Why Is Data Security So Important In This Digital Age?

Oct 28, 2021
5 min read

The notion of data security brings to mind an avalanche of information and the persistent need to safeguard that information from plausible threats. Truly, a colossal amount of data is generated as on today due to digitization, bringing with it a significant number of changes in the digital ecosystem. One of these challenges undoubtedly, is data security, or computer/information security, as it is alternatively called.

Due to the plethora of technologies in existence today, computing ecosystems have become rather complex, inclusive of edge network devices, cloud infrastructure, data center architecture, and so on. This has further brought on the challenge of growing number of data breaches – indicating that the more data generated, the more vulnerable companies are to data exposure. This forms the base for the requirement of data security. While attacks on data may never disappear completely, one can opt for practices that may help eliminate malware and security breaches and safeguard information.

The following paragraphs talk about some of the reasons why data security is so important in this digital age, and what practices are best to be followed so as to ensure complete protection.

Significance of Data Security

The data churned out today is much, much more than what it was around a couple of decades back. Indeed, reliable sources suggest that around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated on a daily basis. As digitization continues to boom, enterprises will continue to deal with colossal amounts of data -  from customer service businesses storing the data of their clients to financial institutions handling private data. Often, attackers target an organization’s remote devices and attempt to hack sensitive data.

Quite naturally, this data is meant to be secured at the highest level to main customer confidentiality. Data such as personal contacts, bank information, addresses, credit card details, political contacts, etc., are classified under ‘classified’ and organizations have an obligation to protect the same, as failure to do so may result in serious consequences such as lawsuits, penalties, and litigation. Unnecessary legalities stemming from loss of consumer loyalty may destroy a business’s reputation and result in brand degradation.

Adhering to data security techniques will keep customers happy and ensure that you are a reliable, credible service provider who is concerned about consumer privacy. The stronger data security practices you use, the better your consumer base. A business may have to shell out uncountable dollars in case of a data breach due to lack of security. It is obviously better to spend the same or perhaps lesser amount in making the business secure, safeguarding customer privacy.

In today’s era, it has become rather difficult to earn the trust of customers. As per a Cisco report, over 42% of consumers stopped using the services of an enterprise as there was no secure data protection plan in place. Not having an information security policy can thus impact a business’s current standing in the market as well as future innovations.

As a business’s reputation for the implementation of apt data privacy practices increases, it will gain more consumers, keeping it ahead of competition. That apart, implementing a secure data protection solution at all levels in the organization will ensure that it needs to spend less on support and development. Of course, data security plans do not come cheap, but as mentioned earlier, it is much better to spend on security practices than the aftermath of a data breach.

Some of the best practices to ensure data security in the digital age:

Network Layer Security

It includes vital internet protocols and cryptographic techniques to secure data, For instance, SSL and TLS are deployed to monitor website traffic, while PGP is used for mail.

Enterprise Data Protection

It ensures data protection at the organizational level by providing an end-to-end, data-centric approach. Security for online payments, for example, provides payment tokenization and point-to-point encoding to reduce the scope of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI - DSS).

Data Masking

In this technique, a data structure that exactly resembles the original data structure is created to facilitate testing. This methodology ensures that the original data is kept safe and secure at all times.

Data Resilience

Many enterprises tend to create backup copies of all existing data so that they can recover stolen or corrupted data lost during an attack.

Data Encryption

One of the most common data security techniques, encryption is a process wherein data gets stored in the ciphertext format – like secret codes. Basically, the original data is encrypted in the ciphertext that can be understood only by security experts.

Data Anonymization

In this technique, businesses can deploy tools to encrypt personally identifiable data (PII) from datasets so that they can maintain data confidentiality. Unfortunately, due to the anonymity clause, this practice does not support tracing back the data to a specific person.

Data Security – The Road Ahead

Having understood the significance of information security and how critical it is for data to remain protected, especially in financial transactions and the like, companies have come up with several advancements that will define the future of this industry. One of the latest trends is where many firms have come up with two-factor authentication. No longer will a mere 8-letter password authenticate vital transactions. Soon enough, most services will begin using multi-factor and risk-based authentication tools to secure their data. In fact, many organizations already use facial and retina recognition and similar techniques; very soon, they will be deployed in the mainstream.

In addition, permission requirements will form a primary part of the data security landscape. That means no program can be installed on your system without your permission – users and network admins will now have complete control over which program to give access and privileges to, so that they can avoid potential data breaaches in the system.

A Summary of Industry Developments in the Data Security Landscape

Ø Cybersecurity data monitoring platform Query. AI recently closed an oversubscribed Series A financing round worth USD 15 million. With this funding, the company will be able to expand its solution offering, which incidentally, is the only one in the market that provides the ability to investigate, access, and respond to data threats in real-time, from a single browser interface.

Ø F-Secure recently announced that as a part of the SPATIAL (Security and Privacy Accountable Technology Innovations, Algorithms, and machine Learning) project (funded by the EC’s Horizon 2020 program), it will undertake research programs for advancements in the field of AI. Incidentally, this project brings together, industry leaders and academicians to enhance the reliability of data management and AI in cyber security applications.

Ø At Okta’s annual Showcase event that was held recently, the company announced that it will work to ensure consistent growth in Auth0’s and Okta’s CIAM (Customer Identity and Access Management) offerings. The teams from Okta and Auth0 will collaborate to launch new capabilities from the former’s Customer Identity products.

Ø Recently, at the VMWorld 2021, the company declared that it has been expanding its product portfolio by including areas such as security and edge computing.