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Five Steps to Protect Critical Data from Insider Threats

Five Steps to Protect Critical Data from Insider Threats

End users’and employees are often referred as the weakest link of cybersecurity. They act as the best defense, when properly trained,otherwise they can be organization’s biggest vulnerable points. Normally, in every organization, employees have access to valuable information. Intentionally or unintentionally leaving out this information may create havoc. This blog explains how to protect critical data from insider threats in five steps.

1) Define

Organizations must take time to understand theirsecurity goals and see where the data fits into these goals. This understanding helps them to design an overall data security program which in turn helps in securing data from intruders. This phase should completely concentrate on assessing the goals and objectives and ensuring suitable policies and standards are in place. Besides, an organization should also make an agreement outlining the impact of data theft and suitable measures taken to protect the critical data.

2) Discover

Realizing where your data is located within an organization is as important as ensuring its safety. Without knowing where the critical data is stored in an organization, implementing robust security features will be of no use. In order to build strong security features, it is essential to understand the data environment. Once the data environment is understood, it should be classifiedunderstructured and unstructured repositories.It helps identifying confidential data stored within those repositories. This end result can be used to prepare a data catalog and taxonomy to manage the findings.Once data is segregated, organizations can easily locate the critical data and build suitable security features to protect that data.

3) Baseline

Baselining is vital to comprehend the effort needed to protect the critical data. Besides, it is crucial to identify the security gaps and vulnerabilities in the system. Without proper assessment, organizations cannot build a robust defense system that protects the data from intruders. Professionals should analyze the current security features of an organization. The outcome of this assessment can then be used to build a security system to protect the critical data.

4) Secure

At this phase, organizations should focus on building technical solutions and deploy them to secure the data. The technical solutions should be designed on the basis of security gaps and vulnerabilities discovered during baseline assessment. Normally, organizations should design a strategy to implement these technical solutions. The outcome of this phase will ensure the critical data is protected from all corners.

5) Monitor

It is a known fact that data is not static. It moves across the organization from one end to other. Besides, everyday new data is created, hence it is important to integrate a process that can monitor the new data and classify it accordingly. Depending upon organization's goals and objectives, a governance process should be established to repeat the data identification and classification process. Besides, developing monitoring checklists and training the staff to manage data ensures the safety of critical data in a long run.


For any organization data theft doesn’t mean the loss of data, it is the loss of reputation, trust and integrity. Hence, integrating a five-step approach plan to protect sensitive data of an organization is highly essential in the current digital era. Added to this, understanding the data environment and updating security features accordingly helps the organizations to protect data from cybercriminals.

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