Data Security: A Comprehensive Guide (2021)


Let us first learn what is data security? Data security is a process of shielding databases, files, and accounts on a grid by adopting a set of applications, techniques, and controls. In layman’s terms, data security is a set of technologies and standards that help to protect your data from breach, destruction, disclosure, or modification. Data security can be applied by using a wide range of technologies and techniques, including physical security, administrative controls, and organizational standards. Such techniques prevent access to your data by malicious users or unauthorized users.

Now that we have understood the meaning of data security, let us read about the elements of data security. The core elements of data security include integrity, availability, and confidentiality. These three elements guide an enterprise and organisations to the protection of their data from exfiltration and unauthorised sources. Confidentiality of data ensures that your data remains confidential and accessed only by individuals who are authorised to do so. Integrity ensures reliable and accurate information. Availability ensures that data is easily accessible to enterprises for decision-making and business needs.

  1. What are data security considerations? 
  2. What are data security technologies?
  3. How do you ensure data security?
  4. Data security regulations
  5. Why is data security important?
  6. Different data security technologies

1. What are data security considerations? 

While accessing data security be sure to ensure that you include these considerations:

  • Location of your sensitive data: You need to know the location of your data to protect it.
  • Who is the data accessible to? Ensure that your data is accessible only to authorised persons as unknown persons can cause harm and break into your system by a data breach. The risk of abuse, theft, or alteration of data persists when data is accessible to random users.
  • Be sure to continuously monitor your data: unusual file activities or computer behaviour is a sign of risk to your database. Continuous monitoring of data is necessary to maintain data security.

2. What are data security technologies?

To prevent data breaches and risks following data security tools and technologies are used:

  • Data auditing: While investigating the data breach, it is crucial as to when a security breach occurs. Data auditing solution will enable to report and capture those who had access to the database. Unauthorised changes and potential breaches can be prevented and monitored with data auditing solutions.
  • Data real-time alerts: Usually, when a data breach occurs, you are not instantly informed of it. It takes time for you to discover the breach and investigate it. Data real-time alerts allow you to monitor suspicious behaviour and data activity ensuring quick and fast discovery of data breaches and prevent data loss, destruction or unauthorised access to personal data. 
  • Data risk assessment: Data security risk assessments help companies in identifying their most exposed data. This can further help in decreasing data security risks first the complex and personal data is identified and accessed via various global groups. Important information and data vulnerabilities can be found through data risk assessments.
  • Data minimisation: Data started as being an asset to both individuals and enterprises. But in recent times due to the lack of storage space or vast increase data is considered to be a liability. The threat of a data breach is becoming popular around the world and can cost an enterprise its entire reputation.
  • Purge surge data: Only those items in a database will be considered that is not on your network while 

3. How do you ensure data security?

Data security is not a tough job if you make use of it properly. The following are a few steps guiding you to ensure data security:

  • Quarantine sensitive files: A common mistake done by users is that they make the database accessible to the entire company. Ensure that your data is well-protected and move it to a secure location to avoid data breach and destruction.
  • Track the behaviour of users against data groups: Limit a user’s access to data according to his capacity to avoid overburdening.
  • Respect data privacy: Every individual has a right to his privacy and under no circumstances can his privacy be compromised. Hence data privacy becomes a crucial aspect of data security with the rights of each individual and handling data properly.

4. Data security regulations

The regulations considered best for data security are HIPAA (healthcare), GDPR (anyone who knows that EU exists), and SOX (public companies). Organisations are required to adhere to certain regulations such as regular tracking of the sensitive data they possess, being able to produce that sensitive data on demand, and make auditors ensured about the safeguarding of their data. These resolutions though are from a different domain but need a strong perspective and mindset. E.g., The health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA) was passed to regulate health insurance.

The data security tools require that the files and activities of the health insurance sector are properly monitored and controlled to achieve compliance. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) requires you to audit and continually monitor their annual reports and also control the access given to users to achieve maximum compliance.

5. Why is data security important?

We have been reading about the different aspects of data security but if you are wondering why is data security important? Here is the answer. Every single business enterprise in today’s world is dealing with huge amounts of data. Data plays an important role in small and well huge business enterprises. The chief aim of data security is to protect the organisation’s collected, stored, received, transmitted or created data. Data is managed in a couple of different devices.

Data security does its job irrespective of the devices being used. It does not matter what kind of device is being used to store or collect data, what is important is that the data is protected to prevent malicious attacks or damage to the enterprises. Breach of data has huge effects. It can lead to litigation and huge fines to be paid in addition to the destruction of an organisation’s reputation. Data must be continuously protected and taken care of by the prevailing security threats. 

6. Different data security technologies

Each day the data belonging to a particular enterprise continues to be under different threats from malicious attacks, hackers or anonymous users. Data security helps in keeping the data safe from such threats. Different data security technologies have been developed to guarantee protection from the numerous threats from both external and internal sources. There are many different ways the data can be safeguarded. Data security technologies include:

  • Data encryption: Encryption refers to the conversion of information or database into a specific code specifically to prevent online unauthorised access. Data encryption ensures that each piece of data is encoded and no one can access it without the authorised key given to that user. 
  • Data masking: Certain specific areas of a database are masked to prevent it from being disclosed to external unauthorised sources as well as internal sources who could wrongly handle the data. For example, a few digits of a credit card are masked to ensure increased security and privacy.
  • Data erasure: Usually when data is once put into use it may no longer serve as useful or remains active. Such data can be totally erased from the system to ensure data security and well as room for the new database. E.g. a customer asks to remove his name completely from a mailing list.
  • Data resilience: Data backups help to recover the organisation’s data in times of need. 


After reading the above article we hope you have understood the meaning of data security, types of data security, the importance of data security and data security methods.

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