Odds are, you’ve owned a diary or journal in your life. Even if you’ve only written in it once or twice, you’ve likely put your thoughts away in a safe place that’s confidential and personal to you. You might even lock up your diary or journal because if someone reads every detail of your thoughts, you might be embarrassed. Or perhaps, out of principle, you’d like to keep those thoughts to yourself. The activity of putting your diary away and placing a lock or passcode on it – all of this is data security.

Today, companies need to follow the same steps to keep your data safe. Especially when the stakes are so much higher, you can’t lock up your company’s data and carefully store it under your pillow. You’ll need to start thinking about its definition in the business world and what it means for your organization.

Carnegie Mellon University says, “Data security refers to the protection of data from unauthorized access, use, change, disclosure, and destruction.”

What Does Data Security Mean?
The definition of data security is ubiquitous but includes systems, environments, and files. Far from one combined process, it requires a vast and complex set of answers. It’s a set of obstacles that can occur when attempting to secure personal data and information.

Data security includes the protection of physical location, such as:

– Video cameras to prevent intruders
– Digital locks with password protection
– Two-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA / MFA)
– Google Maps
– The personal information you provide to vendors in person (coffee shops, retails stores, and much more).

It also includes testing newly released features, like facial recognition, or merely upgrading old systems to improve gaps in software.

For individuals, data security takes the body of forethoughts. One example is creating complex, unique passwords that are difficult to hack. Another example is backing up your devices regularly. Plus, daily routines like keeping your computer in a company locker or bringing it home with you, rather than leaving it out.

For businesses, however, data security usually demands more thought. Read more about what your business can do to be data secure.