Navigating the Complex Landscape of Data Security

Blog By: Forcepoint

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, data is not only a critical business asset – it is the lifeblood of your organisation. With the volume of data generated, collected, and accessed by organisations increasing at a rapid pace, the importance of safeguarding this invaluable asset cannot be overstated. And in an era where business productivity depends on people having the ability to use data anywhere safely and efficiently, wherever it is stored and accessed, organisations must learn how to navigate the complex data landscape, ensuring they have robust security measures in place to protect their assets.

But what is causing this complexity in the first place? With the presence of data across multiple devices, applications, and platforms today, the era of ‘data everywhere’ is upon us. Data is now being generated, transmitted, and stored at an unprecedented pace, and organisations are struggling to keep up with how to effectively manage and secure this data in a highly dynamic business environment. As the volume of data that organisations own continues to surge, so does the potential attack surface for cybercriminals.

A renewed approach to data security

This evolving threat landscape – driven by new technological advancements and threat vectors – necessitates a renewed approach to data security, as data loss can occur through many different channels, each requiring its own unique set of defences. Traditional security measures focused on securing endpoints are no longer enough. Instead, organisations need to extend their security measures and adopt a comprehensive approach that safeguards data at rest, in transit, and during processing.

Organisations that fail to protect their data – particularly that of a sensitive nature – may fall victim to data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage. And the consequences of these attacks often extend far beyond the initial incident. When data falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to a loss of consumer trust and damage the business’ bottom line. This urgency of protecting sensitive data from attackers has therefore driven the need for a comprehensive approach to data security.

Understanding the data security lifecycle

In recent years, the concept of the ‘data security lifecycle’ has gained significant traction. This approach to data security involves implementing a series of interconnected steps to protect data throughout its entire journey, from creation to disposal, rather than focusing on traditional endpoint security.

Organisations are increasingly realising that they must extend their data security measures to encompass all aspects of their digital infrastructure – which includes protecting data across networks, cloud environments, and mobile devices. In particular, the shift towards multi-cloud environments has revolutionised how organisations manage and store their data, adding to the complexity of data security.

By adopting a comprehensive data security strategy – such as Forcepoint ONE with Data Security Everywhere – organisations can not only streamline their efforts and reduce the cost associated with data security, but also the risk. Integrating data protection measures at each stage of the data lifecycle means organisations can ensure their data remains secure regardless of where it lives or how it’s being used. Additionally, this approach creates a unified defence that adapts to the evolving threat landscape and effectively addresses the challenges posed by the ‘data everywhere’ phenomenon.

Implementing data loss prevention

A critical aspect of the data security challenge lies in safeguarding cloud-based communication channels, such as email, which remains a predominant form of communication for businesses and an equally popular attack vector for cybercriminals and malicious insiders.

This is where implementing a data loss prevention (DLP) solution in your organisation can prevent sensitive information from being leaked or mishandled via email, ensuring compliance with data regulations and safeguarding your reputation as a business. These solutions work by monitoring inbound and outbound messages, searching for any content or attachments that may be sensitive, confidential, private, or protected by regulation, and flagging, blocking or deleting messages that contain sensitive data before they can be intercepted.

As data volumes continue to surge, bringing with them unique security challenges, the necessity of data security is more essential now than ever. To navigate the complex landscape where data is everywhere, organisations must adopt a comprehensive approach to data security that extends beyond traditional endpoints, embraces the data security lifecycle, and ensures security is baked into cloud-based environments. By doing so, they will not only protect sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands, but also ensure a solid foundation for sustained growth and innovation as a business.