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What is data security?

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Jason Blosil
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You already know that cyberthreats are becoming more sophisticated and more dangerous by the day. As cybercriminals continue to step up their game, the urgency to build an impenetrable fortress around your data becomes even greater. Although data security has always been important, it is now front and center. But what is data security, and how should it be implemented to provide the most protection for your data?

A two-pronged approach

Let’s start by defining data security. According to the G2 technology glossary, data security is the practice of protecting digital information assets from unauthorized access, disclosure, modification, or theft. To achieve its intended goal, a comprehensive data security solution combines effective authentication with two additional components: threat detection and threat remediation. Authentication (such as multifactor) is critical, but to deal with compromised user accounts or malicious insiders, it’s not enough. You need extra security measures to continue to safeguard your data and to minimize disruptions.

To close the gap, you must have the additional layers of protection in place and working together. If you are the target of a cyberattack, you need to be able to stop it in its tracks. If you can’t stop it, you must be able to respond immediately and appropriately and to recover as quickly and as cleanly as possible. That’s what threat detection and threat remediation are all about.

Bring security to your data

A lot of data security approaches are like building a moat around a castle. The problem with that strategy is that when an intruder breaks through, they have full access to everything inside. To boost your data security, you need to protect your data where it resides. This protection usually requires multiple layers of security that are increasingly stronger the closer you get to the most sensitive data.

It might help to think of your data like assets in a museum. Some assets are viewable and accessible to anyone who wants to see them. Taking photos is prohibited. Glass enclosures prevent theft. Cameras are continuously monitoring every visitor and employee. The more valuable assets have all these same protections, plus actual security guards to keep viewers at a distance and to provide a means of instantly thwarting suspicious behavior.

As the value of the asset increases, so does the security. Ropes provide an additional physical barrier. Alarms sound and doors automatically lock the instant that a potential breach is detected. And the most coveted assets (the crown jewels) are kept hidden away in vaults where only very few people with the most stringent security clearance have access. 

These same principles should be applied to your data security. The more valuable the data, the stronger the security and the fewer people who have access. This approach prevents criminals who do break through the barriers from roaming free and having access to all your data. And at every level, you have the tools and processes in place to secure your data through every stage of an attack—from alerting you to a potential threat to recovering from an attack and assessing your response afterward.

Stay tuned for my next two blog posts, where I’ll dig deeper into the building blocks of data security: threat detection and threat remediation. In the meantime, check out NetApp® data security capabilities to learn how you can build your end-to-end data fortress.

Jason Blosil

Jason is a business and marketing professional with over 20 years of product marketing, product management, and corporate finance experience. Since joining NetApp in 2008 he has been focused on SAN and NAS storage, backup and disaster recovery solutions, and cloud data services. When not in the office, you can find him cycling, cooking, enjoying time with family, and volunteering at his church and in the community.

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