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The Top 10 Data Protection Tools for 2024

personal data protection tools 2024

No matter your organization’s size or industry, a single breach, hack, or leaking of sensitive client or company data can irreparably damage your reputation. Data breaches are, unfortunately, on the rise with a 20% jump in data breaches from 2022 to 2023. In 2023 alone, over 2000 data breaches and comprises were recorded on average – and that’s just what was recorded. Data security should be top of mind for your organization if it isn’t already. Building a robust data security strategy means investing in the right data security tools that create multiple barriers, inhibiting and mitigating the threat of data hacks, theft, and losses.

The top 10 data protection tools for 2024

1. Data discovery and classification software

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Understanding what valuable data your organization houses is your first line of defense in building a multi-step data protection strategy. You can do this by deploying a data classification tool for data classification and discovery. A data classification tool is software or a system that scans all of your existing data repositories to identify, sort, and label types of data it deems important based on industry trends and/or relevant data laws like GDPR and PCI DSS. 

This classification and labeling gives each dataset a unique identifier (usually a digital signature) that is based on its classification, making it easier to create tailored data security strategies for different data hubs. It also provides invaluable visibility and insight into the location and movement of information within your organization to protect sensitive data.

2. Antivirus software

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Antivirus and anti-malware software solutions operate by detecting and targeting viruses, rootkits, trojan horses, or malicious code. It protects both public and private networks, desktops, and other devices from malware attempting to infiltrate them to steal, hack, leak, damage, or modify sensitive or valuable data.

3. Firewalls

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A firewall is a network security device that monitors all traffic to or from your network and can block incoming or outgoing traffic based on predefined/preset security rules, preventing things like viruses, spyware, or other malware from accessing your network. Firewalls are generally a standard protective layer for both personal and business data and often come pre-installed with certain operating systems like Windows and Mac. 

While a firewall might sound similar to antivirus software, it’s important to note the difference – a firewall operates as a barrier preventing unauthorized access to or from a network while antivirus software detects and removes threats or malware from a device.

4. Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS)

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Intrusion detection and prevention systems are protective software that monitor all network traffic and identify and log activity. In addition to monitoring network activity, they can evaluate logged system events, identify and flag suspicious activity, and issue alerts upon detection. Again, while they may seem identical to firewalls, they’re not because IDS/IPS alert system administrators if a network breach is detected or an attack is taking place and/or prevent the attack based on software configuration.

5. Access Control Systems

 

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Sometimes threats to information security can come from within an organization, either from employee personnel or individuals granted access to its devices. Access control systems ensure everyone within an organization can only access data, files, and database systems based on access privileges granted according to their business role. It prevents unauthorized access to files and data stores by employees and other individuals within an office or building. 

6. Security information and event management solutions (SIEMs)

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Security information and event management solutions (SIEMs) make it easier to track and handle incoming alerts about data security events across all networks and servers. They do this by providing real-time analysis of all security logs collected by network servers, devices, and software. SIEMs aggregate these logs and remove duplicated event reports. SIEMs then flag important records, like data security-related events, issue alerts to managers, and take other preset and predefined actions.

7. Data loss prevention systems

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Data loss prevention (DLP) tools monitor activity on networks, servers, and even at employee workstations to prevent sensitive information and data from being modified, copied, moved, or erased. A DLP typically detects a user’s attempt to access, copy, or move data and immediately blocks the action, suspends the account, and notifies administrators to prevent users from accessing data they shouldn’t. 

DLPs also help to keep businesses compliant and up to date with evolving industry security standards and benchmarks by providing regular audits and auditing support, reporting incidents, and flagging weaknesses in current security networks and architecture.

8. User and entity behavior analytics

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User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBAs) monitor and record the user activity of all employees and users, aggregating this data to develop behavioral trends. These trends act as a benchmark to compare every activity to and provide a baseline to alert managers or network admin to unusual or potentially risky behavior on organization workstations.

UEBAs record historical and ongoing user activity and use machine learning processes to build user patterns based on this data. It then continuously compares user activity in real-time to these established patterns. If there’s any sudden deviation or abnormal break in the user’s activity, the UEBA will flag it as a potential security incident and notify the relevant system administrator.

9. Network security and vulnerability testing

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On top of security tools and software, businesses should invest in robust network security solutions, such as cloud security. It’s also vital to perform regular audits and tests of existing security protocols to identify gaps and potential vulnerabilities to ensure company data is optimally protected at all times. Data encryption, multi-factor authentication, regular password updates and changes, and reinforcing onsite security should also be deployed as part of network security reinforcement.

10. Data backup and recovery systems

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Finally, as much as you can invest in every kind of data protection tool, software, platform, and practice under the sun, never make the mistake of assuming that prevention alone is enough. No matter how many security measures you implement, it’s still crucial to back up all valuable data on hidden and encrypted files, only accessible to the Head of IT or system administrator.

Data backups should be performed regularly and data recovery plans should be in place and well documented so all relevant parties immediately know what needs to be done should a data recovery process need to be launched. Although operating systems like Mac and Windows offer backup services, organizations should look to broader, more robust security software and cloud-based platforms for enhanced backup services. 

Invisibly

At Invisibly, we’ve built a data-centric culture, putting data protection at the center of everything we do. We integrate with Stripe, a safe and highly rated payment processing system, to apply data encryption mechanisms at multiple points in our service to prevent unauthorized access to user data resting and in transit. 

Here at Invisibly, people opt-in to share their data, and control monetization of their experience. That means that every piece of data is 100% actively consented. Brands can partner with us to access the user data your organization needs to hone your business decisions and execute strategies that deliver successful, measurable results.

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