What is data security and 6 ways to keep your data safe

Sara Ana Cemazar
September 14, 2021
min read

Ultimate data security is the goal of many companies today. One of the most important goals of IT departments is to keep data secure at all times. However, with advancements in technology, data security is becoming more complex.

⚿ Follow this article to find out why it’s crucial to ensure data security in your organization – and how you can do that. Before you start, get our list of most important features to look for in a secure business communication platform.

What is data security and why it matters

Data security is the term used to describe multiple methods of safeguarding digital assets, and protecting them from unauthorized use, corruption, or theft. It encompasses company policies, physical security of premises, and digital methods of data protection.

Data security got a new dimension of importance with the implementation of GDPR and other data privacy regulations. It is now more crucial than ever to ensure customer data stays protected due to large fines issued by regulatory bodies.

Moreover, customers are more conscious of the importance of data privacy, and they are not willing to purchase products or services from companies with poor data privacy reputation.

However, it is becoming increasingly challenging to secure data at all times. Organizations are adopting hybrid work models, which makes data more vulnerable. For example, ransomware attacks have risen by 62% worldwide between 2019 and 2020. Also, most data breaches happen unintentionally, with some research reporting up to 90% of them happen through human error.

data security

Because of all these issues, it is becoming not only more challenging, but also more expensive to ensure data security. However, considering the cost of privacy regulatory fines and cybersecurity breaches, companies are gradually investing more into securing business critical data.

Data security is everybody’s responsibility

Traditionally, data security has been the responsibility of IT departments. Today, the IT department still carries the most accountability for keeping data safe – but in a sense, data security is everybody’s responsibility.

What do we mean by that? Well, since phishing attacks and cybersecurity breaches are on the rise, all employees must be aware of how their actions affect organizational data security. Experts talk about moving from a ‘trust but verify’ mentality to ‘verify then trust’ alternative when it comes to their own employees’ actions.

Moreover, moving towards remote and hybrid work models increases security vulnerabilities. Therefore, leaders must initiate the change in policies and communicate the new procedures from top to bottom.

Data security types

Broadly speaking, there are three types of data security. First one is management security, which represents the overall design of administrative controls. Second one, operational security, consists of technical controls such as access control, authentication, and more. Thirdly, we have physical security which ensures protection from physical threats to hardware and personnel.

data security

These are data security types that are most often used to protect business sensitive data.

Backups & Recovery

This type of data security ensures that, in case of disaster, data corruption, or system failure, data stays safe and can be accessed securely. This is often done by backing up data on a separate entity such as cloud storage, local network, or external disks.

Perimeter security

Securing the perimeter refers to physical security of data stored in data centers, and it usually bases on multiple layers of security. Usually, it includes installing perimeter barriers, limiting and securing entry points, and monitoring the premises with video surveillance. Use your data operations in accordance with tight security standards.

Access controls

One of the most important and usual ways to secure data is access control. It regulates access to business critical data and systems. In simple terms, access control policies ensure that users entering and using the system are who they really are and that they use the data in a secure manner.

There are three access control modules: discretionary, role-based, and mandatory.


As its name suggests, authentication is a method of checking if the person trying to access data is that person. Some of the most usual authentication methods include passwords, PIN, swipe cards, biometrics, etc. Nowadays, two factor authentication is a common procedure for accessing different types of software.

Rocket.Chat is one of the most secure communication platforms on the market. Have a look at our list of security features that include two factor authentication and more!


Encryption is one of the most common techniques for ensuring data security. Most people know about end-to-end encryption, which is a popular way to secure data in transit. It is used by many messaging apps today.

⚿ Check our lists of 18 most secure messaging apps and best encrypted messaging apps on the market.

Encrypting data at rest is a very common data security technique. However, it is worrying that 60% of employees say their organizations transfer confidential data to the cloud whether or not it is encrypted.

data security

DLP technologies

DLP or Data Loss Prevention technologies is a term used to describe a set of tools that prevents misuse, loss, or unauthorized access to confidential data. We at Rocket.Chat have included DLP into our security bundle to enable our users to identify, classify, and protect their company’s data.

6 data security tips you shouldn’t ignore

As you found out earlier, there are multiple data security measures. However, there are several general tips to follow in order to guarantee data security.

Here is our list of the most important advice regarding securing your business critical data.

Know where your data is

An alarming number of companies don’t know where their data is actually stored. This report by the Institute of Directors says that 43% of study respondents don’t know the location of their business critical data.

In order to guarantee data security, naturally, it is essential to know where data is stored to take measures of protection.

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

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Invest in cybersecurity

According to experts, a cybersecurity budget should ideally make up to 14% of the overall IT budget. However, companies approximately spend much less than that – only 6% – on data protection solutions.

data security

Yes, data security is costly: but the breaches are more expensive. They take not only money, but also time to mitigate. As this IBM research shows, it takes 280 days on average to identify and contain the breach, and its average cost is $3.8 million.

Check out the market for penetration testing companies to show that they provide significantly more value in terms of the practical use of their expertise and technology than in terms of revenue.

Update passwords

A Verizon report from 2019 states that 80% of hacking-related breaches are related to stolen and reused credentials. Therefore, it is advisable not only to use two factor authentication, but also to encourage employees to maintain healthy password hygiene in order to ensure the highest level of data security.

Data auditing

In order to assess the quality of data, and the impact of poor quality data on organizational performance and profits, companies conduct data auditing. It is useful to hire an external auditor to conduct the audit in order to spot the gaps in data security that the internal team might have overlooked.

Data minimization

Data minimization is one of the main principles of GDPR and other data privacy regulations. It is a useful practice for keeping as minimal data as possible, for as short as it’s necessary. Not only does it add to your data security efforts, it helps you stay compliant with data privacy laws.

Create an open conversation about data security

As explained above, many data leaks happen due to unintentional actions and human errors. Therefore, it is useful to maintain an open conversation about common but unsafe actions that employees take. For example, a lot of employees use Whatsapp to exchange business related information, which is an unsafe practice.

data security

Sadly, many employees don’t follow data security best practices simply because they are unaware of the impact of their actions. Since the switch to digital workplaces was abrupt, many companies were unprepared for it and didn’t have time to explain new remote collaboration policies to employees.

To facilitate easy remote team collaboration, it is best to acquire easy-to-use collaboration tools. That way, employees will be less inclined to use consumer-oriented collaboration apps. Consequently, risks to data security will decline.

⚿ Check out our list of best team collaboration software to increase team communication, collaboration, and productivity.

Data security while collaborating remotely

Here at Rocket.Chat, our mission is to provide seamless collaboration experience to remote teams while ensuring business critical data always stays secure. Our focus on security is one of the main reasons our customers choose us: for example, one of the most important cybersecurity companies in the US chose us as their communication and collaboration platform.

Besides offering on-premise hosting, we are an open source company that relies on the support of our community to improve our security. You can join us on Rocket.Chat forum to share your insights, thoughts, and questions.

Get in touch with our team to learn more about Rocket.Chat’s security bundle and how we can help you skyrocket collaboration in your organization!

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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