Today almost everything you need to run and manage an organization is stored online. Digitally stored business processes, customer, client and partnership data to your website, login credentials, corporate emails, team messages, recorded conference calls, social media accounts, advertising campaigns, manuals products and services, and any other bytes of data that are generated within your organization are your digital assets.
Investors appreciate digital assets because they increase the overall value of a company. Businesses can claim expenses and tax deductions on their digital assets because they can be sold separately.
They are just as valuable to a business as physical assets, and businesses should take the same precautions to protect digital assets as they would physical assets.
Customer and partner information, login information, business emails, digital chat messages, recorded conference calls, mailing lists, social media profiles, website content, etc. are all considered digital assets.
By 2024, the global digital asset management industry will have reached $8.1 billion. To preserve their critical information and brand, businesses need to ensure their digital assets are safe and secure.
Where to start
Protecting digital assets starts with studying the business and creating a thorough inventory of what it has – and what it might have – they shouldn’t overlook something that could be a valuable asset! Start by identifying all the digital assets that the company owns. This step is crucial because many business owners don’t know what’s in their company’s digital assets. Organizations will be able to develop a robust system to secure their digital assets after going through all these processes and having a complete understanding of digital assets and the intrinsic value of their business.
Here are some steps and practices businesses can take to protect their digital assets:
1. Locate and list: Although not all forms of data are vital. Organizations need to separate and prioritize their data. A data asset is something a business can use to generate revenue in the future. Images, digital content, social media, applications, proprietary processes, customer databases, proprietary information and any organizational material or intellectual property protected by copyright, trademark or patent are all examples of digital assets. Among these digital properties such as customer databases, proprietary information, transactions and interactions, etc. are crucial and those that help a business generate revenue.
Organizations can start by compiling a comprehensive list of all of these assets. Separate the data assets based on which would you want or consider valuable if you bought this business?
For example, think of anything the company has online or on their company’s server that could be valuable. They should look for things that are exclusive things that are important to the business. Think of these digital assets as crucial.
2.Protect your network and stay up to date: Today, most businesses rely heavily on their networks. To ensure the security of corporate digital assets, you must adopt professional network security measures. The most common approach for hackers to gain access to a company’s digital assets is through the use of security holes and vulnerabilities. Make sure the firewall is enabled and the firmware and software are up to date. Businesses should make a habit of updating their operating system and other programs.
3. Limit access and use secure authentication: Not everyone in an organization needs full access to all digital assets and applications. Limit app access to only those team members who need it. Organizations can also choose who can view, edit, or download digital assets by setting permissions in certain programs. For remote workers, organizations can use a password manager program to store encrypted passwords online to secure these applications.
Organizations can use secure authentication, such as two-factor authentication, to provide an additional level of security in addition to limiting and restricting access (2FA). If a hacker manages to gain access to an employee’s password, they will not be able to access the company’s digital assets. After entering the password, the user is prompted to answer a question or enter a second one-time password, which is often given by SMS, to validate the user’s identity.
4. Educate employees: Employee training is also important to protect your company’s digital assets. Make sure your employees are aware of cybersecurity best practices, such as what to do and what not to do when using public Wi-Fi, using their devices, and access to specific applications.
5. Data Backup and Data Encryption: Copying files and data to a secondary location is called backing up data. A robust disaster recovery plan relies heavily on backing up data. Companies that do not back up data are often threatened by software or hardware errors, data corruption, malicious hacking, user negligence, natural disasters or other unforeseeable circumstances. Backups allow you to recover files that have been lost, erased, or overwritten. Backups can be archived locally to hard drives or storage devices, remotely to another physical location, or to the cloud. This cloud infrastructure can be public, private or hybrid.
Regardless of the state, whether the data is in transit or at rest, it is always vulnerable. To protect data in transit, encrypt it before downloading it. Authenticate endpoints before decrypting and verifying them at their destination. You should use security access policies to secure data at rest. Control who has access to data, what data is accessed and where it is securely stored.
6. Consider Cyber Insurance: Cyber insurance can help businesses protect their digital assets against cyber threats. It can help businesses cover the cost of disaster management and legal fees, as well as the amount spent recovering the network from ransomware attacks. When it comes to recovering from a hack, cyber insurance can make all the difference.
When it comes to recovering from a hack, cyber insurance can make all the difference.
Address the bottom line
Knowing how to protect digital assets in the short and long term is essential to the overall value and profitability of your business. Businesses need to securely manage and control their digital assets. It’s an exciting time for companies considering the use of digital assets in their operations. There have never been so many opportunities to deliver new services and products while minimizing risk and expense. Make sure you are aware of the latest developments and can continue your journey with confidence.
(The author Mr.Prashanth GJ, CEO, TechnoBind and the opinions expressed in this article are his own)