Recent security breaches in the news remind us that data itself is a vulnerable target that requires protection and oversight.

Why is application data targeted so heavily? Oftentimes, the data exchange between systems and components holds information to reverse engineer processes and services and is a common way to gain additional access throughout a system. If the data stream is deciphered at any point during collection, transmission, or even at rest, system confidentiality can be impaired, system integrity can be compromised and system availability can be degraded.

The following security best practices for IT infrastructure and business solutions can help avoid data breaches:

1.       Hold regular reviews of security goals and policies within your organization
2.       Establish controls following the principles of least privilege and in-depth defense
3.       Adopt regular security awareness and training programs to educate all personnel about how they can maintain security guidelines as dictated by your organization
4.       Maintain clear guidelines and business metrics that must be met regarding security
5.       Employ a security firm to assess your organization’s infrastructure and policies

When implementing an energy management system into an existing network, IT managers should also consider the following measures:

·         Segregate network communications and ports
·         Install physical and environmental controls for installed equipment
·         Implement escalation and incident management procedures
·         Authorize contact points within the company
·         Review internal and external service-level agreements
·         Monitor and change management practices
·         Establish risk mitigation policies
·         Patch management and service maintenance processes

While data breaches may never be eradicated, taking these measures can minimize risk and help protect valuable information.