The value of data will continue to increase in the coming years, pushing the need for firms to invest in data security as a priority.
Today, most organizations’ digital-first approach has elevated the status of “data” as the new king. This is the ultimate mantra that drives the tech industry. As data has become the single most important valuable commodity across industries, the proliferation of the same has exposed industries to new challenges – focused on how to protect the data from cybercriminals.
There are two main types of data that cybercriminals are most interested in:
Personal Identifiable Information – The data that identifies customers or potential customers
Intellectual Property – this data describes processes, source code for the competitive products, company acquisition data, or any other such intellectual information
Data remains the foundational pillar helping businesses and technologies to prosper and grow. It is transforming the way humans work, live, and play. Thanks to social applications, cloud and IoT devices, all personal data types are simpler than ever to collect and correlate with varied business applications blending the personal life with work life.
Digital transformation across the years has provided more credibility to data by pushing a wave of cloud adoption. Businesses have an increasing amount of data that is inevitably driving the need to store them in comparatively larger repositories. This alone creates a new industry that thrives on new technologies such as big data analytics with ML and AI to derive insights.
Data is driving the industry-wide global cloud adoption. Though data is not the most crucial driver of cloud adoption, it certainly is the single biggest one. For consumers and businesses alike, sharing, creating, and using this data is the foundation for efficient SaaS adoption, messaging, IaaS, creation, and adoption.
Data is the most tempting factor driving cyber-criminal activities across industries. It is the biggest vulnerability in the industry, impacting consumers and businesses through cyber risks and data breaches. For cybercriminals such as activist hackers, organized criminals, or general bad actors, the value of data is multiplying every year, and so are the exploits.
The shift to information-centric or data-centric security is the way to win the war against cybercriminals. The threat protection world is expanding with the latest breed of threat technology, ranging from Isolation technology to Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) for simply segregating users from a potential threat. Layered approaches for on-premises security are also driving the new security architecture and frameworks aimed at solving cloud security such as Forester Zero Trust Framework and Gartner Secure Access service Edge. Most organizations have an existing blind spot to data, and therefore the investment is sparingly made in data security.
Many cloud providers, such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, are multiplying their security investments while maintaining a continued ‘shared responsibility model.’ These investments are not designed to resolve an organization’s end-to-end security infrastructure, instead of to provide options. Some firms that do have a complete model, such as Microsoft Office 365, offer an advanced AIP solution for data protection. However, they are extremely overpriced and offer limited functionality.
Data responsibility is slowly shifting to the organizations that collect, handle and store the data. The most surprising factor is the lack of focus most organizations have on their existing data-security posture with little to no visibility of their sensitive data and how safe they are. This is not merely negligence as much as it is considered as an issue of investment and resources.
Unlike threat protection, data protection presses on the need for a programmatic approach starting with education, implementing a process to handle data, re-evaluating the need to collect data, and technology to identify and secure the data.
With the increasingly heavy government regulation protecting personal data, enterprises’ need to secure data will drive a data-centric security approach. The impact of any security breach in terms of negative brand reputation, financial impact, and consumer confidence will far outweigh the actual cost of implementing a data-centric security model.