In today’s world, cyber threats are more prevalent than ever. It’s important to know the risks associated with unsecured information. But how should you keep your information safe and out of reach of potential threats? Keep reading to find out more about data security and its best practices.

What is Data Security?

Data security involves protecting digital information from tampering, theft, or unauthorized access. It includes hardware, software, storage devices, user devices, access controls, administrative controls, and policies and procedures used by organizations.

This security measure is important to protect your company’s vital materials. It defends against outside dangers like hackers and cybercriminals, as well as inside dangers like accidental mistakes or intentional harm. 

How is Data Security Different From Cybersecurity?

While Data Security and Cybersecurity are similar ideas, they are ultimately different in the object they protect. Data security focuses solely on digital information within an organization. 

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting and recovering computer systems, networks, mobile devices and programs from multiple types of cyberattacks. Cybersecurity is one part of data security but it’s not the entirety.


Fortinet identifies several main risks for data security. These risks include Accidental Exposure, Phishing Attacks, Insider Threats, Malware, Ransomware, and Cloud Storage.

Accidental Data Exposure occurs when sensitive information is unknowingly and not maliciously exposed through error or accident. In fact, a Stanford University Study concluded that about 88% of data breaches are from employee error. 

Phishing attacks happen when someone sends a message, often with a link, via email or social media. The goal is to deceive you into sharing your personal information with unauthorized individuals.  

Insider threats can be accidental or intentional actions that expose important information to unauthorized individuals. 

Ransomware locks people out of their systems and demands money to give their information back, using encryption technology. 

Cloud attacks are simply cyber attacks specifically on a business’ cloud system. This allows hackers to access all information stored in one convenient place. In fact, Aqua Security states the 10 types of cloud attacks:

  • Denial-of-service attacks
  • Account hijacking
  • User account compromise
  • Cloud malware injection hacks
  • Insider threats
  • Side-channel attacks
  • Cookie poisoning
  • Security misconfiguration
  • Insecure APIs
  • Cloud crypto mining


Malware is harmful software that can be installed on a computer through various means like emails, apps, websites, or files. It is not a virus, but instead, software meant to harm and destroy your sensitive information. 

An average data breach in the United States cost around $8 Million according to Imperva. Having a security plan is important to mitigate those risks and keep your sensitive information safe.

Technology Strategies 

There are many different strategies used to protect and secure your private information. This includes access control, encryption, data masking and erasure, backup, and password hygiene.

Access Control simply involves which devices and employees have access to what information. This helps keep valuable information to only the people who need it. 

Encryption transforms text into an unreadable format using an algorithm and scrambles data, allowing only authorized users to read it.

Data masking shows certain parts of information for specific business uses while hiding or protecting other aspects.

Data Erasure is the process of erasing futile or out-of-date information. 

Backup means creating multiple copies or versions of documents and files in case someone hacks your information.

Password hygiene means regularly updating and cleaning passwords to protect your accounts from potential dangers.

Data security is an important part of keeping your business safe. A breach could result in significant loss to the company. Not sure where to start?

Advanced Office Systems offers IT Solutions for all areas of your business. Reach out to us today to set up a free IT assessment!