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5 Data Security Mistakes You May be Already Making There are many potential mistakes that can be made despite having the right hardware and software solutions in place

By Ganesh Karri

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Maintaining data security is an ongoing responsibility that requires adaptive decision making and constant seeking of ways to improve efficiency. While implementing the right security technology is an important step, there are many potential mistakes that can be made despite having the right hardware and software solutions in place.

Here's a list of five common data security mistakes and how you can fix them if you recognize the symptoms in your own organization.

MISTAKE #1: Chasing the Latest Trends
All organization rely on IT in some form, and for some, IT is their entire business. It's important for IT and security departments to focus on technology trends and developments that may affect their organization, but there is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to tracking down new "silver bullet" technology for data security. The most reliable security mechanisms today, such as encryption and key management, essentially work in the same way they have for years. Security planners should recognize that most IT security trends are based on new implementation and integration practices of the same technology, and if something sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

MISTAKE #2: Creating Silos of Security Throughout Your Organization
Don't silo your security infrastructure. While having dedicated security appliances for each IT application or business unit might seem manageable and conveniently simple at the time, it may become a procedural nightmare as your infrastructure grows. This can prevent reciprocal operations and data sharing between applications, and ultimately create what are known as "data silos" within your system infrastructure. A better and much more sustainable model is to create and implement a scalable, top-down security infrastructure that holistically covers your entire production environment. This ensures lateral communication and integration between peer applications never becomes an issue.

MISTAKE #3: Having a "Checkbox Compliance" Mentality
A huge mistake we often see is a lackluster compliance mentality, where organizations just focus on meeting the bare minimum. That's not to say companies aren't meeting security standards, but they are missing out by focusing solely on meeting the requirements outlined by their applicable standards body and not seeking the most cost-effective and efficient way to meet these standards. The question they should be asking is "How can we achieve compliance in the most efficient manner, without sacrificing security?". There are very few controllable expenditures; compliance can be one of them. Often, the time and resources spent on compliance audits can be minimized by encrypting data before it's stored locally, thereby reducing the number of servers and databases within the scope of compliance.

MISTAKE #4: Not Getting Maximum ROI from Your Security Infrastructure
Organizations often purchase security technology to fulfill specific industry regulations, however, these regulations are only the bare minimum of requirements to ensure the safety of your data and your customers' information. Many solutions can perform an array of functions beyond what you initially purchased it for.

After making the initial expenditure for data security appliances and software, it should behoove security administrators to explore the maximum functionality of their investments. In many cases, additional licenses and functionality upgrades can be purchased that vastly increase the utility of their security technology. Viewed from this frame of reference, you begin to unlock the true value of enterprise-grade security and how it can protect your organization and its sensitive data.

MISTAKE #5: Overcomplicating Your security posture
Achieving the right balance is key. High-profile data breaches seem to be constantly bombarding our news feeds. While security is nothing to be taken lightly, it is important for administrators to be realistic about how their security posture affects their ability to do business. Security measures and protocols should be proportional to the threat and the potential damage that could occur from a data breach. For example, a large government organization must protect against foreign intelligence agencies, hacktivists, internal leaks, and a variety of other dangers. A small business, for example, would never be able maintain the type of robust infrastructure needed to counter a threat matrix that wide. Make sure your security infrastructure is strong, but also manageable so it doesn't become an impediment to your operations.

Ganesh Karri

Chief Solutions Architect and Regional Business Manager for South Asia, Futurex

Ganeswara Rao Karri (Ganesh), CISSP, CISA, Chief Solutions Architect at Futurex. Ganesh, based out of Mumbai,  handles the India Business of Futurex. He has a strong background of technology and combined with good business skills. Has successfully delivered large security projects in BFSI and in other verticals. He possess strong technical skills in all domains of information security solutions. He is an experienced Information Security Professional with hands-on experience in providing crypto (HSMs), PKI and strong authentication solutions.
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