The Three Pillars of Data Security

Data security is the protection of data and systems against unauthorised access, modification and use. This helps in preventing data breaches that can result in disruption to business operations financial loss or compliance penalties, as well reputational damage. Modern approaches to data security consist of a combination of tools, technologies and best practices that focus on the three pillars of data security: Confidentiality (preventing information from being viewed or read without authorization) and Integrity (ensuring that information is accurate and is not altered) and Accessibility (ensuring that data is available when it is required).

Data security begins with an exhaustive inventory and mapping. This involves cataloguing all data stored in your data centers, storage devices that are network-attached and mobile devices, desktops, third-party cloud services and software applications. It’s important to consider physical storage devices like USB sticks and external hard drives and also discarded documents and printed files. These are often neglected but could contain a wealth of confidential information. Cybercriminals can take advantage of this.

Once you have visibility of your data sets you’ll need to identify sensitive information to understand what it is and where it’s in your infrastructure. This allows you to prioritize security efforts, ensuring that only the most vital data is secured and that less critical information is easily accessible. This allows you to adhere with the regulations and requirements of your industry like those that apply to the finance, health care, and telecommunications industries.