As we reflect on 2023, a year marked by a surge in cyber attacks, we are reminded of the critical importance of prioritizing data security. Widespread breaches in various industries, such as the significant AT&T data breach impacting 9 million users, have highlighted vulnerabilities and led to both financial losses and damage to reputations. In response, regulatory bodies have imposed strict penalties for non-compliance, emphasizing the importance of aligning security practices with industry-specific regulations.
According to data from enforcementtracker.com, approximately €1.6 billion in fines have been imposed only in the first six months of 2023, due to violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In that short period of time, more fines were incurred than in 2019, 2020 and 2021 combined...
Entering 2024, the dynamic threat landscape demands a proactive approach. Technology's rapid advancement and cybercriminals' adaptability require organizations to stay ahead. The importance of bolstering data security cannot be overstated, given potential legal consequences, reputational risks, and disruptions to business operations that a data breach can cause.
The data security resolutions for 2024 outlined below serve as a guide to fortify defenses effectively. Compliance with regulations, reducing attack surfaces, governing data access, safeguarding AI models, and ensuring data catalog integrity are crucial steps. Adopting these resolutions enables organizations to navigate the complexities of data security, mitigating risks and proactively addressing the evolving threat landscape.
Adhere to data security and compliance regulations such as GDPR, PCI-DSS, CCPA, etc.
The first data security resolution you should keep in mind is aligning your data security practices with industry-specific data regulations and standards. Data protection regulatory requirements are becoming more stringent (for example, note the recent SEC requirement of public US companies for notification within 4 days of a material breach). Penalties for non compliance are also increasing.
With explosive growth of cloud data it is incumbent upon regulated organizations to facilitate effective data security controls and to while keeping pace with the dynamic business climate. One way to achieve this is through adopting Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) which automates cloud-native discovery and classification, improving accuracy and reporting timeliness. Sentra supports more than a dozen leading frameworks, for policy enforcement and streamlined reporting.
Reduce attack surface by protecting shadow data and enforcing data lifecycle policies (and save storage costs as a bi-product)
As cloud adoption accelerates, data proliferates. This data sprawl, also known as shadow data, brings with it new risks and exposures. When a developer moves a copy of the production database into a lower environment for testing purposes, do all the same security controls and usage policies travel with it? Likely not.
Organizations must institute security controls that stay with the data - no matter where it goes. Additionally, automating redundant, trivial, obsolete (ROT) data policies can offload the arduous task of ‘policing’ data security, ensuring data remains protected at all times and allowing the business to innovate safely. This has an added bonus of avoiding unnecessary data storage expenditure.
Implement least privilege access for sensitive data
Organizations can reduce their attack surface by limiting access to sensitive information. This applies equally to users, applications, and machines (identities). Data Access Governance (DAG) offers a way to implement policies that alert on and can enforce least privilege data access automatically. This has become increasingly important as companies build cloud-native applications, with complex supply chain / ecosystem partners, to improve customer experience. DAG often works in concert with IAM systems, providing added context regarding data sensitivity to better inform access decisions. DAG is also useful if a breach occurs - allowing responders to rapidly determine the full impact and reach (blast radius) of an exposure event to more quickly contain damages.
Protect Large Language Models (LLMs) training by detecting security risks
AI holds immense potential to transform our world, but its development and deployment must be accompanied by a steadfast commitment to data integrity and privacy. Protecting the integrity and privacy of data in Large Language Models (LLMs) is essential for building responsible and ethical AI applications. By implementing data protection best practices, organizations can mitigate the risks associated with data leakage, unauthorized access, and bias/data corruption. Sentra's Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) solution provides a comprehensive approach to data security and privacy, enabling organizations to develop and deploy LLMs with speed and confidence.
Ensure the integrity of your data catalogs
Enrich data catalog accuracy for improved governance with Sentra's classification labels and automatic discovery. Companies with data catalogs (from leading providers such as Alation, Collibra, Atlan) and data catalog initiatives struggle to keep pace with the rapid movement of their data to the cloud and the dynamic nature of cloud data and data stores. DSPM automates the discovery and classification process - and can do so at immense scale - so that organizations can accurately know at any time what data they have, where it is located, and what its security posture is. DSPM also provides usage context (owner, top users, access frequency, etc.) that enables validation of information in data catalogs, ensuring they remain current, accurate, and trustworthy as the authoritative source for their organization. This empowers organizations to maintain security and ensure the proper utilization of their most valuable asset—data!
How Sentra’s DSPM can help achieve your 2024 data security resolutions
By embracing these resolutions, organizations can gain a holistic framework to fortify their data security posture. This approach emphasizes understanding, implementing, and adapting these resolutions as practical steps toward resilience in the face of an ever-evolving threat landscape.
Staying committed to these data security resolutions can be challenging, as nearly 80% of individuals tend to abandon their New Year’s resolutions by February. However, having Sentra’s Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) by your side in 2024 ensures that adhering to these data security resolutions and refining your organization's data security strategy becomes guaranteed.
To learn more, schedule a demo with one of our experts.