Three Factors to Consider When Balancing Data Usability and Security

Three Factors to Consider When Balancing Data Usability and Security

When it comes to cybersecurity, businesses have numerous challenges, one of which is striking the right balance between data usability and data security.

Security is an afterthought for most employees; they just want access to data they need, when and where they need it, and to get their tasks done. The majority of security measures, on the other hand, limit the usability of data.

Access control lists, for instance, block users from accessing information as well as knowing and understanding that data exists. Encryption generally breaks real-time collaboration and search, and companies have little control over this. Because search indexes data, making it available again is counterproductive as it violates the goal of data protection in the first place. Furthermore, relying on employees to handle keys is akin to requiring an employee to have a unique password for each website – they just will not do so.

So, how do businesses strike the correct balance in terms of data security? Here are three pointers to help businesses deal with this problem:

Eagerness of Employees to help with security 

The good news is that most employees want to be a part of their company’s security programs – as long as it does not interfere with their ability to do their jobs. This is the first step in ensuring that employees are on the same page about data security measures. Employees benefit from security training programs because they are more aware of their company’s security standards and can make better, more educated judgments. Furthermore, making the company’s security plan transparent allows employees to determine whether they are in compliance with policies or requirements. It also allows them to provide input on areas where things like usability should be improved.

Employees should have some control over security

Organizations must strike a fine balance between allowing people to make decisions about data protection and always automating it. If an employee wants to send a sensitive file outside the company via email, for instance, the data security process should be totally automated to ensure optimal protection. Employees may claim to know which rules apply to certain data, yet mistakes can still happen. This is an area where there should be no room for error in order to avoid the disclosure of sensitive information.

Employees, on the other hand, should be allowed more flexibility when it comes to labelling and classifying files that they believe contain sensitive information. Businesses can also leverage automation to ensure that the most sensitive data is always secured, while individuals are given the option to apply categorization labels to less sensitive data if they believe it is required.

Also Read: The Evolving Role of the CISO: From Critic to Enabler

Ensure users are aware that they are taking part in a security initiative

It is critical to raise employee awareness of the data security procedure. This is related to providing employees some authority. This would mean that if a company gives an employee a choice, it must ensure that there are a restricted number of options and then meet the user where they are. Employees can be alerted to data security practices by using technologies that provide visible indicators on applied protection and document classification, for instance. This allows them to actively think about the choice and guarantee it is the best one. It might also serve as a reminder of adequate security procedures.

Enterprises should also manage employee keys and use technologies that give employees the freedom and security they need to explore data safely and reliably.

Finally, being transparent about security policies and expectations will undoubtedly assist employees in becoming security custodians while also reducing risks to the company.

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