Data synchronization keeps data and other relevant information consistent and accurate across different organizational devices, systems, and applications. Data synchronization is a common practice in businesses, as it helps prevent inconsistencies and allows companies to work with the most current information.
Despite data synchronization being a common practice, it can be challenging to implement from a security point of view. Most organizations in the US and beyond engage IT support services that utilize some of the best practices mentioned in this article to ensure data synchronization takes place safely and securely.
Before we get to these best practices to overcome security challenges during data synchronization, let us briefly explore how data synchronization occurs and the common security challenges during the process.
Data Synchronization 101
Data synchronization typically happens in three phases. In the first phase, an update event is triggered once the data synchronization software detects a change made to the data in a target database. In the second phase, the software compares the previous data version to the version it has just been presented with. In the third phase, it makes changes to the relevant target sources.
Data synchronization can either be synchronous or asynchronous. Asynchronous changes mean the data synching process occurs according to a schedule, e.g., once an hour. Synchronous means the process runs in real-time after every change to a target database.
The most common security challenges during data synchronization are data exposure and integrity. Your security measures must be in place to preserve the integrity and security of your customer data in compliance with the US government’s regulations on data protection.
Best Practices To Overcome Security Challenges During Data Synchronization
Here are some practices you should implement to guarantee the security and integrity of your data during synchronization:
1. Implement End To End Encryption During Data Synchronization
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) ensures that all data is encrypted before it leaves the source system and decrypted at the destination. E2EE guarantees that even if the data in synchronization is intercepted in transit, it cannot be deciphered and used. With end-to-end encryption, the only person who can decrypt the data is the one with the decryption key.
Ensure your data synchronization tool is equipped with industry-standard encryption, such as AES 256-bit encryption. Also, make sure that you incorporate the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Trusted Storage System (TSS) protocols. SSL will provide secure communication between endpoints, while TSS will provide secure storage and access control for synchronized data. SSL and TSS will guarantee the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data in transit. If you are concerned about your system security, you can hire IT consultants from KRgroup.com to guide you on the steps you need to take to secure your systems.
2. Use Reputable Synchronization Software
An optimal data synchronization software should have features like real-time synchronization, support of multiple platforms (macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, etc.), and a robust security model that protects your data from unauthorized access.
Most reputable synchronization software has all the features mentioned above. In addition, they give your business the flexibility to choose what data you wish to synchronize and what kind of protection should be attached to it. Reputable synchronization software systems can also easily handle complex datasets while maintaining data integrity, all in a secure environment.
3. Implement Access Control
Access control refers to controlling who can access business data and who cannot. Most data synchronization tools today have incorporated access control into their systems. Access control ensures that only authorized users can view or edit sensitive business data. You can restrict permissions based on a user’s roles in your organization or factors like location.
Lack of access control means that anyone with access to the computer systems where your business data is stored will be able to view the contents. The most common user access control method is through user accounts and passwords. User access control can help you overcome security challenges during data synchronization by allowing you to restrict access to specific data or folders to the relevant parties.
4. Apply Relevant System Updates and Patches
System updates and patches keep your computer safe from security threats by patching vulnerabilities that cybersecurity threat actors can exploit to access your system during data synchronization.
System updates and patches fix bugs, vulnerabilities, and other issues that could contribute to security breaches. Keeping your operating systems patched and updated is a significant way to overcome security challenges during data synchronization.
5. Conduct Security Audits
Regularly auditing your synchronization process can help identify any security vulnerabilities you may have overlooked. This can help you address these vulnerabilities and improve the overall security of your synchronization process.
Data synchronization is a complex process, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these best practices shared in the article, you can ensure that your data is safe and secure while still being able to sync across multiple systems in real time.