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Does Your Data have an Expiration Date?

Security BreachIn today’s data driven world, it is more important than ever to secure and protect the confidential information of your company and the clients you serve. To ensure that confidential information remains protected, you must first understand what data you have, and why it is confidential. This can be accomplished by classifying the data. Recognizing the sensitive nature of your data and appropriately classifying it guides you to the correct security measures to keep your company and your clients safe. But beyond classification, as this excellent article points out, data also needs an expiration date.

Why an Expiration Date Matters

If data classification answers: “why is the data sensitive,” giving data an expiration date answers the question: “how long will that data remain sensitive?” In a previous post on data classification, I used the example of a company memo and trade secrets to illustrate the importance of data classification. The same example works well to illustrate the idea of a data expiration date. Though the specific details about the lunch may be confidential before or when the event occurs, those details will likely be irrelevant a year from now. That kind of data has a short expiration date. Company trade secrets, however, will remain relevant for a very long period of time. It may be equally crippling for your company if that data is leaked now, or if it is leaked 10 or more years later.

How this Helps Improve Your Data Security

The idea of the data expiration date sheds light on a fundamental challenge of data security. As fast as security best practices are advancing, hacking and decryption techniques are advancing at an equally rapid rate. It is an ongoing game of cat-and-mouse. To ensure the safety of your company and your clients, you not only need to protect your data from current attacks, but from future attacks as well. But how do you future proof data from hacking techniques that don’t exist yet? Though a data expiration date cannot tell you the future, it will help you remain aware of what data is at risk when new exploits become known. This awareness is key. In the wake of a security exploit, the most important question is “what was effected?” With a solid understanding of what data must remain confidential at any given time, you will be able to pinpoint what measures must be taken to re-secure your data.

Need help improving your company’s data security protocols? Find out what IT asset recovery can do for you. Schedule a consultation today!

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