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5 Ways to Protect Your Organization’s Data and Keep It Safe 

by Nathan Zachary

Most companies and businesses are increasingly becoming aware of the adverse effects of data breaches. When it comes to your company’s data, both the good guys and bad guys are aggressively trying to access it, and that is the world we live in today.  

Hackers, extortionists, and other malicious parties pose a significant threat that has been documented widely. The revelations by the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden also show the threat government authorities pose to proprietary data. 

As an organization, you should try as much as possible to protect your data through numerous data security plans, such as strong encryption. Your organization’s data should always be stored and communicated in an encrypted form.  

Information is critical in today’s business climate, and it should be protected from those on the inside and outside the organization. 

One breach of your organization’s data could potentially harm your business operations, and this was verified by the global cyber-attacks of May 2017 that affected 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries.  

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Here are five essential tips to help you protect your organization’s data. 

Ensure Data Is Communicated Securely 

Any business that deals with multitudes of sensitive and critical information such as credit card data should try as much as possible to protect it by means necessary. Communication of data securely within an organization is fundamental to its security.  

There are lots of options for communicating data securely than the usual internet-based email. For instance, the “Tor” system employs volunteers to provide multiple PC in various locations to create broader anonymity and a secure communication channel. 

Within your organization, ensure all the individual messages are encrypted and re-encrypted multiple times by various computers while you transmit messages to their destinations. This process will be much more complex for any third parties to monitor your communications and access the content within. 

Back up Your Organization’s Data 

Backing up data creates a safety net for your company if something happens to the data in your network or company devices. For instance, data could be damaged by a fire tragedy or water. Backing up your company’s data means you can quickly recover it if you lose it all.  

Backups also help protect you from ransomware and other malicious hacking by third parties. For the best data protection, you could back up to an external hard drive, online services such as AWS data protection services, or both. 

With AWS as your backup service of choice, you have access to multiple tools that help you control and secure your data while managing who has access to it. Services like AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) will enable you to manage access to AWS services and resources securely.  

AWS CloudHSM and AWS Key Management Service (KMS), on the other hand, allow you to create and manage encryption keys securely. 

Use Firewalls and Access Controls 

As an organization, having firewalls and access controls protecting your data is essential. Examples of these controls are measures such as authentication requirements, passwords, and biometric systems.  

Multiple authentication systems have to ensure bypassing them is difficult. The effectiveness of these authentication systems like passwords lies in the conduct of all the authorized users. 

For instance, if one user loses control of their passwords, the entire network and all the data within may be potentially at risk of being compromised. On the other hand, firewalls come in handy when you want to manage access to the company’s core data from the internet or mobile devices. 

Educating Your Employees about Data Protection 

The most significant vulnerability to your organization’s data protection is the human factor. Either through negligence or ignorance, employees account for 54% of all data breaches, according to a survey done by Ponemon Institute.  

Within your organization, you should ensure employees are informed of compliance regulations and cybersecurity policies within your company. You could do this by providing them with training and guidelines, especially for those dealing with the most sensitive company data. 

All employees— executives and subordinates, should follow the rules when it comes to data security. C-level executives are the primary targets for malicious hackers because of their high clearance level for handling data. 

Don’t Store All Your Data on the network 

Data considered sensitive shouldn’t be stored on computers accessible from the internet or on computer networks. Evaluate your organization’s data and group them according to their level of sensitivity, that way, you can store each class accordingly. 

Using a centralized location to store all your data has its perks, but in a breach, you don’t want the hackers to have all your information. Diversification of your data storage is the key to data preservation. Industry professionals suggest using a combination of cloud storage, network-attached storage, and external hard drives. 


Sensitive data for organizations is constantly threatened by malicious hackers and inadvertent incidents around the globe. The repercussions of breaches in your organizations can be devastating.  

Data security should be an important aspect of any organization’s overall plan and risk management. 

Recovering from a data breach is an expensive endeavor compared to proactive data security measures. A data breach in your organization could also cost you your public image. Taking steps to protect your data should be a top priority. 

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