Information security issues are a concern to any organization. However, the importance of data security is even further underlined by the laws regulating specific sectors of the economy. In general, sectors like health, banking, and security are required by their operations to be more vigilant on organization and client data security.
Regardless of your area of operation, though, information security issues are paramount. That said, given the broad nature of cybersecurity, you may not be sure of where to start in securing your data.
In this article, we will look at what is the first step in information security to help you ensure you are on course in securing your data—and your business.
What Is Information Security?
Information security entails safeguarding the hardware, software, and data in an information system. These things must be protected from any access by unauthorized users and from being used for unintended purposes.
Since the advent of industrialization, data has become significant to almost every business organization. Consequently, the organizations have invested in securing it. Despite efforts to protect personal and business information, however, information security issues continue to crop up each day. You should, therefore, ensure you are not caught unawares by any security threats.
If you are not in the information technology industry, keeping track of the trends in cybersecurity might be a challenge. You may need to outsource data security needs to IT services providers to ensure round-the-clock protection.
Hiring organizations that offer IT solutions to businesses mitigates the risks of cyberattacks and ensures compliance with regulations in the industry. IT services provide you with a comprehensive plan for your information security and ensure you conform to any legal changes in your area of operation.
What Is the First Step in Information Security?
The first step in securing your information is understanding your business. Building a concise definition of your business and its mode of operation will help you identify the threats and the applicable laws in the industry. After that, you can develop a comprehensive data security plan that guides you in managing existing and emerging information security issues.
Although most cybersecurity issues are universal, attackers will take advantage of specific weaknesses in your business. Note that threats to your information can come from your competitors, cybercriminals, or malicious hackers who are out to test their prowess. Understanding your business will help you know your competitors and the value of the data in your possession.
Important Considerations When Securing Your Business
Information Security Threats in Healthcare
If your business is in the healthcare sector, data in your information system is at high risk. Healthcare providers use EHR systems to maintain patient records, which are then shared with other healthcare providers involved in improving the quality of care to the patient. Data from the patient usually includes financial information and other personal details, and the fact that almost every person visits a healthcare facility and their vital information is captured under their name makes hospital data highly valued by cybercriminals.
If you are aware of this threat, you will look for an IT solutions provider that guarantees security for patient data. IT services in Little Rock include the identification of information threats in your business and the development of a comprehensive security plan. However, it is good to have an idea of what else you may want to supplement your information security.
General Legal Requirements
Understanding the nature or classification of your business helps you to comply with all the legal requirements governing the industry. Some regulations, however, apply to all business organizations operating in a specific region. In the European Union, for instance, businesses are required to comply with regulations such as the ISO/IEC 27001 information security management standard, Personal Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679, and cyber-security directive (EU) 2016/1148.
The US is also strict on data protection, and new regulations are in the development phase in several states. These regulations will impose stiffer fines on business organizations that do not have a data protection policy. Complying with such regulations might be difficult if you do not understand your business and all its operations.
Some regulations are industry-specific and should be complied with regardless of the size of your operation. One such regulation is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which applies to all healthcare organizations in the US.
If you are in the finance sector, you will have to comply with all the regulations in that industry. Some industry-specific regulations for the finance sector include the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the 23 NYCRR 500 cybersecurity regulations in New York.
Having a clear understanding of your business also helps you plan how to secure your hardware without interfering with its operations. A good example is using a desktop computer at the front desk instead of a tablet, as criminals may take advantage of the frequently visited area to steal any portable devices.
Furthermore, if you are in a business that handles sensitive data, you should limit the movement of your electronic devices. Then, you should secure the data in your information systems using passwords and a two-factor authentication requirement. Together, these ensure that only authorized persons in an office can access data stored in the information systems.
Scale Can Help
If you are still wondering, “What is the first step in information security?”, Scale Technology can help. With our guidance, you’ll better understand your business, data threats, and the regulations that govern your industry.
At Scale, we recommend that you get to the bottom of what you do and the industry you operate in before developing an information security plan. We offer IT services in Little Rock, and we will help you at any stage of your information technology needs.
Contact us online today or call 501-213-3298 to speak to an expert!