Protecting Your Data with a DRA: Safeguarding What Matters Most

Nov 19, 2021

In today’s digital landscape, the value of your data cannot be overstated. It’s a magnet for scammers and thieves who are constantly on the lookout for vulnerabilities to exploit. The question isn’t whether your data is at risk – it’s about how effectively you’ve fortified your defenses. Now is the time to assess the level of risk your organization faces; waiting until after a breach is simply not an option.

What is a Data Risk Assessment?

Enter the Data Risk Assessment (DRA), a pivotal process that you and your trusted IT provider can undertake to gauge the security of your sensitive information. While the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation provides guidelines , the specifics of how to conduct such an assessment are often less clear. Nevertheless, integrating a DRA into your IT security protocols and performing it routinely is essential. As the tactics of scammers, thieves, and hackers evolve, your preemptive measures must evolve in tandem.

What Are the Steps for a DRA?

Remember that even if there aren’t laws about certain aspects of your data security, it’s in your best interests to ensure the information you’re responsible for is safe. Your clients, customers, and employees rely on you to keep personal information from leaking.

1. Identify Possible Threats

Just as you invest time and effort into understanding your ideal customers, the same scrutiny should be applied to potential threat actors eyeing your data. Who might be interested in what you possess? How could they manipulate stolen data? Are there employees vulnerable to social engineering or even internal threats? An insightful examination of these questions sets the foundation for effective risk management.

2. Identify Vulnerabilities

Once you’ve pinpointed potential threats, it’s crucial to locate their entry points. Unsecured networks, outdated software, unencrypted data – these are all chinks in your armor. Neglected physical storage mediums and lax training methods can also expose you to risk. Remember, even aspects without explicit legal mandates demand your attention for the sake of your clients, customers, and employees.

3. Categorize Data By Risk

Now that you know who might breach your defenses and how they could do it, it’s time to categorize your data by risk level. Different types of information warrant varying degrees of protection. While your stash of corporate mascot ideas might not be a prime target, files housing personal identification or financial details are gold mines for thieves. Be meticulous in tracing every digital and physical location where crucial data resides.

4. Make a Plan

A well-structured plan is the cornerstone of effective data security. Collaborate with your IT department and relevant department heads to create a chain of command and implement appropriate layers of protection. Physical locks, rigorous protocols, and cross-departmental input – all are vital. The plan’s scope should encompass various concerns, ensuring no stone is left unturned. Put your strategy in writing, establish timelines, and provide consistent staff training.

5. Document Progress and Results

The efficacy of your security strategy lies in its outcomes. As you roll out new protective measures, document any changes in the threat landscape and the impact of your countermeasures. Should you encounter successful breaches, treat them as valuable lessons, prompting a review of your protocols and a reinforcement of your defenses.

Safeguarding Your Data with Expertise

Take control of your data with Secure Enterprise Asset Management (SEAM). Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, SEAM specializes in secure data destruction, equipment recycling, and remarketing. As the only ceritifed vendor in the area, they offer the peace of mind you need in safeguarding your valuable information. Contact SEAM today to learn how they can help you securely destroy and protect your data.

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