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Data is your most valuable asset as it offers insight for making better decisions and can help you establish stronger relationships with your customers and partners. It can also be a risk if you fail to take the proper precautions to safeguard it.

Companies could lose millions of dollars due to data breaches. They can also affect the brand value, erode confidence and result in sanctions from regulatory agencies. While data breaches are inevitable, there are things you can do to reduce the risk and safeguard your data from cybercriminals.

1. Authorize and authenticate users to authenticate and authorize.

Data security requires a strong authentication and authorization process to ensure that only authorized users have access to your information. This can be accomplished by requiring two or more forms are used to access your data, for example an account that the user has (passwords and tokens) or something that he or has (electronics and other devices), or something they actually have (biometrics like fingerprints and face recognition).

2. Secure everything

Classified data is the most sensitive data and its disclosure without authorization can have the most severe negative consequences for your company and/or the individuals affected. To protect classified data, it must be secured in all times and protected with a decryption key which is only accessible to authorized personnel. Your team should regularly review classifications and develop a policy to manage encryption keys to protect them from being compromised.

3. Reduce non-essential data access.

Most employees don’t require full access to the information of your company. This can help reduce the likelihood for a security breach by cutting down the number of points of entry for potential threats. It’s beneficial to limit access to the minimum amount of data needed for the job, and also to use user ID-based protocols for limiting access to information even if usernames and passwords are stolen.