How To Build A Successful Data Security Strategy
Posted: Thursday, Mar 07

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How To Build A Successful Data Security Strategy

Businesses once managed limited data, stored in physical formats or on local servers. Today, data has grown exponentially in volume, variety, and accessibility, seamlessly flowing through complex online networks and cloud platforms. This means securing that information is more important (and complicated) than ever before, and organisations must build a robust data security strategy to protect their data from unauthorised access and breaches while maintaining data confidently, integrity, and availability.

Jason Whyte, general manager for Asia Pacific, Trustwave, said, “As data volume and accessibility surge, so do the vulnerabilities and the potential for both external and internal threats. It is no longer optional for organisations to have a comprehensive view of their data, ensure its security whether at rest or in motion, and stay one step ahead of potential threats. To do so requires a robust data security strategy with a keen focus on identifying and mitigating these vulnerabilities, coupled with stringent control over data access. It involves a lot more than just building walls; it’s about intelligent, proactive protection of our most critical data assets.”

There are seven steps organisations can take to build and maintain a data security strategy:

Initiate Strategic Program Development

Organisations should begin by establishing a comprehensive database security program. This foundational step aligns the program with the organisation’s overall objectives, risk tolerances, and resources, ensuring that all subsequent actions support the broader goals.

Conduct Comprehensive Database Discovery and Inventory

Following the program establishment, organisations need to conduct a thorough inventory and discovery of their databases. This critical step helps understand the scope and location of data assets, which is vital for effective risk management and security planning.

Implement Regular Vulnerability Assessments

Organisations should then regularly conduct vulnerability assessments of their databases. This ongoing process is key in identifying potential security weaknesses, ensuring that vulnerabilities are identified and addressed promptly.

Manage Privileged Access

The next focus should be on the stringent management of privileged access. Organisations need to implement controls and monitoring for privileged user accounts to prevent unauthorised access and mitigate insider threats.

Develop Effective Risk Mitigation Strategies

Organisations should implement multi-layered risk mitigation strategies, including deploying hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) proxy servers and multiple types of firewalls. This approach is essential in protecting databases from various threats.

Enforce Policy-based Activity Monitoring

Developing and enforcing policy-based activity monitoring is the next step. Organisations must tailor these policies to their specific database environments, ensuring activation by activities that breach predefined security policies for proactive threat detection.

Establish Immediate Response To Policy Violations

Finally, organisations should ensure mechanisms for immediate detection and response to policy violations. Employing real-time monitoring solutions, like database activity monitoring (DAM) and keeping database software up to date, are crucial for effectively tackling the latest security threats.

Jason Whyte said, “Alongside the key strategies outlined, it’s also important for organisations to prioritise adaptable user activity policies. This involves regular updates and diligent application of database auditing tools to maintain robust security. Equally important is the real-time auditing of privileged users, a step that provides immediate insights into potential threats and helps safeguard database operations.
“Building a data security strategy requires the right tools and protocols as well as a keen understanding of the threat landscape relevant to the business; however, for organisations with limited resources or in-house expertise, this is easier said than done. An experienced cybersecurity and managed security services provider can offer invaluable support to bridge gaps in knowledge and resources, helping organisations establish and maintain defences, ensure compliance, and adapt to evolving cyber threats.”

Jason Whyte
Jason is responsible for the overall business management of Trustwave in the Pacific. In his 25+ year career in information security, Jason has held senior leadership roles across multiple lines of business serving global enterprises and federal government with teams spanning the globe. He has been responsible for multi-million dollar businesses that have encompassed strategy and innovation, managed security services, professional services, advisory services, and the development of new solution offerings to address market demand for security specific requirements. He has held previous Asia Pacific leadership roles at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Verizon, and more.
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