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Balancing innovation and security: A strategic approach to data protection

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Data protection

Over the past several years, the upward surge of data breaches has been a persistent trend and there is no sign of it slowing down. In the last year, incidents of unauthorised access and theft of sensitive information have become increasingly prevalent. The repercussions are severe, with data breaches imposing significant financial burdens on businesses, amounting to millions of dollars in damages.

Last November 2023, an incident of data breach in Bank of America occurred where data of tens of thousands of customers has been compromised due to a ransomware attack directed at Infosys McCamish Systems, one of their service providers. Additionally, on 22 January, the Artificial Intelligence startup Anthropic experienced a minor data leak when a contractor working with the company mistakenly sent an email containing “non-sensitive customer information” to an unauthorised third party.

In navigating the intricate landscape of data security, businesses find themselves at a crucial moment where innovation and security must strike a balance. This requires a thoughtful blend of cutting-edge technology, meticulous data management, and collaborative dialogues. Embracing next-generation technologies enhances our grasp on actively used data, allowing businesses to pinpoint vulnerabilities with precision—a cornerstone of robust security measures.

‘’Data tagging emerges as a powerful tool in the arsenal. By implementing data tags, businesses can proactively prevent uncontrolled data sharing, ensuring that sensitive information remains within authorised channels.’’ Darren Humphries, CISO at Acora shared.

“The challenge amplifies when dealing with expansive SaaS applications that inherently share data. In this complex scenario, a process-driven approach proves indispensable. Defined protocols for data sharing and access rights create a structured framework to navigate these intricate waters. Yet, it is not only internal processes that play a role. Consumers, who interact with an extensive web of data, often lack the awareness of data leak sources. Thus, better policing of data brokers becomes essential in curbing the misuse of data in the digital realm. Enhancing the understanding of how data is utilised, both internally and externally, is pivotal. This empowers businesses to develop more effective protective measures and mitigate vulnerabilities proactively.’’

Whilst attaining a perfect solution remains challenging, the conversation around this balance is crucial. To navigate this dynamic landscape, businesses must foster collaborative dialogues between customers and developers, bridging the knowledge gap to identify potential vulnerabilities before they escalate. Acknowledging the dynamic nature of markets, a reactive approach becomes imperative at times, recognising the importance of presenting solutions swiftly to minimise potential damage.

In summary, the path to striking an equilibrium between innovation and security involves the strategic utilisation of cutting-edge technology, rigorous data management, and a collaborative approach that bridges knowledge gaps. This multifaceted strategy not only fortifies businesses against cyber threats but also nurtures an environment conducive to innovation.

Read next: 6 biggest cyberattacks in India in 2023–24; opportunities and recommendations for CISOs by Gartner

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