In the 21st century, the assets the businesses are collecting are often not located in the real world. Instead, they exist solely in the digital sphere. This does not mean that they are any less valuable, and criminals are aware that this is where the true value of companies lie and are doing everything they can to steal what they have. Therefore, you need to ensure that your digital assets are properly protected. Just as you would not leave your offices premises with all of the doors and windows wide open, the same should be true for your digital assets as well. So, here are a few top tips to ensure that your digital assets have the highest level of protection from those who your company harm.
Require and Manage User Authentication
It seems obvious to say it, but your first step is actually requiring user authentication to access important files. This means not having everything readily available without a password and using public Wi-Fi networks all of the time. However, in the modern world, it may not be the case that passwords alone are strong enough. There has been a growing trend towards multi-factor authentication, and this certainly makes sense from a digital asset management – or DAM – point of view.
As well as this, you also need to manage user authentication. This means that you should control the point of access of your digital files, as well as monitoring who can make changes. Not every staff member at your organization needs to have full access to everything at all times, so it is certainly worth establishing who will be on your green list. You may also want to have an amber list as this will give access to some of your important files and not others. Ultimately, there is no point in giving access beyond what is actually needed.
Establish Protection at File-Level
Beyond the general authentication that we discussed in the section just above this one, you should also aim to establish protection at file-level as well. Essentially, this means monitoring who is allowed to change specific types of files. This should be done for any of your important documents that need to have a higher level of protection. This way, even those who have been able to access your general folders will need to go one stage further to get their hands on your key information. Not all of your files may need a high level of protection. Again, you need to establish who is going to be able to have easy access to everything and who does not require clearance at this high level.
If you want to go one stage further than what we have just discussed in the paragraph just above this one, you should consider how important it is that you encrypt files. For example, if you need to move documents from one place to another, it is important that you do so in a manner that offers the maximum level of security.
Record User Activity
If you want to know what is going on with each of your files from a historical point of view, it is certainly worth recording the user activity to find out who has made what changes and when. This way, you will be able to put your finger on any suspicious activity that has occurred along the way, as well as where it is coming from. If you are not entirely sure about something, it is certainly worth doing a bit of digging straight away before it gets to be too late. Tools can be used that do this tracking at a discreet level, allowing you to then pass the information onto developers further down the line, who can then determine what has gone on.
Detect Threats from the Inside
In fact, a huge number of breaches that occur at organizations occur from the inside. If you are aware of this fact, this certainly helps to ensure that you are able to spot any risky behavior before it has actually occurred. Ultimately, having this knowledge can help you anticipate problems, which is what good data management is about in the long run. Audit logs tend to be a great way of weeding out any issues, but they are also quite wide in the net that they cast. Therefore, if you can use a tool that includes behavioral analytics, this can help you to identify the things that do not look right.
Keep Everything Together
If your data is spread far and wide, this means that there are a lot more areas that potential hackers have access to. You should have the ultimate aim of keeping everything from your source code, documents and built accessibles in a single location. While this may seem like you are putting all of your eggs in one basket, which can lead to a higher level of risk, it can actually help to ensure that you are fully on top of where everything is located, and you can protect it all in a single place rather than trying to deal with different strands all the time.
Employ ‘Friendly’ Hackers
The whole point of all of this is that you are protecting your files from hackers, and one of the potential ways that you can identify security breaches is by employing ‘friendly’ hackers. Essentially, they will try to hack into the different areas of your system to see if there are any obvious data breaches that you are overlooking. If there are, you can then take steps to ensure that these are properly closed off and secure from the real threat of being hacked.
Protecting your digital assets is highly important in the modern world of business, and these are some of the steps that you can take to ensure that everything has the highest level of protection. Ultimately, it is worth making the most of all of them to ensure that you are as protected as you possibly can be.