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Data Protection Hiring Guide

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Data Protection Hiring Guide

Updated May 2, 2024

Data protection shouldn’t be last on your priority list when setting up a business. With innovations in the technology and business landscapes come new threats. Safeguarding your precious digital assets is imperative in overcoming modern challenges. Learn here everything there is to hire a data protection company.

Since the start of the 2000s, the number of cybersecurity threats has dramatically increased. Today, just one search on the internet will show that no company is safe from malicious online attacks — from grassroots startups to established companies. 

Investing in quality cybersecurity, especially data protection services, is essential to safeguarding your business. Working with a trusted partner gives you peace of mind but can also help you navigate the dynamic digital landscape.

This Clutch data protection hiring guide explores the service, discussing its benefits and what else there is to know about. Keep reading to get ready for your future partnership with a trusted company.

What is Data Protection?

Data Protection: A type of cybersecurity solution that focuses on stopping cyber attacks and aims to protect a business or organization’s digital assets from theft and data loss. It involves different measures to protect sensitive and private data from unauthorized access.

In addition to theft, data protection also focuses on protecting companies from data corruption or manipulation. Comprehensive strategies span across the entire lifecycle of a company’s data, avoiding exploitation or ransomware attacks from cybercriminals.

The technology shift in most industries and markets worldwide increased digital threats. It ushered unprecedented opportunities for businesses to grow and thrive, but it also caused many cybersecurity such as sophisticated malware and MITM attacks.

Every country or state has its own data privacy laws that businesses and organizations must comply with. Neglect or lack of data protection can lead to costly lawsuits, penalties, or sanctions; hence, most professionals advise investing in tight data protection measures.

Since the pandemic, many businesses have adopted remote work or hybrid working conditions that have also introduced several issues for data protection. It has increased endpoint vulnerabilities and the risk of data leakage. 

You can ensure robust security and regulatory compliance by implementing state-of-the-art data protection solutions tailored to your business. The beauty of innovation is that it also heralded new solutions that combat the threats and challenges. 

5 Benefits of Data Protection

Data protection isn’t just a luxury for businesses. If you have subpar measures in place now, you might regret it in the face of a cyber threat. 

data protection benefits

Being proactive with cutting-edge data protection measures is the way to go, especially since it unlocks many benefits, including the following:

  1. Securing business information: The main goal of data protection services is protecting your business’ data — from customer information records to trade secrets. Implementing solutions like access controls or encryptions ensures your business doesn't suffer from data breaches that can lead to financial woes. 
  2. Cyber risk mitigation: In recent years, the number of malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and insider threats has drastically increased. Effective data protection tactics ensure your business is safe from intrusion, eliminating vulnerable endpoints that cyber criminals could target.
  3. Preserving competitive edge: Among the most common motives for cyber attacks is stealing trade secrets or intellectual property. You safeguard your business’ classified data from unauthorized access by employing impenetrable data protection measures. It also protects your reputation and relationships with key stakeholders such as customers and investors. 
  4. Maintaining operational efficiency: An important benefit of data protection solutions is maintaining optimal operational performance by preventing downtime and streamlining data management processes. Nowadays, some tools and applications allow automated data encryption, improving security policies and limiting human input. These automated data protection tools relieve employees from routinely checking data security, freeing them to focus on other functions. 
  5. Ensuring regulatory compliance: As emphasized, data protection isn’t a luxury because it’s a requirement in business. Every industry, state, or country has its own regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Implementing practical data protection measures helps your business avoid legal liabilities and regulatory fines.

What Services Do Data Protection Companies Offer?

Data protection companies offer a vast array of solutions that are tailored to the different business needs of their clients. They customize their services based on factors such as the data types, volume, and how the business operates. 

When partnering with a dedicated data protection firm, you can expect to gain access to services like:

Application Security

Application testing, also known as AppSec, is a subset of cybersecurity that focuses on security business software applications. It utilizes different tools and processes to prevent data loss and security risks through a company’s applications.

The main goal of AppSec is essentially eliminating vulnerabilities that can give way to unauthorized access, data breaches, or ransomware.

AppSec identifies potential weaknesses throughout a business application’s lifecycle and prioritizes creating solutions that minimize threats. If your business has an application as an MVP or is deploying a custom application for processes, look for a data protection company with experience with application security.

