As cyber attacks continue to increase, businesses big and small are exploring new ways to safeguard their data from unauthorized use. Many businesses still deploy endpoint- and network-level cybersecurity measures. In recent years, however, some businesses have shifted to a data-centric cybersecurity strategy. What is data-centric cybersecurity exactly, and what benefits does it offer over conventional measures?

The Basics of Data-Centric Cybersecurity

Data-centric cybersecurity is an alternative approach to protecting and safeguarding data. It’s distinguished from other cybersecurity measures by focusing on the data itself. With data-centric cybersecurity, measures are taken to protect the data itself rather than the environment in which it’s stored or shared.

The general idea of data-centric cybersecurity is to protect the data itself from cyber threats rather the devices or environments in which it’s stored or transferred.

Traditional vs Data-Centric Cybersecurity

Traditional cybersecurity revolves around measures to protect networks and endpoint devices. You may use a firewall, for instance, to scan incoming and outgoing traffic for cyber threats. Alternatively, you may install antivirus software on your computer or mobile devices. Tactics such as these are considered traditional cybersecurity measures because they are applied on the network or endpoint level.

In comparison, data-centric cybersecurity revolves around tactics to protect the actual data. Whether data is stored on a computer or a mobile device — or whether data is transferred over a private or public network — it’s protected from threats.

Common tactics used for data-centric cybersecurity include the following:

  • Encryption
  • Routine auditing
  • Access control systems
  • Data masking

Benefits of Data-Centric Cybersecurity

Data-centric cybersecurity is able to protect data from cyber threats regardless of where the data is stored or the channel by which it’s uploaded or downloaded. Not all forms of data remain in a single and static location. Data is oftentimes moved around to different devices or networks. Therefore, data-centric cybersecurity measures can protect the data from cyber threats no matter where it goes.

Even if you use data-centric cybersecurity measures to protect your business’s data from cyber threats, you should still consider using traditional measures as well. Relying entirely on any single cybersecurity solution is a recipe for disaster. By embracing a variety of different cybersecurity solutions, including traditional and data-centric measures, your business will be better protected against cyber threats.

Data-centric cybersecurity refers to the use of data-level measures to protect against cyber threats. It’s called “data-centric” because it focuses on protecting the data itself rather than the networks or endpoint devices.

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