It’s no news that data-keeping practices have changed immensely throughout the last few decades. Now, businesses, governments, and organizations all throughout the world rely more on online data to function properly. The demand for effective and cutting-edge data management procedures has never been greater due to the rising volume of data being processed and generated.
This raises a question of how data management and security should be handled adequately. Our article intends to inform organizations, IT experts, and data administrators about the crucial, latest data-keeping practices that are relevant in the year 2023 and onwards.
Data classification and organization
Understanding the nature of your data will help you implement the appropriate data-keeping measures for both comfort and security. The best way to start is to classify data based on its sensitivity and importance.
You aren’t supposed to protect sensitive data with the same security measures as the data that’s available for everybody publicly. Data typically falls under one of the following categories:
- Public data: Information that can be shared openly.
- Internal data: Information restricted to internal use only.
- Confidential data: Sensitive information that could harm the organization if disclosed.
- Regulated data: Information that falls under legal or regulatory controls.
Essential Data Management Practices for 2023
Regular data audits
You can’t protect something you don’t know or understand. With regular data audits, you’ll be aware of the data you hold, where it’s stored, and who has access to it. Audits can identify redundant, obsolete, or trivial (ROT) data that can be safely deleted, reducing storage costs and potential risk exposure. It will also help you categorize the remaining data, allowing you to prioritize the security of non-public data.
Cloud storage – a contemporary approach to data handling
Cloud storage solutions have become a cornerstone for modern data management. Security is one of the main reasons why. Leading cloud providers invest heavily in state-of-the-art security measures, from advanced encryption to dedicated security teams monitoring for threats. This often surpasses the security that individual organizations can implement on-premises.
Other reasons you should consider cloud solutions include:
- Scalability: Cloud storage allows businesses to scale up or down based on their storage needs, meaning they only pay for what they use.
- Accessibility: Cloud storage solutions make data accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, facilitating remote work and global collaboration.
- Data redundancy: Secure cloud storage providers store data across multiple data centers. If one center fails, data can be quickly retrieved from another, ensuring business continuity.
- Integration with modern tools: Most advanced secure cloud storage solutions integrate seamlessly with popular business tools and applications, streamlining workflows and improving efficiency.
Encrypting data at rest and in transit ensures that even if there’s a breach, the data remains unreadable to unauthorized entities. Advanced encryption standards (AES) and public key infrastructure (PKI) are among the top encryption methods in 2023.
Another development businesses need to follow is the evolution of quantum computing, as there’s an increasing need for quantum-resistant encryption methods. Organizations should stay updated on these advancements to ensure their encryption remains unbreakable, as old measures may no longer fit the quantum world.
Regular backups and testing
Data loss, whether due to human error, cyberattacks, or natural disasters, can be incredibly harmful for both individuals and businesses. Regular backups ensure data recovery in such events. Additionally, routinely test backup systems to ensure they work effectively when needed.
Beyond just having backups, it’s crucial to have a diversified backup strategy. A backup strategy includes having off-site backups, cloud backups, and even air-gapped backups to protect against various types of threats. The 3-2-1 rule for backups is an easy and practical way to look at it.
Data retention policies
Not all data needs to be kept indefinitely. Implement clear data retention policies that dictate how long data should be stored and when it should be deleted or archived. This not only saves storage costs but also reduces potential legal risks.
Regularly reviewing and updating these policies is essential, especially with the constantly changing data privacy laws and regulations. An outdated policy can inadvertently lead to non-compliance.
Human error is the number one cause of security incidents. Regularly train employees on best data handling practices, the importance of strong passwords, recognizing phishing attempts, and the protocols to follow in case of a suspected breach.
One way to encourage a more proactive approach to cybersecurity within the organization is to foster a culture of awareness. This includes encouraging employees to report suspicious activities and ensuring they have the tools and knowledge to protect the organization and themselves. The useful tools can include password managers that help generate actually secure passwords and VPNs to encrypt the IP address when not working from the office.
As data continues to play a pivotal role in decision-making, operations, and strategy, its management can’t be an afterthought. With robust data management practices and leveraging the power of cloud storage solutions, businesses can ensure that their data remains secure and accessible.
For the rest of the year and beyond, organizations must pay close attention to developments like quantum computing to understand what they need to do to evolve with the threats.
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