Breach & Incident Response

Breach and incident response is an integral component of data protection and cybersecurity. Basically, it refers to creating policies, strategies, and procedures that companies will follow during cyber attacks.

Data breaches can critically impact businesses, especially if they involve customer data and confidential business information. The affected stakeholders can file lawsuits if their data is exposed to a cyberattack that a business failed to mitigate. That headache can lead to problems such as damaged reputation and broken customer trust.

Rational and swift breach and incident response measures are crucial for minimizing loss. Dedicated data protection companies are prepared to assess incidents, handle breaches, and create response procedures to help businesses recover quickly.

Cloud Security

Cloud security, or cloud data protection, is a type of data protection measure that focuses on a company’s data in a cloud environment. While many commercial cloud solutions have state-of-the-art security measures in place, it’s important to have another layer of security, especially for confidential business information such as financial records and customer contacts. 

The rise of cloud computing has encouraged many businesses to switch from traditional IT infrastructures to cloud solutions. Cloud data security identifies exposed data, how it's exposed, and other potential vulnerabilities, then creates solutions to protect them.

Data Encryption Services

Encryption refers to converting readable data into unreadable content or ciphertext that can help prevent theft. This fundamental cybersecurity solution focuses on securing sensitive information using cryptographic algorithms, ensuring only authorized access with the right decryption key reads the data.

One of the advantages of data encryption is that it prevents employee tampering with the decryption keys, mitigating man-in-the-middle attacks. 

Many laws and countries require data encryption to protect confidential data. It’s one of the best practices in modern cybersecurity and data protection. 

Identity & Access Management

Identity & Access Management (IAM) is a subset of cybersecurity that refers to the process of creating bespoke frameworks of policies and technologies aimed at managing and controlling digital access to a company’s IT resources. 

IAM is crucial to protecting sensitive information and private IT systems from misuse. It applies different technologies such as authentication tools, authorization keys, and single sign-on features.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is one of the core techniques applied in almost all types of cybersecurity solutions. It refers to the process of simulating real-world cyber attacks to help businesses identify vulnerabilities and optimize their cybersecurity measures.

Experienced data protection agencies know the best tactics to test data security measures and simulate exploitation before actual malicious attackers find them. The results of their simulations serve as the foundation for an effective cybersecurity framework.

Threat Intelligence Services

Threat intelligence services refers to the process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating critical information about potential cyber threats to key stakeholders to trigger quick response. It’s an important solution that provides key information and intelligence to help businesses proactively defend their data and other digital assets.

By leveraging threat intelligence services, businesses can stay on their toes and be extra prepared against hostile cyber threats.

How to Assess Data Protection Services

Results matter when investing in anything. Knowing what metrics to assess is paramount to ensuring your data protection project is aligned with its goals. Here are the key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to look out for when evaluating data protection companies and their services:

  1. Data Breach Incidents. Record the number of data breach incidents and their severity in affecting or accessing sensitive information. The number of incidents and the more severe attacks they failed to minimize may suggest that they may not be doing a good job in their services.
  2. Incident Response Time. This KPI represents the efficiency of the data protection team as it measures their average time detecting, responding, and resolving data breaches. The shorter the incident response time, the more effective their procedures are.
  3. Data Loss Events. Track the number of incidents that resulted in data loss, exploitation, or unauthorized transfer. Monitoring this KPI helps pinpoint vulnerabilities in a company’s data protection measures and helps optimize protection policies for future incidents. 
  4. Data Encryption Coverage. This metric measures the percentage of confidential and sensitive data encrypted across the entire company’s IT systems. This KPI not only looks at how comprehensive the solution is but also how effective it is at protecting unauthorized access. 
  5. Data Backup and Recovery Efficiency. Monitoring how fast and effective the response tactics of a data protection team is important to know whether they’re providing optimal return on investment (ROI). This KPI looks at how reliable they are, their availability, and the success of their recovery techniques.
  6. Security Compliance Adherence. This KPI tracks the team’s coverage of data regulations, industry standards, and legal requirements. To assess this, the team must adhere to whichever regulatory compliance your business falls into. 
  7. Patch Management Compliance. This metric focuses on gauging the team’s speed when deploying security patches or updates to address new vulnerabilities identified. Keeping a close eye on this KPI ensures that the team remains proactive, agile, and aware of the company’s data management.

