Web 2.0 is no stranger to data breaches. Over the decade there are several instances where an organization’s sensitive data have been compromised. Ever heard about the famed Under Amour MyFitnessPal getting hacked? The sports clothing manufacturer shares dropped rapidly when the company announced the data breach to its users. Sensitive information like email, passwords and fitness records of more than 100 million users worldwide were compromised.
If data is not secured in the right way, it could spell doom for an organization. Let’s get around this curve to synthesise on how to safeguard organisational data from uninvited breaches.
Every organisation lays down an IT policy which focuses on the standard of practices and procedures to store, share and manage confidential data. Front line defence shields like firewalls, antivirus, anti-malware, etc. do not necessarily provide a full 360-degree secure solution. That being said the last line of defence is the trustworthy, Data encryption with a strongly reinforced Key Management Policy
Data encryption is the process in which data is translated into a sophisticated secret code. This data is hence labelled as encrypted data, comes with an equally sophisticated key which needed to decrypt the data. Consider decryption similar to that of “unlocking” in traditional terms.
Encrypted data is redundant if the right key is not used to decrypt it. Therefore, another set of strong policies have to be implemented in terms of data encryption keys and here is where Key Management Policies step into thereby painting a bigger picture.
What is KMP?
KMP in its longer form is termed as Key Management Policies. Let’s put it this way. In simple terms, the key management policy is a set of guidelines to safely store and manage data encryption key materials. System administrators set these standard guidelines and procedures to efficiently create, manage, share or dispose of encryption keys.
Organisations who are looking to protect sensitive data, employ a sturdy key management policy. The definition point of a KMP generally lies at the highest level of the enterprise.
Why is KMP important?
Regardless of the size or structure of a business, have a secure cybersecurity infrastructure always helps. Moreover, if a company is dealing with user/customer sensitive data, then its absolutely imperative to implement Key Management Policies.
From an organisational standpoint, KMP implementation provides data security to a certain extent.
Best Practices for implementing KMP
– Auditing organisational framework
Before setting up a KMP its imperative to define the structure of an organisation. Providing exclusive access to a relevant set of people or departments plays an important role while framing the key management policy.
– Include more than one administrators
Do this put all eggs in one basket. Diversify. Entrusting single individual access can be very risky. Ensure multiple trusted people are in the loop while implementing a KMP policy.
– Invest in data management personnel
This goes without saying. It’s equally important to have a dedicated workforce behind the key management policies. For instance, a person who is with the organization for a long time would be the perfect fit. The reason behind this is because the individual in charge is already familiar with the organisation’s vision, mission, customer base, business tactics and other data which is deemed sensitive.
Security threats are lurking everywhere. There’s no question about it, the biggest risk for organisations comes without them even having a choice or knowledge in the matter. Key Management Policies can protect data, but only to a certain extent. Proper implementation of KMP by an enterprise led by an employee focussed approach, is the backbone to an organisations data security ecosystem.