Friday 8 July 2016

SQL Server 2016 Introduces New Data Protection Features

With almost 80% of the adult UK population now online, cyber security is an issue that affects everyone. A recent report commissioned by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) shows that concerns about data security are real, with only a quarter of adults trusting businesses to keep their personal information secure.

With last year's hacking of TalkTalk still in people’s minds, when potentially millions of records containing personal data were stolen, it is not surprising that mobile networks score badly on trust. The ICO report shows that UK banks do a bit better, trusted by just over half the adults surveyed. More worrying is the mistrust of internet brands and businesses to handle personal information, with only 22% and 23% of adults respectively indicating any confidence in keeping data secure. 1 in 3 adults say they trust high street retailers, technology brands, and energy providers to look after their data. Which means most people - 2 out of 3 adults - do not trust them to protect their data. As cybercrime grows, consumers look to businesses to protect their sensitive data. Clearly, we are not there yet.

Most businesses now store personal data, yet many are unconcerned about data security. A shocking 43% of data loss comes from internal personnel, including staff, contractors, and suppliers, with half of the incidents being accidental. But no matter how data breaches occur, it is the responsibility of the business to keep data securely.

SQL Server is widely used by businesses to hold their data. It is already the world’s most trusted database management system, and the release of SQL Server 2016 adds three important security features: Dynamic Data Masking, Row Level Security, and Always Encrypted. Used as part of your security strategy, they will reduce the attack area, from both inside and outside a company, and make control of sensitive data more robust. 

Whilst the motives for cybercrime vary, the need for proactive vigilance with security remains constant. Encrypting sensitive data, restricting access to personal data, and separating responsibilities all contribute to better security. Keeping software up to date reduces security vulnerabilities, and encourages businesses to review their security.

As SQL Server specialists we are focused on data security, and helping businesses build consumer trust through better data protection. Staying out of the headlines, as far as data breaches are concerned, should be a priority for all forward-thinking businesses.

Sadly, the business world is dividing into two; those that have been hacked, and those that are about to be hacked. If you are interested in upgrading your database, or moving your data to the cloud in a secure way, contact us for a no-obligation chat.

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