Protecting data is always a top priority of any cyber security effort. What’s less obvious — but just as important — is knowing when to get rid of data when it ages.
As you work toward protecting your data, remember that building better walls only helps to keep new threats out. You still must address data that already has been compromised in your systems. Some industry experts say risk management programs don’t give the issue enough attention.
Speaking at an April 14 panel hosted by FedScoop, David Tillman, Director of Cyber Security for the Department of the Navy, claimed that organizations need to begin measuring the toxicity of their data as it ages. Failure to set expiration dates for data, Tillman suggested, significantly increases security risks, as this data has existed under cyber security conditions that have since become outdated.
If you haven’t considered data toxicity in your cyber security management, here are five tips for getting a handle on the issue:
- Assess malware threats: Just because you haven’t experienced a malware incident doesn’t mean your data is free of infection. Malware can lurk in your system for a very long time before a problem surfaces, and if you have data stored that should be expired, it’s important to look for any infections that may be lurking.
- Perform a risk assessment: An experienced cyber security partner can look at your whole network, including the data it houses, to define the risks and recommend measures to resolve them.
- Stay current in your security initiatives: If you are lagging in your security enhancements, your data will be at increased risk for a longer period of time. The situation may seem “no harm no foul” if you’ve avoided a breach, even though your security has been outdated. But again, compromised data may be lying in wait and could strike at a later time.
- Tighten up your cyber security governance: Your data lifecycle management and your overall security enhancement processes are critical for minimizing toxic data. If you are behind on these efforts, it may be time to consider your governance and planning processes.
- Train your teams: Your employees have a large responsibility in protecting your data. If your organization hasn’t been providing the instruction they need to get the job done, you are more likely to find yourself with compromised data — even if it hasn’t caused an issue.
The cyber security experts at Lunarline can help you resolve the problem of toxic data. To learn about the services we provide, contact us online today!