In response to the growing number of data breaches that take place across the globe, Governments have been rolling out their own data privacy laws, each being more stringent than the last.
As they say, it’s not a question of if, but when, a data breach will occur. As such, in order to avoid falling out of compliance and shelling out large sums of money on fines, lawsuits, and/or compensation, companies must ensure that they have the right solutions in place that will give them visibility into all security events that take place within their IT environment. However, decision-makers can feel overwhelmed by the acronyms, abbreviations, and buzzwords used to describe the various data security solutions available.
Top 10 Data Security Solutions
To make matters worse, many solutions have overlapping features, which makes it even harder to determine which solution(s) are the best choice. To help with this, below are the 10 most important data security solutions.
1. Data Discovery and Classification
A data classification software will scan your repositories (both on-premise and in-the-cloud) for documents containing sensitive data, and classify the data as it is found. Classifying data will not only make it easier to remove data that is redundant or duplicate, but will also help to assign access controls and increase visibility into where data is located, and how it is being used. Most sophisticated solutions can be configured to classify data according to the relevant compliance requirements.
A firewall will prevent unauthorized remote access to your network as well as monitor and analyze network traffic for suspicious packets. While not as relevant as they once were, firewalls still play an important role in keeping your data secure.
3. Intrusion Detection & Prevention Systems (IDPS)
Intrusion Detection & Prevention Systems solutions analyze network traffic (packets) for signatures that match known threats from a cyberthreat database. If the solution finds a match or identifies any activity that is deemed suspicious, it will block/quarantine the traffic, and alert the administrator who will investigate the incident.
AV/AP solutions will attempt to identify and block malicious inbound emails. An anti-virus solution will scan messages for known viruses, whereas an anti-phishing solution will look for messages that appear to be impersonating a trusted entity. Some advanced solutions can also detect and block suspicious outbound messages, such as attachments that contain sensitive data.
5. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
A Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution provides real-time monitoring and analysis of the security event logs generated by applications, devices, networks, infrastructure, and systems. SIEM solutions are quite advanced compared to other data security solutions, however, they are not cheap, nor are they particularly easy to install or maintain. Likewise, Security Information and Event Management solutions tend to generate a lot of noise. As such, you will need an experienced member of staff to sift through the alerts, disregarding any false positives.
6. Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
The purpose of a Data Loss Prevention solution is to prevent sensitive data from leaving the corporate network. Data Loss Prevention solutions use business rules to identify and block suspicious outbound traffic, such as when an email containing sensitive data is sent to a non-company-owned email address. In which case, an alert will be sent to the administrator who will investigate the incident to determine its relevance.
7. Data encryption
There are various data encryption solutions available. Some will request a password each time you try to access data stored on an encrypted drive or partition. Some will encrypt specific files and folders, and some will provide a dedicated folder where you can place the files you want to be encrypted. Some solutions will require a master password to access any files on a given device.
8. Data-Centric Audit and Protection (DCAP)
Data-Centric Audit and Protection solutions are similar to SIEM solutions, only they are more lightweight and generally easier to use. Unlike SIEM, a Data-Centric Audit & Protection solution focuses on the data itself and keeps track of how users interact with the data.
A sophisticated Data-Centric Audit and Protection solution will aggregate event data from multiple sources (both on-premise and cloud-based), and display a summary of relevant events via an intuitive console. You can also receive real-time alerts to your inbox or mobile device.
Most Data-Centric Audit and Protection solutions use machine learning algorithms to detect anomalies, alert on events that match a pre-defined threshold condition, remind users when their password is about to expire, and more. They also provide data classification tools out-of-the-box.
9. Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication is where users are required to provide an additional means of verification in order to login. This might include a passcode sent to your mobile device, a hardware dongle, or some form of biometric information, such as a fingerprint scan.
10. Mobile Device Management (MDM)
Mobile Device Management software, also known as Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), helps companies monitor, manage and secure the mobile devices, tablets, and laptops that connect to their network. Mobile Device Management enables companies to apply security policies across all devices that have access to sensitive data, which includes deciding which apps can be installed. MDM solutions can also locate devices that have been misplaced, and some can remotely delete sensitive data from a device that has been lost or stolen and cannot be retrieved.
In addition to the solutions listed above, there are other technologies that are worth looking into, such as web vulnerability scanners, which crawl through the pages of an application looking for security vulnerabilities, and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), which enable users to remotely and securely access their company’s network from a shared or public network.