Data security is the practice of protecting digital information from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft throughout its entire lifecycle. It’s a concept that encompasses every aspect of information security from the physical security of hardware and storage devices to administrative and access controls, as well as the logical security of software applications. It also includes organizational policies and procedures.
When properly implemented, robust data security strategies will protect an organization’s information assets against cybercriminal activities, but they also guard against insider threats and human error, which remains among the leading causes of data breaches today. Data security involves deploying tools and technologies that enhance the organization’s visibility into where its critical data resides and how it is used. Ideally, these tools should be able to apply protections like encryption, data masking, and redaction of sensitive files, and should automate reporting to streamline audits and adhering to regulatory requirements.