Data Security for a Company Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Company's Data Needs

Data protection is an important aspect of modern day businesses and organizations because data is the lifeblood of their business and operations. Some of the major examples of a company's data include financial information, legal records, and customer information. Given the significance of this type of information, it is increasingly critical for a company to protect its data in order to guarantee successful operations. In the recent past, data protection has emerged as a major factor for companies' operations because of the numerous challenges brought by rapid technological advancements. Regardless of the size and industry of the company, many organizations experience challenges associated with data backup and recovery ("Data Protection," n.d.). The most appropriate way of dealing with these challenges involves determining a company's data and planning for data needs through effective data security policies and approaches.

The Company's Data

Google Inc. is a search engine company in the United States that was founded in 1998 and handles over 70% of online search requests across the globe. Therefore, the company is considered as the heart of the experience of most Internet users. While it started as an online search company, Google has now diversified its business to an extent that it provides over 50 services and products on the Internet. Some of these additional services and products include e-mail, tablet computers, online document creation, and software. Since its inception, the company has developed to become one of the most influential companies in the high-tech industry. Generally, data is at the center of Google's operations since most people use it to search for information. This implies that the organization must employ appropriate and effective techniques for data collection and ensuring that it provides accurate information to users through the numerous online requests.

Since it operates in the high-tech industry or marketplace, Google Inc. is a data firm that probably needs more data than human beings can collect. The company's data includes financial information, customer data, and legal records. The company is in charge of searching for information and making it readily available to customers or Internet users who search for information through online requests. Customer information across the firm's various products and services play a crucial role in its business process because they use the data for daily interactions and mapping among other activities.

Google's data warehouse is made of two major segments i.e. The public internet zone and Google cloud segments. These two segments are where the company's data resides for all the services and products it provides. The public internet segment mainly consist of users data while the Google cloud carries documents, maps, and customer information obtained from the Gmail account registration (Gellman, 2013). In addition, the company has data centers located across the globe i.e. In four different continents. Under the public internet segment, Internet and mobile users send messages through Gmail, create documents on Google Drive, and use other products from the company through encrypted web connections with the firm. Under the Google Cloud segment, the firm has data centers located in four continents, which are networks of computers that are linked through private fiber-optic cables. Google requests are received by front-end servers that handle and process them before returning data to the end user.

Google developed the data centers as part of its first priority in ensuring the privacy and security of data. Similar to Yahoo, one of its major competitors, Google constantly maintains its fortress-like data centers and connects them through private data cables. Data is transmitted seamlessly throughout the globe-spanning cloud networks. The security of data in these data centers is also maintained through coloring codes servers based on their location (Prigg, 2012). One of the most important aspects of Google's data management is studying Internet search requests and Web surfing trends to obtain improved understanding of users' preferences.

In recent past, Google Inc. has affirmed its right to expand its data mining to incorporate personal data of users across all accounts and services as well as internet searching, location information, map, and Gmail. Therefore, the results of data mining tools include users' personal data or information despite increased concerns regarding personal privacy. This is primarily because the firm uses a mosaic-mining business model that presents numerous risks to individual privacy and data integrity. Moreover, data mining tools enable Google to determine trends in Web surfing and preferences of users. Through this, the firm discovers patterns and relationships in the data for better business decisions. The information is used for market segmentation, trend analysis and market basket analysis.

Data Security

Data security is a term used to refer to the protective digital privacy initiatives that are applied to safeguard unauthorized access to computers, databases, and websites. The main reason for the application of data security measures is to prevent data from corruption or unauthorized access. While this concept is also known as information security or computer security, it has become an important element for organizations and companies of every size and nature. The protection of data not only involves the establishment of data protection policy but also incorporates the use of data security technologies such as encryption, data masking, backups, and data erasure. In the past few years, some companies have resorted to using scrambling, which is a technology through which digital data, hard drives, and software or hardware are rendered unreadable or scrambled to hackers and other unauthorized users.

An example of data security incorporates an information security policy and necessary measures to safeguard privacy of information. The policy includes data protection principles through which information is gathered and used fairly, safely stored, and protected from unauthorized access. These principles enable a company effectively store certain information regarding its suppliers, customers, and employees. Some of these principles include obtaining personal data fairly and legally, gathering such data for legitimate purposes, ensuring the data is adequate and relevant, protecting the data through appropriate security measures, and ensuring the information is accurate and up-to-date. These principles regarding personal data will be followed at all times to promote and enhance data security.

In addition to the principles, the data security initiatives would involve the designation of a data protection coordinator who ensures the implementation of the policy. The data protection coordinator will also be responsible for handling all enquiries associated with personal data. When making enquiries, notification of data held by the company will be provided as well as how to access to it and how it is updated ("Example Data Protection Policy," n.d.). The data protection coordinator would ensure that employees have individual responsibility to check that they provide accurate and up-to-date information about their employment. Employees will also notify the company of any changes to already provided information and ensure they are familiar and adhere to the data protection policy. There will be disciplinary action that may even involve criminal prosecution if there is any violation of data protection policy.

The data security measures include ensuring proper physical security of physical and electronic restricted data. This will be accomplished through locking down laptops and workstations, securing files and portable equipments, and destroying sensitive paper records or information. Secondly, additional security measures for portable devices will be employed such as encryption and additional physical security. Third, personal data or restricted information will be securely deleted when no longer necessary for business purposes. This will be geared towards lessening the amount of sensitive data or information in order to lessen the risk of unauthorized access or theft. Finally, appropriate measures will be established for reporting suspected theft or unauthorized access of equipments that may contain personal information or data ("Security Breach Examples," 2014).

One of the most important aspects of ensuring data security is restricting access to certain information within the organization. This is primarily because not every employer, manager or supervisor should…

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