data, make sure to categorize, organize, and classify it carefully. Ensure your most sensitive data is strictly access-controlled and encrypted, and ensure everyone in your organization is aware of good data security practices.

Always Practice Responsibility & Accountability

Remember that your data is yours to protect on behalf of your customers. You have a responsibility to your customers to keep their information safe from attackers, and this knowledge should permeate your data strategy.

This mindset needs to permeate your organization. Everyone who works with data should understand what’s at stake and why they’re expected to rigorously comply with data security best practices. Regular meetings and internal updates can be useful here.

Have a Strong Cybersecurity Infrastructure in Place

All the above principles only make sense when you have a solid cybersecurity strategy in place, with a strong data security component.

Your security infrastructure should focus on malware protection, endpoint encryption, and endpoint detection and response. Your data should be protected wherever it’s stored and wherever your team members access it.

Work with the Experts

One of the most reliable ways to ensure data security is to work with a team of seasoned and skilled experts.

At DYOPATH, our managed services place a strong emphasis on data security, helping you avoid breaches, protect your assets, and comply with regulations.

If you want to start taking corporate data security more seriously, building a strong and resilient organization in a world of spiraling threats, get in touch with us.