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Data security: what exactly are we talking about?

securite-donneesIT Security issues seem to have become a real subject of mythology in the digital world. Popular hearsay and the actual reality that has been explained by experts have become intermixed to create a confusion of gossip and rumour. So we ask ourselves what exactly are we talking about when we talk about data security?

Much like the highway code which tells us about the different safety hazards of the roads and how we should behave on them: going straight on until you see a sign telling you to turn, but of course respecting the stop and give-way signs, red lights, etc., while you don’t take the time to carefully look at the possible security risks your data faces, on a purely pragmatic level, you can end up just carrying on as always. And that isn’t enough.

Data security: What does it mean for you?

When you hear the words ‘data security’, what do you think of? The confidentiality of the data? Or the loss of data? Two things that don’t really have anything to do with each other on a practical level, but which can actually complement each other rather well.

If your first thought is confidentiality, do you think about the dangers presented by someone outside the company? Or by competitors and marketing agencies? Or even the confidentiality of data between employees. Or the precious data stored in the accounting and finance, human resources, marketing or research and development departments? Or do you think about all those old hard disks that were thrown out after a quick formatting? And do we even consider the betrayal of a colleague?

And if your first thought is losing data, do you consider the loss of the data which would actually result in a temporary or permanent halt in operations? And, regardless of whether or not this data is from the accounting department, how much is this loss of data going to cost you?

And how did this loss occur? A virus in the system? Or perhaps a badly-configured back-up? And how many back-ups are there? Do you have a local back-up or with a cloud service? Is this misfortune the result of a malicious act by a third party outside the company, or even by someone within? Or is it due to a simply error in the virtual system, or even something as simple as updating software without performing a back-up beforehand?

And perhaps you are led to believe, by the numerous rumours that exist, that it is in fact the cloud that is the cause of your confidentiality problem or loss of data. Or is it in fact that you haven’t taken the time to choose the best service for you and also ensure that you always have another back-up in another location, whether it be in a cloud or not.

And so those age old proverbs prove that they are indeed timeless with their good advice to help us live peacefully: don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

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