Performing Data Risk Assessments
If your organization is required to follow any compliance mandates for data management, there is a good chance that data risk assessments may be recommended. But the language regarding what those assessments actually are can be vague.
It’s possible that your IT team may understand the necessity of such risk assessments, while not knowing how to approach these assessments in a manner that guarantees regulatory compliance.
What Does a Data Risk Assessment Accomplish?
Data risk assessments allow you to take a big picture look at your organization’s handling of data in order to determine the overall security of the data that you manage. It can help you to understand your strengths and weak points so that you can improve in your overall data management.
With a proper data risk assessment, you end up with an overall understanding of your risk levels and a plan to manage the most critical needs.
Below are some suggestions for conducting a data risk assessment. Sometimes organizational pride can get in the way. It’s important to handle the process with humility and treat it as an opportunity to learn about your organization and improve your weaknesses.
1). Get uncomfortable. Use a data risk assessment as an opportunity to understand your weak points at the highest level of exposure. That way a plan can be developed to better address these in the long run. It’s important to understand your company’s highest-level vulnerabilities before an attack.
2). Use basic questions to determine risk level. You can ask questions that will help you prioritize risk such as: Do we collect personally identifiable information? Do we collect highly sensitive information (think credit card numbers or health records)? What other sensitive data remains in our possession? Questions along these lines can help you establish the level of sensitivity with this information.
3). Figure out risk vs. exposure. You can use any gathered information to understand how to mitigate your risk and exposure levels with additional safeguards.
4). Modify your data storage based on risk. When you’re able to map out your company’s vulnerabilities some changes may need to be made to where that data is stored. Maybe cloud storage, remote servers, or other solutions can add additional peace of mind.
5). Add security to mitigate risks. Once you have some added information, you’ll have a better understanding of the threat level that your organization faces. It may be time to bring in more security or establish some firewalls. It may be time to enhance your company’s password procedures or add two factor authentication. Whatever the case may be, you can prioritize the actions based on various threats.
Data Risk Assessments Lead to Improved Safety
You can’t control what you don’t measure. Proper data risk assessments are simply about analyzing your levels of exposure. They’re also important to understand that if your data does fall victim to a cyberattack or is lost, that a data security company can help you restore what you lost and keep your company up and running.
What is Data Mapping?
Data mapping performs an essential function in organizations as they continue to amass increasingly large amounts of information. This increased data collection can be used for a myriad of reasons from more informed marketing decisions to better product development practices.
But keeping track of that data can be a cumbersome process without some organizational standards in place. That’s where data mapping comes into play. At some point collected data may need to be moved between systems, or stored using a different program. A data map is the tool that is used in these events to make sure that data arrives in its destination accurately.
What Data Mapping Means for Your Organization
Simply put, data mapping is the process of matching fields from one database application to the next. It’s a fundamental step in safe data migration and integration. Data mapping is a common business practice, but as the amount of data collected by businesses grows, it becomes increasingly important and complex.
Data Management Begins with Mapping
Without proper data mapping, data has the ability to be corrupted. It’s possible under some circumstances that data will end up in an unusable format or become corrupted. Data mapping allows you to make the most out of your information long after any migrations. It is what ensures that your data will wind up in a usable format in its new source, so that the old source can be properly retired.
What’s Involved in Data Mapping?
The first step to data mapping is establishing what data needs to be moved, and where it needs to go. This includes noting the tables, fields, the formats of the data, and the frequency it needs to be moved.
At this point it’s important to match current fields with new destinations to ensure that it lands in a legible and useful format. You can begin the process with a small sample size to ensure that the transfer works in the ways that you expected. From there the full transfer can be deployed, maintained and updated.
The Need for Software that Can Handle Complexity
We’re largely past the days where complex data migrations, integrations, or transfers can be operated with mapping processes drawn out on paper. More data and more complex data processes render software a necessary tool to assist.
It’s important to find talented data analysts and flexible software programs that can ensure that your company’s objectives are well represented. You need the infrastructure in place to be able to handle large-scale data management in an increasingly competitive business management.
A Data Management Safety Net
Data mapping can save your organization massive headaches in the data management process. But should you lose any sensitive information in the process, a data recovery specialist can help you recover and restore what was lost. If you need help with data recovery, contact us today!
Is Your Company’s Data Secure?
Is your company’s data secure? It’s an important question that businesses and organizations should spend some time with, especially as the way we do work evolves.
Your business may have hit its stride with remote work during the pandemic in 2020. Whether you’ve been pleasantly surprised by the necessary adjustments, or you were thrown off guard by sudden changes, you may want to check what type of security vulnerabilities you’ve been left with in the aftermath of the adjustments you were forced to make.
Some of your employees’ behaviors as they work from home may unintentionally leave your company’s most vital data in jeopardy. Below are some of the work-from-home technology scenarios that can lead to increased data vulnerabilities.
Remote Work Data Vulnerabilities
Reduced Security on Personal Devices
If your remote work program was made possible by allowing employees to use their personal devices, it can present added security headaches for your IT team. Personal devices and public Wi-Fi systems can expose organizational data to several additional risks and make it easier for a hacker to gain access.
Strict password regulations and educating your employees about proper safety measures while working from their own devices, can help them to understand the risks involved proceed with the right cautions in place.
An Old Threat Renewed with Phishing
Hackers baiting unsuspecting email users into traps is really nothing new. What is new is the level of sophistication and ill-intent in the wake of the pandemic. Some may masquerade as medical supply sellers. Others may try to pull on your heart strings, with fake charitable causes. When your employees click on the email links, they may be downloading malware that lets outsiders access all of your data.
Educating employees about the threat of these phishing scams is a solid first step in making sure your company’s data is secure. Make sure they understand that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. They can always Google the company, organization, or even email address that the email originated from in an attempt to find out whether or not it is legit.
Software and Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities
If Microsoft 365 is somewhat new to your remote workforce, they may not be used to what the login screen looks like. Fake login screens allow hackers to steal login credentials and access any document created within Office 365. They can then impersonate users and login from their own system.
Insecure Wi-Fi also leaves vulnerabilities. This can allow users into the system who can insert malware or simply look for sensitive data that they can steal. These vulnerabilities may exist within other commonly used software programs as well.
It’s hard to let yourself believe that someone your company hired may desire to cause harm within your organization. But there may be outside forces influencing their behavior. The devastating financial impact of the pandemic, inability to pay the mortgage, or out of control medical bills can cause people to behave in unrecognizable ways.
Employees may be able to download sensitive data to a personal computer device, giving them the ability to act outside of your monitoring.
Make Sure Your Company’s Data is Secure
It’s critical to do everything possible to answer the question: “Is your company’s data secure?” If you find that security has been breached, it’s important to take action fast. If you’ve lost sensitive data due to a security event, a professional data recovery company can help you to regain access to lost data. Contact us today!
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