Performance Indicators for Data Security

The issue of data security could be considered as one of the most dominant issues in the IT sector today. With the overall scope of the internet increasing at an unprecedented rate, it is rather imperative that the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for data security as recognized by the top companies should be considered by organizations of all sizes and natures. Rather than focussing on what shall be the future indicators, the most important thing would be to acknowledge the current indicators and understand the implications of such factors on the data security factor of a business . The key indicators could be assessed by answering the following questions:

Where is the sensitive data located?

The first questions and performance indicator related to the data security could be about the location of sensitive data. Irrespective of the nature of business and size of the enterprise, every business has an inventory of sensitive data. However, as per a research conducted in the year 2016, it was found that only 12% of the businesses actually know the location of their sensitive data. The volume of data has been increasing at drastic pace. If on an estimated basis, the data is growing at 4-5% per month, then a business having a million sensitive records could have to take care of extra 40-50 thousand pieces of sensitive data with passing of every month . Data could be stored on servers, hard drives, or on the cloud. It hardly matters as to which particular resource the business is using for storage of data, the important factor is to ensure that monthly (or periodic) assessment of the data should be carried out .

Has your business complied with GDPR?

Even though General Data Protection Regulation would be applicable in 2018, and it shall be applicable in the European Union only, it should be understood that in a globalized environment, other countries and governments will soon adopt or make similar guidelines related to data protection. Besides this, a large number of services provided by the emerging countries are received by the members of European Union.This is why it shall be rather important for the emerging countries (the service providers) to comply with the data security standards issued and applied in the European Union. The most crucial aspects proposed in the standards include location, protection, cost, user access and activity, data movement, and data volume.

The organizations would be looking ahead to reduce their risk scores in respect of GDPR 2018. The regulations in the United States have also become stricter, and hence it shall rather be important to follow the international standards related to data protection .

Do you have automated systems for detecting intrusions and protection of data?

The importance of data security for small and medium-sized businesses is expected to increase in the future. There are a number of large-sized businesses which have already implemented detection and protection indicators in their organizations. The automated systems report any intrusions, malware, and spyware to the system administrators in order to ensure complete data protection. The important factor here is to ensure that the process of detection and protection is automated. The manual processes in the data security and protection have to be eliminated. Some of the most crucial points to be noted here include:

  • There must be global visibility of sensitive data: The aspects like proliferation analysis, data classification, and activity correlation should be part of the automated processes. The processes implemented should be automated and globally accessible.
  • The risk should be constantly monitored: The organizations should be aware of the regulations related to the data security as applicable over them. Based on the organizational requirements, the most crucial areas prone to intrusion and risks could be underlined.
  • Correlation, base-lining, and alerting: These three factors should be a part of the overall risk assessment processes of the business. The organization should have the ability to uncover the unexpected attacks on the systems with proper monitoring of the anomalous behaviour that have the ability to affect the inventory of sensitive data.
  • Encryption and prevention of unauthorized access: The automated data control measures should have the ability to prevent any unauthorized access to the data systems. Introduction of intrusion control systems could be the first step towards the protection procedure .

The key performance indicators as described in this blog are expected to answer the most crucial data security issues which the organizations have been facing today. The overall growth in the data, especially with the introduction of cloud-based servers, the overall probability of instances where data could leave the organization and insider threats related to data, have increased to huge levels. The key indicators will also help in better compliances with international standards. Following the ‘detect and protect’ approach as described, could help in overcoming the shortcomings of the traditional security measures.

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