Data is the currency underpinning many modern business operations, and it has a huge intrinsic data. Recent high-profile breaches have shown that no one company is safe from the threat of attacks seeking data; the New York Times highlighted one recent attack on media megacorporation News Corp which saw emails stolen. Businesses are at constant risk of cyber attack, and the best way to defend against these challenges is through proper data maintenance and protection. Looking at individual standards for storage is an important first step in developing a modern data privacy strategy.
When held on a system, data is stored in encrypted formats that make it easy enough to access on the fly while simultaneously protecting it against outside interference. This is the main consideration to be made when looking at data standards, for instance tokenization vs hashing. A business has to treat its data properly, and ensure that it protects consumers; but it also needs that data to function and to continue growth. As the New York Times outlines, powerful offensive cyber capabilities are part of a new weapons race the world over, and that makes encryption standards an important first barrier through which to update business practices. Establishing a proper standard for encryption will act as a strong deterrent in the first instance.
Encryption is important, but it’s clear that new tools are being developed every single day to help break down encryptions and take control of business data. The US government has made a concerted effort to equip businesses with the tools they require to combat the encroaching tide of sophisticated tools; CISA, for instance, provides a full cybersecurity toolkit to businesses. Further efforts are being made geopolitically, with impetus being made on restricting the development and sale of malicious programs.
Small and medium enterprises would likely be wary of any threat on their data, yet, might not expect to be targeted. However, as Al Jazeera notes in their profile of rising attacks on US schools, there really is no target too small for cyberattacks when it comes to data. Data is money; it can be sold to the highest bidder, it helps to shape trends, and it is in many senses a currency in and of itself. Businesses can help to approach this through simple preparedness. While there are countless attacks that hackers can undertake, they are ultimately opportunists; they will look for soft targets. Being prepared, putting up barriers and making yourself a hard target will prevent many attacks and help your business to stay ahead of competitors who don’t put much stock in the protection of their data.
It’s a dog eat dog world in cybersecurity, and the vulnerability of even national cyber defense systems shows that businesses must look after themselves. Becoming vigilant to the risks as they arise, and taking a forward step at all times to combating vulnerabilities, is the best way to protect data and stay safe.