The increased use of the world wide web has been supported by smartphone penetration and high-speed internet services. It has also seen increased data breaches at some of the world’s most prominent business houses. The data breaches bring with them high costs too. The average cost of a data breach was around US$ 3.86 million in 2020.
There have been severe data breaches at some renowned brands that have led to the enhancement of cybersecurity procedures across organizations globally. The global cybersecurity market was valued at US$ 162.5 billion and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 12.5% and reach US$ 418.3 billion by 2028. Businesses are increasingly imbibing data security protection protocols across their operations to thwart any cyberattack. This article will discuss some of the top data security protocols and how to ensure data integrity.
Understanding the importance of data security
1: Protects your data assets
If you are storing customer data, you must take the necessary steps to protect it. Moreover, businesses store information about their operations as well. You must protect this information by all means and prevent it from falling into the hands of hackers.
2: Ensure data integrity
Organizations refer to the vast amount of data at their disposal to excel in their business. Reliable data can help your senior management make vital decisions for business growth. Organizations must take adequate steps to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the data at their disposal.
3: Protects your reputation
Your customers trust your brand by visiting your website and providing their demographics, user credentials, or even financial information. With an imminent threat of data breach, you must ensure proper data security protection protocols are in place.
1: Web-Security protocols
Your website is your medium of communication with your audience. It is essential to take adequate steps to protect your website from attacks.
1: Keep the applications updated.
All your applications must be updated to the latest version. It will help to plug any vulnerabilities that may be present in the earlier versions. You must set alerts that will ensure you update the applications, including the CMS, plug-ins, themes, etc. It will prevent any automated attacks that hackers can launch against your website.
2: Strong password management
When creating passwords, you must utilize global password best practices and use random ones. The use of strong passwords can prevent brute force attacks and protect your website. A strong password can also prevent password-guessing algorithms from breaking into your website. Using a password manager can also help you by suggesting a strong password and storing your passwords.
3: Using SSL certificate
You must shift your website to an HTTPS platform to ensure the security of your website. An SSL certificate will encrypt the communication between the web server and the visitor’s browser. It will prevent any unauthorized third party from having access to the secure information. Businesses can choose a cheap SSL certificate from among the renowned Certificate Authorities (CA).
4: Taking proper backups
The IT team must have a backup policy in place and take regular backups of the website. If anything goes wrong, it will help them keep the website up and running quickly. The backup must be done automatically at definite intervals. The backup must be stored at another location while ensuring that they can come in handy in any unfortunate event.
2: Email infrastructure security protocols
The email infrastructure involves exchanging critical information and must include data security protection protocols to safeguard the information. We will discuss how to ensure the data integrity of your email infrastructure.
1: Sender Policy Framework
This authentication protocol protects against domain spoofing. It does an additional security check by allowing the web server to confirm whether an email originated from the domain or any hacker is masking the identity. It defines how the authorization can be verified. The domain owners can also announce the IP addresses that can send emails on the domain’s behalf.
2: DomainKeys Identified Mail
The DKIM protocol strives to ensure the security of your email. Using it, the entity owning the signing domain can link itself with a digital signature to validate the entity. The digital signature is used to check if the domain sent the email and whether it authorized the email’s sending.
3: The use of DMARC
Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (or DMARC) can validate the DKIM and SPF standards and prevent any malicious activity originating from a domain. It can avoid spoof of the “header from” address. It informs the email provider about how to handle any incoming emails. If an email fails the DKIM validation and the SPF check, they are rejected.
4: Encryption with S/MIME
This protocol encrypts the content of the email messages before they are sent out. The headers are not changed, and only the designated recipient can decrypt the email. It requires a digital certificate, and most email clients support this protocol.
3: Mobile App Security Protocols
Security for mobile apps is essential to ensure the continued brand image you enjoy. The proliferation of mobile apps has made it an easy target for hackers. You may adhere to some of the data security protection protocols for mobile apps.
1: The App Sandbox
The mobile apps are run in a secure environment called the sandbox. They are a set of fine controls that limit access to the file system, hardware, etc. Developers must keep in mind that they must not request additional privileges than what is needed by them.
2: Certificate Pinning
This procedure helps applications prevent any man-in-the-middle attacks. The developer can use this mechanism to specify the trusted certificates that can validate the identity of the devices on the network. The certificates specified by the app are the only ones that are trusted.
3: Use agile code
You must remember to keep the app secure throughout the development process. The stored data and the server communication must be secured. A VPN tunnel can be the ideal option, while encryption is the better option for you. Developers must also be cautious when using third-party libraries. Moreover, they must only use authorized APIs.
4: Use code signing certificates
Developers must sign the code using code signing certificates to prevent hackers from making unwanted changes in the application. When you sign and encrypt the code using this certificate, the operating system will not proceed with the download unless it checks the existence of a code signing certificate. The user can be assured that the code is authentic and has not been tampered with.
4: Network Security protocols
These protocols are in place to prevent any malicious access to the network data. These protocols must ensure data integrity over networks.
It validates the service requests between trusted hosts across an untrusted network. It uses a cryptography mechanism that can prevent packets from being transferred over the web from being altered.
2: The use of VPNs
VPNs are being increasingly used to provide a safe way to surf the internet and help in data security. It also keeps you anonymous and remains unknown to the host site. You are protected from cyberattacks, and it breaks geo-restrictions too. All critical files that are shared are secure through end-to-end encryption.
This protocol helps to control operations and provides security through privacy and authentication. It offers varying levels of security based on the user who is accessing the information. The framework is formulated in such a manner that several models can be supported concurrently.
5: Security Protocols for Wireless Networks
While wireless networks are becoming common around us, they pose a significant risk to data security. These networks increase efficiency and flexibility in communication.
1: Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
It is a security algorithm that ensures the confidentiality of data over wireless networks. The protocol uses two shared keys, viz.
- The unicast session key secures the unicast traffic.
- The multicast key secures broadcast traffic between all wireless clients and a single wireless AP.
The protocol is vulnerable to cyberattacks and has led to the development of other protocols.
2: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
The WPA was introduced as a replacement for the WEP and had discrete modes for business or personal use. The personal mode uses pre-shared keys that can help to manage the network better. On the other hand, the business model requires an admin to validate a device before accessing the network. The protocol uses 256-bit keys.
3: Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)
It replaces WPA and is known to be a secure network protocol for wireless networks. It also provides for personal and business modes. This protocol allows seamless roaming across access points without the need to authenticate user access repeatedly. It improves efficiency as data can be transferred seamlessly without the need for additional steps for authentication.
As we use different data services, the risk of a data breach increases manifold. We must ensure adequate data security protection protocols to prevent a data breach. But you must also be aware of such security protocols. We have discussed how to ensure data integrity and some of the security protocols in place. Adhering to them becomes a necessity to mitigate the risks of data exposure.