5 Tips to Avoid a Data Breach
In this modern age of high-speed internet and smart devices, data breaches have become so common that most of us are desensitized to them. This is not good. The protection of your data has never been important as it is now. Because of any breach, your company can face severe repercussions. It is mandatory for any organization to report a data breach, otherwise, it’ll be obligated to pay fines by law. Here, you can get information about 5 Tips to Avoid a Data Breach
We understand that business owners have a lot on their plate. They have to deliver great customer service and ensure all their services and products are kept on cutting edge. There is a little margin for error if you want to keep up with your competitors.
Nevertheless, security always gets overlooked. Many internet service providers like Cox do take care of the potential security threats by offering a 360-degree McAfee-powered protection as part of Cox high-speed internet plans. This is not the case with all.
Before anything else, let’s understand how data breaches happen:
How do data breaches happen?
A data breach is a security infiltration that results in an unauthorized release of sensitive and private information. Whenever a cybercriminal infiltrates a private database, he or she copies, transmits, or uses the compromised information against the company or individual, mainly for extortion. Data breaches may be accidental or targeted, but are nevertheless damaging.
Common reasons why data breaches happen are:
Weaker Passwords: Insecure passwords are the primary reason why these data breaches occur. It is the easiest way a hacker can get unauthorized access to your protected network.
Malware: Phishing tactics are commonly utilized by hackers and may trick you into downloading malware. The malware is designed in a way that it remains undetected by the antivirus software.
System Vulnerabilities: No system is perfect. There are loopholes that a hacker can exploit in order to get access to your company’s database. Moreover, outdated systems and the lack of proper checks and balances may make your system vulnerable to all sorts of threats.
How to protect yourself against a data breach?
Here are some of the easy hacks to protect your from a data breach:
Collect and Store Limited Information
Obviously, when you are running a business you have to collect your client’s information and data. This includes their contact details, sometimes addresses, and even credit card information.
The database platform should be secured in any case, but keeping the personal data limited is a good preventive measure. For example, do you really need social security or credit card information? It might save you some time, but in case this data is compromised, you will bear severe legal and financial repercussions.
Assess the Inventory
It is crucial for you to have an understanding of your company’s security posture. You can assess it by looking at the hardware and software assets in your network. Asset inventory plays a vital role in categorizing and rating the threats and vulnerabilities in your system. With this characterization, you’ll be able to ensure all the remediation efforts to counter any threat. To be honest, antivirus software isn’t enough and may expose you blatantly.
Encryption of your data and implementing unified data protection policies in your servers and networks is a comprehensive solution to minimize all these data breaches.
Limit Network Access
No matter how big or small business, your network is at the core of your organization’s IT infrastructure. The servers contain all the information and data which the employees and related personnel can access. Therefore, you need to make sure that only the relevant personnel have permission to access these servers. You can achieve this by restricting access and securing all communication lines between the wireless devices, servers, and workstations.
Moreover, you should consider getting a Virtual Private Network (VPN), if your business involves the regular transfer of data and information on the web.
Employ Two-Factor Authentication
As we have already discussed how a system protected by password-only can be insecure. Therefore, you need an additional layer of security. You can do that by two-step authentication. This will not only keep your data secure but prevent the access of unauthorized personnel.
Train and Educate your Staff
After ensuring all the necessary security measures, you have to enforce a written policy surrounding data privacy and security. You should organize regular security training sessions to educate your employees on these policies and how they can help in making the network secure.
Prevention of data breaches may seem like a tedious operation. By taking these necessary actions, you can ensure the safety and security of your network and prepare your company to mitigate security threats in the future.