Data is essential to any company. It allows it to function efficiently and profitably. However, companies must keep in mind the necessity of having access to and abundant data with the obligation to keep the customer’s data secure and private. The latter point is driven by the ever-changing privacy regulations like Europe’s GDPR and California’s CCPA as well as old-fashioned laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Securities and Exchange Commission rules that protect financial information of shareholders, as well as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard for consumer payment data.

The first step in ensuring data security is to organize and safeguard all of your data. This includes identifying and classifying data according to its sensitivity level, and determining access levels. It is essential to establish policies to safeguard data whether it’s in transit or in rest. Using a tool that can detect and monitor data activity and detect suspicious patterns can help you identify suspicious activities and quickly detect and mitigate vulnerabilities, including outdated software and configurations.

A complete backup and recovery plan that includes physical storage media will be vital. Additionally, it is essential to enforce meaningful security measures that include background checks on potential hires and periodic training for existing employees to the decision to terminate employees who no longer require access to vital systems. It is also essential to create a disaster recovery plan to ensure that your data is protected in the event of a natural or human-caused disaster.