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7 ways to protect user data

Today’s digital landscape presents a host of new and challenging security issues for businesses. With the rise of cloud storage, mobile apps, social media, and other internet-connected devices, user data is more easily accessed and shared than ever before.

But this increase in user data accessibility also means that businesses need to be more informed about data security. To protect user data while keeping it as accessible as possible, businesses must implement new security measures and protocols. To learn more about ways to protect user data and keep it safe, read on…

1.   Data loss prevention strategies

Data loss prevention (DLP) refers to a set of tools, policies, and procedures designed to protect sensitive information from unauthorised access, modification, or deletion. DLP tools can be integrated with existing security systems to help detect weak passwords or suspicious activity, such as remote log-in attempts from unfamiliar locations, automatic alerts when data is printed or shared outside the network, and more.

These tools can also be used to monitor and restrict user activities, such as disabling copying of sensitive data to prevent data leakage, blocking the use of USB flash drives or external drives to prevent data theft, or keeping track of who accesses which data and when. Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication will remain key to any DLP strategy. It’s also important that employees are made aware of the data protection policies in place and understand the importance of following them to protect sensitive information.

Strong user authentication

Strong user authentication refers to any method that requires the user to verify their identity and/or the authenticity of their actions. This can be achieved using a combination of passwords, biometric data, and two-step verification. Some businesses opt to disable the use of passwords altogether, instead requiring employees to use a combination of biometrics and multifactor authentication. This is a more secure approach to authentication, as it makes it harder for malicious actors to guess or crack a single password. In some cases, businesses might even consider implementing an authentication platform that uses artificial intelligence to detect suspicious or fraudulent log-in attempts.

Cloud storage and data synchronisation

While businesses are increasingly likely to host their data on cloud servers, many are still reluctant to use cloud-based applications. But to protect user data and keep it safe, businesses must overcome this hesitation and embrace cloud-based tools. Consider using a cloud-based data storage solution with end-to-end encryption. This will help ensure that sensitive information is encrypted both when it’s being stored on the servers and when it’s being transmitted to users.

While it’s important to protect sensitive information, it’s equally important to make sure that critical data is always accessible to employees who need it. If a network outage or other issue causes part of the system to become inaccessible, the business could be negatively affected. To mitigate this risk, businesses should look for data synchronisation tools that allow for real-time updates across all systems.

Platform and device management

Businesses should consider implementing a platform management strategy that allows administrators to manage and control access to sensitive information and systems from a single web-based dashboard. This can help prevent malicious actors from accessing vital systems and data, such as customer records, financial information, and proprietary information. This strategy can also include a device management policy, allowing administrators to remotely manage the devices employees use. This can include the ability to wipe company data from devices when an employee leaves the company, preventing malicious actors from gaining access to sensitive information. Businesses can also use this strategy to remotely patch systems or apps that are vulnerable to malware or other cyber threats. This is particularly important in industries like healthcare, which is required by law to maintain certain levels of protection and data privacy for patients’ personal information.

Effective data encryption

Businesses can protect sensitive information by encrypting it both in transit and when it’s being stored on a server. This can help prevent malicious actors from accessing sensitive data even if they manage to break into a system. For example, when employees exchange emails with external parties, those emails should be encrypted.

When storing data on a server, it’s also important to use a secure server environment, like a virtual private server (VPS) or hardware server. These secure server environments use encryption to protect data and should be configured with two-factor authentication, which requires a second form of identification, usually in the form of a PIN or biometric ID, to log in.

Protect your business with data security experts

As technology advances and user data is shared more frequently and with more people, it becomes all the more important to protect sensitive information from hackers and malicious actors. To do so, businesses must implement new data security strategies and protocols designed to keep data safe while still keeping it accessible when needed. The data security experts at INTELLIWORX can work with you to ensure your bases are covered and implement these 7 ways to protect user data.

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