It’s no secret that in today’s digital world, every single technology user generates a countless amount of data – some of which contains their most sensitive information or personal details that they’d rather not be shared publicly. But with cyber security attacks and data leaks on the rise, the majority of which are the result of user error, it may feel like only a matter of time before the consequences of a data leak affect your organisation.
But what about those vulnerable people who could suffer severe repercussions if their sensitive data was breached in a data leak or cyber security attack? What can you do to ensure that the most vulnerable people you work with are protected at all times from digital ne’er-do-wellers?
As your resident team of identity and cyber security experts, we thought we’d take the time to break down the three steps you can take right now to protect the data of the most vulnerable people in your community.
Implement An Information Classification System
Information classification is the process of classifying information within an organisation into relevant categories and forms a cornerstone of any successful data protection plan. If your organisation is separated into distinct departments, an information classification system can help you ensure that your employees are only accessing the data that they are entitled to and which they’ve been entrusted access to. This lowers the risk of identity risks as a result of human error and helps ensure the privacy of your most vulnerable people.
In today’s digital world, a security-savvy organisation should be operating under the assumption that a data leak will happen at some point. An effective information classification system should keep this in mind and assign a value to each piece of data according to the risk of loss or harm from disclosure. Access to each classification can then be restricted based on which level of employee should be able to access which classification, ensuring that the data of your most vulnerable is only being accessed by those authorised to do so.
An example classification system you could implement includes the following levels:
- Confidential Information, or any information that is deemed as confidential by all parties included or affected by that information.
- Classified Information, or sensitive information that access of which is restricted by law or regulation and which requires a formal security clearance to handle.
- Restricted Information, or information that is available to most of your employees but not all of them.
- Internal Information, or information that all internal employees have access to.
- Public Information, or information that is publicly accessible by everyone within and outside your organisation.
Create A Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Solution
Data Loss Prevention (otherwise known as DLP) is the practice of detecting and preventing data breaches, exfiltration, or unwanted destruction of sensitive data – all of which fall under the umbrella of data leaks. A DLP solution, accordingly, is a series of tools and processes you can implement to ensure that a data leak doesn’t occur within your organisation and thus the data of your most vulnerable people remains protected.
Data leaks can occur as the result of a number of different security threats, including everything from malicious insider threats to an employee falling prey to phishing or malware techniques to unintentional or negligent data exposure on a public Internet network. As a result, the right DLP solution for your organisation should cover multiple bases.
Just a few of the essential components of an effective DLP solution include:
- Endpoint protection, which allows you to control information transferred between users and external parties.
- Archived data protection, which utilises access control, encryption and data retention policies to protect your inactive organisational data.
- Securing data in motion, which can analyse network traffic to detect sensitive data sent in violation of security policies.
- Monitoring data in use, which flags unauthorised activities that users may perform in their interactions with your data.
- Data leak detection, which identifies data transfers that are anomalous or suspicious and alert your security staff to a possible data leak.
Apply Role Based Access Control (RBAC)
Role-based access control (otherwise known as RBAC) has become one of the most recommended identity security solutions for a very good reason. You see, RBAC restricts employee access to your network based on a person’s role within an organisation and limits what data they are able to see and utilise to that which is strictly necessary in the performance of their job duties.
With RBAC, access can be restricted based on a number of different factors, such as authority level, responsibility and job competency. Similarly, access to computer resources can also be limited based on your employees RBAC permissions, with you gaining the ability to limit their interactions to specific tasks such as being able to view, create or modify a file.
Working hand-in-hand with your information classification system, implementing RBAC helps to protect the data of your most vulnerable people by ensuring your employees are only accessing and using those resources they need to do their jobs. This means there’s less chance of sensitive data being leaked, either intentionally or accidentally, or compromised by a hacker and thus a higher level of data protection for the sensitive information of your most vulnerable people.
Want to know more about how you can protect the data of your most vulnerable people?
At MOQdigital, we’ve helped thousands of organisations just like yours take their identity security to the next level and protect the sensitive data of their members. As a result, we understand firsthand how important data security is to the continued success and reputation of your organisation.
Luckily, our team of identity and cyber security experts are always ready and willing to help you design and implement the right data security plan for your organisation and protect the data of your most vulnerable people.
All you have to do to get started is to get in touch.
Like what you see? You may be interested in these other resources:
- Identity Lifecycle Management: An Overview
- The Rise in Ransomware Attacks and their Cost
- Identity & Security For Mobile Care Workers: A Guide