What is a Data Protection Team?

Dedicated data protection teams or service providers are responsible for helping businesses take care of their sensitive data. They are in charge of maintaining transparency, security, integrity, and organization of data protection measures. 

data protection team

Businesses can rely on these teams to identify vulnerabilities, eliminate risks, and optimize existing security measures to guarantee data security. Since data protection isn’t a one-man job, hiring a data protection agency gives you access to these professionals:

Who Makes Up a Data Protection Team?

  • Chief Information Security Officer. The head is primarily in charge of overseeing the company’s overall data security strategy and compliance. They monitor the team, lead decision-making, and provide direction to each team member to ensure the operation runs seamlessly.
  • Data Protection Officer. They are responsible for executing data protection measures, serving as the backbone of the entire operation. They are knowledgeable on different strategies, tactics, and cybersecurity efforts. Having a DPO is also often a regulatory requirement for different countries and industries as they serve as the point of contact between the organization and the authorities.
  • Information Security Manager. This professional is tasked with managing and implementing the data security program. They execute procedures, handle risk assessments, and manage data breaches.
  • Security Analyst. This team member is responsible for monitoring the overall security infrastructure of the company and identifying vulnerabilities that could be exposed by cyber threats. They also conduct routine security assessments to recommend security actions to mitigate potential risks.
  • IT Security Engineers. These teammates create and deploy bespoke security technologies or tools to help the organization protect its sensitive data and systems. They set up firewalls, encryption solutions, and prevention software to avoid cyber attacks. 
  • Compliance Specialists. They mainly document compliance, keep up with regulatory changes, and conduct compliance-related audits.
  • Legal Consultants. They are primarily responsible for giving unbiased legal advice on data protection and security matters. They help management draft privacy policies, legal documentation, and data security agreements. Additionally, they are tasked with responding to legal concerns and representing the company in legal settings.
  • Training and Awareness Officer. This specialist heads the training program for projects requiring internal employee training. They develop training materials, prepare security awareness campaigns, and ensure employees are educated on doing their part to help secure the company’s confidential data.

What to Look For When Hiring a Data Protection Company

Like any other service provider, it’s important to know what to look for when searching for the ideal data protection partner for your organization.

Before you search for prospective firms, the first thing to do is outline your project and prepare a list of important criteria. Understanding your business and what it needs can help you quickly vet potential companies and focus on finding the right team that meets your unique requirements. 

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When selecting a partner, you consider all the factors contributing to a successful partnership. Look into factors such as:

Criteria for Hiring a Data Protection Company

  • Budget
  • Expertise in relevant policies & data protection practices
  • Tools & technologies used
  • Industry experience
  • Geographic location
  • Range of services offered
  • Compatibility in terms of company culture and communication

Navigating through trusted resources like Clutch can help you cut through the clutter and quickly identify qualified service providers.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, conduct in-depth interviews with them to finalize your decision and finally match with the perfect partner. 

Here are a few questions you can ask when officially sitting down to interview and discuss your project:

10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Data Protection Company

  1. What data protection services do you offer?
  2. What relevant certifications and accreditations does your company have?
  3. What measures do you implement to comply with regulations that apply to our company?
  4. How do you train employees for awareness and best practices?
  5. How do you decide the best strategies and methods to safeguard servers?
  6. How do you handle data breaches and incidents?
  7. Can you walk us through your assessment and remediation process? 
  8. Can you provide an example of your most recent successful data protection project?
  9. What data protection tools and applications do you use for your services?
  10. How do you ensure data completeness and accuracy when managing access? 

Don’t rush your search because it’s important to connect with a partner and get it right the first time rather than hiring a firm that can’t meet your needs and going through the entire selection hiring process again. 

Secure Your Data with a Credible Partner

Hyperconnectivity is the name of the game today. Businesses must embrace the latest technologies and innovations to keep up with the modern market. However, these advancements also brought new challenges that should be addressed.

Data protection services are essential in this data-driven landscape. Don’t let those lurking cybercriminals exploit your business and leverage your data against you. Prevention is the best measure when it comes to data protection. 

Leverage the knowledge you gained from this hiring guide when looking for the ideal data protection partner. Check out Clutch’s rankings for the leading data protection companies and utilize our prepared filters to vet the options.

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