Importance of Data Security in 2023

July 12, 2023

The importance of data security in 2023 remains crucial. Given the rise of new threats, it’s essential to comprehend how data security is evolving. With that in mind, this year’s article outlines the top trends to watch out for in 2023 and beyond.

China’s stringent data privacy regulations have many multinational organizations scrambling to comply or reorganize. Furthermore, several countries are considering data protection laws with geopolitical implications while safeguarding intellectual property is another pressing concern.

The rise of cyber-physical systems

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are creating new challenges and risks to data security. CPS are being integrated into everything from cars to building control and medical devices, furthering the reach of the Internet of Things (IoT). CPS are playing an increasingly significant role in critical infrastructure, government operations and everyday life alike.

These systems are vulnerable to attacks due to their open architecture, dependence on wireless connections and algorithmic autonomy, providing attackers with multiple exploitable vectors to disrupt operations. Having visibility into all your cyber-physical assets gives you a competitive advantage in detecting an adversary early and taking steps to mitigate their effects.

It is essential to recognize that, due to their increased complexity and lack of human involvement, many systems have not been designed with cybersecurity in mind. To effectively safeguard them in the long run requires careful engineering and an effective protection strategy.

To combat this challenge, we’ve developed the Claroty Platform: a reliable and trusted technology that covers IT, OT and product security. Driven by deep domain expertise of physical systems and workflows, it provides comprehensive visibility with full-spectrum risk and vulnerability management, threat detection and secure remote access controls.

Our solutions provide comprehensive protection for businesses and employees against cybersecurity threats, eliminating the potential for outages or downtime due to a breach or data loss. Our solutions work seamlessly within an organization’s existing technology stack to safeguard smart buildings, industrial control systems and medical devices from attack.

Additionally, our cyber-physical security team is working closely with the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to create the UK’s first national framework for CPS. This initiative will foster true innovation within this space and safeguard Britain’s global leadership in cyber-physical systems.

The cloud’s vulnerability

The cloud is a network of remote servers that can be connected and used for running applications, storing data, or providing content or services such as streaming videos, web mail, office productivity software, social media management – and much more online. All files stored on the cloud are accessible from any Internet-capable device.

Therefore, it’s essential to ensure your data remains secure and only accessible by those with the appropriate access. You can do this by selecting a cloud provider who uses encryption technology for protection against hackers.

A reliable cloud provider should also offer a security framework that empowers organizations to manage and protect their data. This includes creating policies that restrict user access, monitoring data flows, and tracking security breaches.

Additionally, security controls should be designed with the user in mind to provide frictionless protection without impeding business operations. The best providers will utilize cloud-native security tools that are integrated into their service, making it simpler for users to adhere to policies.

Particularly, organizations utilizing cloud applications within an automated Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) environment should ensure their security policies are integrated into these tools and deployed during the development cycle.

Companies can avoid many security gaps in their cloud environments that are difficult to detect and patch. Furthermore, this helps them demonstrate compliance with data protection and privacy regulations and laws such as GDPR in Europe or HIPAA in the US.

Stolen API keys

One of the most common methods for attackers to access critical infrastructure is by stealing API keys and other tokens, particularly with cloud IaaS services that often grant access to sensitive information or data. This vulnerability makes cloud IaaS services particularly vulnerable.

Thus, it is essential to store these tokens securely and regularly rotate or regenerate them. Doing this will help guarantee they are no longer in use by unauthorized parties.

Cryptocurrency exchanges have also been found to be vulnerable to stolen API keys, which criminals can use to trade on their victims’ accounts through various techniques like “sell wall” buyouts and price boosting.

Sell wall buyouts are a method in which criminals use stolen API keys to purchase low-cap coins at artificially reduced prices and then resell them back to the victim at exortionate prices. This can cause an exponential rise in the value of stolen cryptocurrency, yielding large profits for those involved.

To prevent this, it is imperative that exchange users adhere to safe crypto trading practices such as avoiding phishing attacks and employing multi-factor authentication. Furthermore, you should store your private keys on a secure dedicated machine which is not connected to any public networks or used for anything other than cryptocurrency trading.

3Commas, a service that allows users to set up automated trading bots on cryptocurrency exchanges, recently reported losing $22 million due to a stolen API key. As such, some customers demanded refunds from the company; however 3Commas CEO Yuriy Sorokin insisted that this loss was caused by phishing attacks rather than security breaches.

Zero-trust strategies

Zero Trust strategies are an integral component of organizations looking to strengthen data security. They use identity and access control techniques to create new boundaries around data, ensuring only authorized personnel have access at all times.

For instance, a user wishing to access a file must first be authenticated and authorized to do so. This implies they possess access to a password, unique token, as well as various identity and security controls.

Once verified, they can utilize the access granted them to get the data needed.

Implementing a zero-trust strategy is complex and requires the approval of key stakeholders across an enterprise. To guarantee successful execution, it will take some time to make sure all teams are on board with the transformation and all necessary resources are put in place for its successful execution.

Due to this, some businesses experience difficulty with implementation and scaling. To combat this issue, teams can begin by conducting trials and scaling slowly so they’re confident in their capability to successfully utilize the technology and acquire necessary expertise.

Once implementation is complete, it’s essential to monitor and sustain it. Doing this will guarantee your Zero Trust strategy remains successful and allows for rapid responses when faced with threats.

Zero Trust is an ideal solution for organizations looking to strengthen their defenses against insider attacks and data breaches. It also helps relieve IT teams of some of their workload by providing them with security management across their entire digital estate, rather than just individual applications. This approach is scalable, ensuring organizations protect data and resources regardless of where it’s stored or who uses them.

Data-driven intelligence

Data is the driving force behind the fourth industrial revolution, a cultural and economic transformation that is already altering how people work, live, and think. Additionally, it offers access to an endless supply of new goods, efficiencies, and possibilities.

Data intelligence has become essential in today’s digital world, serving many industries such as finance, healthcare, insurance, cybersecurity and public services. Companies use it to make data-driven decisions which improve services, solve issues and predict project outcomes.

Data-driven organizations provide their employees with a centralized source of reliable, accurate information. This improves communication, morale and organizational cohesion. Employees are empowered to make fact-based decisions and perceive results that give them increased assurance in their job performance.

Additionally, data-driven organizations enjoy increased operational efficiency and cost savings. They can quickly assess their progress, test new strategies, and adjust accordingly in order to stay competitive.

To truly become data-driven, an organization must comprehend its culture and design a framework to promote data-driven decision making throughout the business. This includes having one centralized source of reliable data that clearly explains how and where to find it, an effective training program, and established standards for using data effectively and when.

Implementing a data-driven culture can present its share of challenges, but the effort pays off. It is an essential step in the digital transformation of any business and can lead to increased productivity, improved staff engagement and loyalty as well as tangible improvements in profitability. However, creating such an environment requires time and deliberate investment in policies, processes and procedures.

Ammar Fakhruddin

ABOUT AUTHOR

Ammar brings in 18 years of experience in strategic solutions and product development in Public Sector, Oil & Gas and Healthcare organizations. He loves solving complex real world business and data problems by bringing in leading-edge solutions that are cost effective, improve customer and employee experience. At Propelex he focuses on helping businesses achieve digital excellence using Smart Data & Cybersecurity solutions.


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