Why Indian companies should take data protection seriously

Filip Cotfas, Channel Manager, CoSoSys

By Filip Cotfas

India currently is experiencing a ‘data revolution’ for businesses. The economy is moving to become more and more data-driven, rapidly transforming into a ‘digital society.’ Protecting the constantly growing amount of sensitive data has become crucial for all organizations. It doesn’t matter whether you are a start-up or a conglomerate, data security can make or break an organization. A synchronized data security framework throughout the data lifecycle needs to come in place, that aims to prevent sensitive data and confidential information from being stored, used, or transferred securely.

India has always gone through a weak data protection culture and data privacy has been the looming question for some time, but given the current times and the future workflow, below are mentioned the key points that stress the need for data security, irrespective of the size of the business.

The growing amount of Data: With the Internet of Things (IoT), digital marketing, and several online tools, data is collected in real-time by businesses across several digital platforms. With this, the importance of data protection increases, as the amount of data created and stored has continued to grow at unprecedented rates. Data has become one of the most valuable and vulnerable assets of enterprises. Safeguarding it has to be of utmost importance to any organization, given the Covid times, and the also the high risks associated with the failure not just from the business value (loss of public trust and the future of the business) but the unnecessary financial costs, too. Data security stress is an industry pandemic and companies need to shift towards a data-centric approach. Businesses need to employ data security mechanisms of securing networks, applications, and endpoints to identify, control, and secure data.

Rising Cost of Data breaches: Data breaches and leaks are one of the most prevalent cybersecurity issues at the global level. It seems like every day, there is a news break about another big data breach. The rise in data breaches, emphasizes how the security plan was not in place or was fundamentally flawed. Data protection rather than being reactive needs to be proactive, making DLP solutions an even more valuable tool. India in the past, has witnessed the biggest data breaches – Aadhar numbers, the database of medical records as well as financial data (Bank account details leaked online). Data has increasing value, and the costs of breaches are getting higher on a global level, with organizations paying the price for years afterward. DLP products can help organizations in decreasing the risks of data leaks by discovering, monitoring, controlling, and securing sensitive data.

The emergence of BYOD: The emerging economy along with the growing Work From Home culture in the Covid19 period, has increased the BYOD trend for businesses. This growing trend represents a major security concern. As in most cases, employees haven’t tied to an office desktop anymore, and hence lack management of security measures in enabling safe, efficient remote work. The distributed workforce in remote locations often use personal, and potentially less secure devices such as phones, laptops, and other portable devices for their work, making them vulnerable to cyber threats or data leaks. Accidental or intentional data breaches by negligent or disgruntled employees often lead to financial and reputational losses for businesses. BYOD security with complete endpoint monitoring, DLP technologies can prevent employees, third-party vendors, and contractors from intentionally or inadvertently leak data. Sensitive data can be scanned, encrypted, or deleted remotely when found or blocked from being transferred. The right tools to assess security and detect compromise can mitigate the risks.

With the worldwide emergence of data protection laws and regulations, and also India moving towards its legal framework, it is clear that across countries and industries, a greater emphasis is put on safeguarding sensitive information, including Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Intellectual Property (IP).

Businesses tend to manage data security after a security mishap, but it’s better to prepare and prevent than repair and repent.

(The author is Channel Manger, Cososys)


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