Data-centric security software solutions are designed to keep your data safe and secure. They differ from traditional security tools as they focus on protecting the actual data itself, rather than the network, hardware, or software systems that data resides on.
As businesses store and process more sensitive data, this approach is becoming increasingly important to ensure that organizations can defend themselves against the evolving cybersecurity threats. These solutions implement techniques such as encryption, tokenization, data access control, data loss prevention, monitoring, and auditing, to allow organizations to better safeguard their critical data, both in transit and at rest.
Data-centric security software typically integrates with existing systems and applications, providing a seamless experience for users, while enforcing data protection policies. For these solutions to be effective, they need to classify data according to sensitivity, enforce necessary protection controls, and provide insightful monitoring and auditing capabilities for administrators. The best data-centric security software should offer comprehensive protection, regardless of data storage location (on-premise, cloud, or hybrid environments) and be easily scalable as data sets grow larger or more complex.
With such a range of options available on the market today, selecting the best solution for your organization’s unique requirements can be a challenge. In this guide, we’ve compiled the top 10 data-centric security software solutions in the industry, based on their features, capabilities, and customer feedback. We’ll explore their key functionality as well as considering usability and integrations to help you make the best-informed decision.
Everything You Need To Know About Data-Centric Security (DCS) Software (FAQs)
What Is Data-Centric Security Software?
Data-Centric Security (DCS) is there term used to describe a specific data storage philosophy. It prioritizes securing, protecting, and managing data at a granular level, rather than focusing on the systems and networks where data is held. Where cybersecurity is often likened to a castle with a firewall or EDR solution being the outer perimeter, DCS looks to secure the people (data) within the bounds directly.
The approach makes sense. Focus on protecting the thing that you’re trying to protect: data.
One of the benefits of this approach is that a network or device breach does not directly put information at risk. Equally, if an attacker is able to decrypt a piece of data, they will only have access to that one piece. You do not have to worry about all of the information stored on that device being at risk.
Data-centric security works by securing data at the earliest point possible, at its most fundamental level. This results in effective security that is fully integrated with the data lifecycle, rather than being applied at a later point.
How Does Data-Centric Security Software Work?
Data-centric security solutions incorporate multiple techniques and processes to ensure that your data is managed effectively and kept secure. Common features of a DCS solution include data encryption, access controls, data classification and auditing, data governance, and data loss prevention. Together, these solutions bring an effective and robust level of security, effectively securing your important information at its most fundamental level.
- Data Encryption – By encrypting data you can ensure that it is only readable by users with the means to decrypt it. This makes it virtually impossible for unauthorised users to make sense of your data. One of the most secure encryption standards is AES-256.
- Access Controls – You can secure data by ensuring that specific, pre-approved users are able to access the data. This is often controlled by a Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution which enforces multi-factor authentication, role-based access, and passwords.
- Data Classification and Auditing – This means that you data is accurately classified and searchable. In doing this, you can ensure that all data is treated effectively and has the appropriate level of controls applied.
- Data Governance – By setting and enforcing standards across your organization, you can ensure that data is always handled, accessed, and managed appropriately, thereby reducing the chances of a breach.
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP) – This puts measures into place to prevent data from being lost or stolen and gives you a means of recovering it this does happen (either intentionally or maliciously).
What Features Should You Look For In Data-Centric Security Software?
Data-Centric-Security solutions are technically advanced and complex solutions. As such, it can be difficult to understand which features to look for when selecting a solution. In this section we’ll highlight some of the key features that you should look for when choosing a data-centric security solution.
- Effective Data Discovery – As DCS solution work by focusing on securing data rather than the device, it is essential that your platform can discover and identify all data within your network. If a platform is unable to do this, there could well be large amounts of data that have no form of encryption or security protecting them.
- Accurate Data Tagging – Organizations will have different types of data that are used for different purposes and have different security requirements. To help facilitate this, your solution needs to accurately tag data to ensure it has the right security controls applied.
- Range Of Capabilities – While this isn’t exactly a single feature, it is worth looking for. Your platform should offer a range of capabilities to allow for data to be managed in an effective way. These capabilities should include data encryption, access controls, data classification, auditing, data governance, and data loss prevention.
- Encryption At Rest And Transit – Data is often particularly vulnerable to being targeted whilst in transit. For this reason, it is important that your solution automatically encrypts data at rest and when in transit, thereby reducing the opportunities for attackers to gain access.
- Consistent Monitoring – A security platform that monitors and analyses information access and user behavior can improve processes to ensure that they are as secure and effective as possible. Consistent monitoring also eases the compliance and auditing process, ensuring that you have evidence of your secure practices for relevant parties.
This is not an exhaustive list of the features that a DCS platform can deliver, rather it is a starting point, highlighting some of the most useful features. It is worth taking the time to assess your organization’s own unique use-case and needs, before selecting a solution.