The key strategies in the data security market are all designed to protect digital information from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft. These strategies focus on both accidental loss and deliberate theft, making the data security market a broad category with many products under its overall umbrella.
On the hardware side, the data security market encompasses backup, storage, and recovery as well as physical policies such as remote backups and “air breaks,” where hardware is physically disconnected and not networked.
On the software side, the data security market comprises best practices that govern data protection techniques such as encryption, key management, data redaction, and data masking as well as privileged user access controls and auditing and monitoring. This includes data security for cloud computing.
The result is a booming data security market. The data security market is expected to grow from an estimated $31.0 billion in 2022 to $55.3 billion by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate of 12.3%, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets. Factors driving market growth include digital transformation and associated security problems, adherence to strict regulatory guidelines, and increased usage of cloud technology and edge computing devices in enterprises.
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What are Key Strategies in the Data Security Market?
Best practices in data security usually call for a multilayered strategy designed to apply multiple layers of defense. Given that foundation, here are the leading strategies that managers are using to protect data security.
1. Protect the Data Itself
There is a tendency to focus security on just the perimeter of the network and put all the emphasis on the firewall. But what happens when an intruder gets past the firewall? If the data is unprotected and unencrypted, they will have full access to it. So, engage in good data protection inside the firewall as well.
2. Adopt a Zero-Trust Network Design
Zero-trust networks are just that; users cannot move around inside a zero-trust network freely. They must validate their credentials and show they have the right to access that data at every move. Zero-trust networks are highly effective at stopping an intruder in their tracks, but they require significant reengineering of a network.
3. Encrypt All Data
Data should not sit unencrypted and readable by everyone in the network or in the cloud. Make sure all data is stored in an encrypted format and remains encrypted during migrations because significant data loss can occur when data is in movement.
4. Establish Strong Passwords and Policies
Too many organizations still have lackadaisical password policies, letting employees use simple, generic, and easily guessed passwords and not requiring them to change them regularly. No doubt, employees will complain about using strong passwords, but it is a necessary step. So is requiring them to change their password at least every 90 days and not allowing them to reuse old passwords.
5. Test Security
Don’t just assume the network is safe and secure because a firewall and antivirus programs have been installed. Security programs are fallible and are prone to bugs and exploits, and hackers are determined. Just as software is tested while it’s in development for functionality, you must test your firewall and security systems to make sure they work.
6. Invest More Money and Time on Cybersecurity
Security is a tough sell, because the real return on investment (ROI) relies on “nothing happening.” Businesses spend thousands, if not millions, on security measures and short of reports on attacks, they may never really know if it’s working or not or if it is keeping out criminals. Many big companies with sensitive business data are appointing chief security officers (CSOs) or chief information and security officers (CISOs) to implement policies and make them a priority to the C-suite.
7. Update Systems Regularly
Patching is a never-ending process. Most hardware and software firms have regular updates to vulnerabilities, either monthly, quarterly, or when necessity dictates it. In a big enterprise, that’s a lot to patch: the hardware firmware, the operating system, the applications, the firewall, and more. But it’s a necessary evil that must be done.
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8. Clean Up Data Stores
Many enterprises are sloppy with how they manage their data storage. They leave redundant copies lying around in multiple locations. Most decent storage systems come with data duplication applications to find and remove redundant data and to keep data stores clean and pruned.
9. Back Up Data Regularly
Regular backups of both on-premises and cloud data is a must. On-prem backup allows businesses to store data in another physical location in case of disaster in the data center, while cloud backup safely stores data in the cloud. In both cases, disaster recovery software helps businesses recover lost data quickly.
10. Implement a Company-Wide Security Mindset
Data security is not just the job of the CSO and IT department, it is a job for everyone who logs into the network. Their responsibility includes safe, secure passwords and embracing best practices. That means not opening email attachments from unknown senders, not sharing login and password information, and not leaving login and password information written down on a sticky paper in the office.
11. Consider the Physical Security of the Data Center
Wherever data is stored on-premises should be the hardest location to get into, and it should be the most physically secure location. This means granting database, network, and administrative account access to as few people as possible, and only those who absolutely need it to get their jobs done. Further, it should have full disaster prevention equipment like fire suppression and climate control.
12. Use Comprehensive Network Monitoring
Networking security and monitoring tools have a tendency to be highly specialized and not broad. It is rare to find one product or tool that does every aspect of network monitoring. So it is necessary to implement a comprehensive suite of threat management, detection, and response tools across on-premises environments.
13. Consider Data Security and BYOD Policies
The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is never going away, so companies might as well adjust to it. That may mean installing proper security software and services for employees who wish to use their personal computers, tablets, and mobile devices. If it will work for a company issued device, it should work for a BYOD device.
14. Use Encryption
Far too many datasets are completely unencrypted and unprotected from theft. Encryption keys scramble data, so only authorized users can read it. There are also file and database encryption solutions that serve as the last line of defense by obscuring their contents through encryption or tokenization. Databases come with encryption and other protections; they just need to be turned on.
15. Implement Data Masking
Data masking is the process of removing bits of data from an entry and replacing them with an asterisk or other character. You’ve probably seen it used in secure logins and passwords. By incorporating data masking, an organization can develop applications using the real data without worrying about exposure.
16. Employ an Elaborate Backup Policy
It goes without saying that businesses must maintain usable, thoroughly tested backup copies of all critical data. All backups should be subject to the same physical and policy security controls that are applied to the primary databases and core systems. Backing up to a regulatory-compliant cloud provider can save a lot of headache because they are responsible for the physical and virtual security of the data.
17. Invest in Employee Education
Training employees in the importance of good security practices is vital and all too often overlooked or just assumed. There is a reason phishing attacks are so successful; far too many employees don’t know enough to not click on a link or attachment from an unknown sender, and this problem has dogged IT for decades.
Putting together a handbook of practices and policies is not enough. Time needs to be spent training and educating employees on what is expected of them.
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What is the Future of the Data Security Market?
Business is undergoing a digital transformation revolution as data recorded in physical formats is converted into a digital format. This means there is a great deal more data to protect and heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare and finance, are especially sensitive to this issue.
The sheer volume of data that enterprises generate and store both on-premises and in the cloud is growing at a tremendous rate and drives a greater need for data governance. This is made even more complex through the advent of edge computing and the Internet of Things producing data outside of the data center.
Businesses create and manage data like never before, and their loss exposure has never been higher. From trade secrets and intellectual property (IP) to customer information, a company’s data is its lifeblood, and confidence in the ability to protect the data has never been more important. IBM states that 75% of consumers surveyed said they will not purchase from companies they don’t trust to protect their data.