In this high tech world, data is equal to cash. No matter whether it is a small start-up or a company making millions, billions all businesses are the victims of data breaches. These attacks result in losses of millions of private records and information which can cost millions and it also affects the image of the company. A data breach is the intentional or unintentional release of secure or private/confidential information to an untrusted environment where anyone can access those private data and which is no more a ‘private’.
This is the time to brush your data security. You should not wait until being attacked, prevent and prepare yourself from the data breaches.
At first, let’s find out who causes data breaches.
No doubt that breaches can be caused by a malicious hacker but it’s not always true. Sometimes results might end up being something else. Here is the list who also might actually also get you to this incident.
- A Malicious Insider: This person purposely accesses or shares data with the internet or public with the intent of causing harm to an individual or a company.
- Lost or Stolen Device: An unencrypted and unlocked laptop or the external hard drive of a company or individual where they had saved some sensitive information.
- Malicious Hacker: These are the hacker who uses various kind of attack vectors to gather information from a network and exploit them to get internal access to some sensitive data.
How to Prevent Data Breaches?
Reputation management and data breach are two phrases you don’t want to see together. A data breach can truly cause serious damages to the company, both financial and reputational. I know you never want to happen this with you so here are the ways which can help you to prevent data breaches.
Update software on a regular basis
This is an easy and cost effective method to prevent from attacks. It is very essential to regularly update operating systems and other application software. The networks are sensitive if not patched. Make sure all the programs are patched and updated regularly.
Limit access to the most valuable data
This is a very common but important step. If you limit the access to the most valuable data, you also limit the employee who may click on any harmful link that is directed towards attacks. Let only the concerned department have access to the most important data. For instance, a mailroom employee shouldn’t have the access to go through the customer’s financial information. Also reduce the space where those data are physically stored.
Train the employee
It is sure that the companies have a strong IT Security team but sometimes the security issues are out of their hands. The cybersecurity scenario keeps on changing so it is important to train the employees about the latest cybersecurity practices and policies. The team should also educate the employees about the potential risks.
Vulnerability and Compliance Management
Prevention is better than cure. Perform various kinds of vulnerability assessment and penetration testing on your critical infrastructure which will help you to identify the gaps, weaknesses, and security misconfiguration. It also helps you to continuously monitor your infrastructure and IT asses for vulnerabilities and compliance weakness and configuration best practices.
Observe the Third-party vendors
All the companies get connected with many third-party vendors. It is important to know about the people you are working with. Before getting connected with any third party, check the background and the reputation. Ask transparency if you allow any company to view your data. Similarly, also observe any third party vendor that you allow in your office premises.
Monitor the devices
Many companies have a culture of asking their employees to use their own devices at work. But this can be a great risk as they use their personal devices. Employees use it for work and also for their personal needs. The breaches can also occur due to this. It is important to monitor those devices as well.
As soon as you realized about the data breach, inform your security team about it immediately. If the management knows about the breach at early stage, they will have higher chances to control it and minimize the loss. Even if you notice any sort of suspicious act or any unusual act, report it early. This can change the major breach to a minor one.