Essential Tips for Managing Corporate Data

Data is one of the most valuable assets for any business. From financial records and intellectual property to customer profiles and operational metrics, the information companies possess enables effective decision-making, strategic planning, product development, marketing and more. Nevertheless, this corporate data also represents an enticing target for cyber criminals looking to steal trade secrets or hold data for ransom. Properly managing and protecting data proves crucial. 

Identify and Classify Data

The first step is simply knowing what data exists across your IT environment and understanding how sensitive or critical each dataset is to operations. Conduct comprehensive audits to discover all data sources, both structured databases and unstructured files. Then implement a data classification scheme that clearly labels information based on confidentiality levels and compliance requirements. 

Centralize Data Storage

For too many businesses, data becomes fragmented across individual laptops, desktops, file servers and cloud storage as it is created by various teams and departments over time. Managing and securing data becomes more difficult due to its dispersed nature. Whenever possible, consolidate storage into centralized data repositories that IT can properly secure, back up, and apply uniform access controls and protection policies.

Implement Access Controls

Robust identity and access management policies represent a core pillar of data security and privacy. Role-based access ensures only authorized individuals can view or interact with particular datasets required for their job responsibilities, and nothing more. Multi-factor authentication requirements provide an additional verification layer preventing unauthorized access if credentials get compromised. 

Prioritize Server Protection

Beyond just securing data at rest, organizations must also focus on server protection. Advanced server security platforms incorporate web application firewalls, real-time breach detection, vulnerability scanning, and rigorous patching/update protocols. The people at Hillstone Networks say that given the immense value of server-based data assets, ensuring their integrity and availability through comprehensive cybersecurity must be a top priority.

Back Up Data Routinely

Even with robust security controls in place, successful cyberattacks that compromise data can still sometimes happen. That’s why maintaining a comprehensive data backup and recovery strategy is vital. Frequently replicate all data, both on-premises and cloud-based, to separate secure storage that allows reverting to a known good pre-attack state. Offline air-gapped backups provide the ultimate last line of defense against threats like ransomware encryption. 

Destroy Expired Data

While organizations rightly concentrate on protecting important data from outside threats, they often overlook the security risks of retaining old files and records past required retention periods. Excessive data buildup translates to excessive security exposures, as more data means more potential access points for bad actors to target. Enforce data lifecycle management policies that systematically purge useless records when appropriate. 

Monitor for Insider Risks

While external cyber threats deservedly get the most attention, insider risks, including malicious actors, careless employees, contractor mistakes and compromised credentials, pose just as serious a data security threat from within an organization. Deploy comprehensive data loss prevention tools that can detect and alert on any unusual data movement, improper access attempts or suspicious user behaviors before they escalate into full-blown incidents.

Provide Security Awareness Training  

Technology alone cannot fully defend against data breaches and theft when human error ends up being the root cause of many incidents. Employees across all levels need thorough, ongoing security awareness training covering data handling best practices, detection of social engineering attacks, reporting procedures and enforcement of disciplinary consequences for violations. 


Safeguarding data privacy and integrity is of paramount importance for all types of organizations. Combining the right processes, technology investments and personnel education around modern data management techniques means companies can minimize risks while maximizing the immense potential value contained within corporate data assets.

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