When it comes to making business and security decisions, executives should be wary of what the data says versus what the executive may assume to be true. Many business owners fear that faulty or incomplete data can lead to poor decisions and a moderate dose of skepticism of data is healthy. This then leads to an assumption model, which is geared more towards human instinct and a basic knowledge of “how to do things” as opposed to what the data strictly says. While human thought can be valuable when it comes to business practices, executives shouldn’t be solely reliant on unverified hypotheses when building a security strategy.

An overview of data discovery 

One of the biggest intelligence trends in recent years, data discovery, involves identifying and locating sensitive or regulated data to securely protect or remove it. This has become a priority for businesses in trying to get compliant-ready. After auditing the data, this discovery allows security teams to protect and ensure the confidentiality and availability of the protected, sensitive data.

For companies who operate remotely or within the cloud where file sharing is the norm, this is especially important. In an environment where there are multiple devices, applications, and databases being used, maintaining the security of valuable information can be a challenge. Data discovery helps aid this challenge by identifying a company’s data in full and making sure it is securely maintained with best practices and controls in place.

Why organizations should implement data discovery

The benefits of data discovery and context-aware security can help save a company from a major data catastrophe. Coined by Gartner in 2012 while cloud computing was growing exponentially, context aware security is defined as being “able to cope with emerging threats and evolving business requirements for greater openness.” When a company becomes fully aware of factors such as file types, sensitivity, user, location, security teams, and the solutions they implement, they can make much more effective security decisions across various use cases.

Once adopted, data security and context-aware security will be ever-evolving practices for an organization to maintain the security measures they have built. It’s important to set up a standard operating procedure and remain consistent across the organization in your security practices.

Implementing data security moving forward

Data protection should be of the utmost importance for any company. Not only is it crucial to comply with government regulation to avoid fines and penalties, it’s even more important to maintain your customer’s trust and brand’s reputation. This is why internal security practices, such as data discovery and context-aware security, should be your company’s main focus. One data breach can be detrimental for years to come.

Companies should follow these general guidelines when they start to build out a sustainable security program:

  • Don’t rely on assumptions or what you think to be true about your business. Start clean.
  • Once created, automate the discovery process so that it happens continuously without using your internal resources.
  • Follow an evidence-based approach by conducting a data audit across every piece of data in every location.
  • Implement orchestration to get the entire team involved. Make them accountable for ownership of their data.
  • Build your compliance and security program around your data discovery. You need concrete evidence to justify your plan.
  • Be brave, be bold, and modify security practices when necessary.

Don’t attempt data protection alone

Kickstarting the data discovery process may seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. Ground Labs has the premiere solution, Enterprise Recon PRO. Enterprise Recon PRO will not only help your company find data, but also continue to monitor and provide remediation for over 300 data types.

If you’re ready to discover and secure your consumers’ data, look at this ebook and book a demo with one of Ground Labs’ experts today.

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