Prevention is one of the effective ways to protect against the costs and nightmares associated with data breaches. Nevertheless, before preventing data breaches, you must understand them.
As a small or medium-sized business owner, you can encounter numerous types and prices of data breaches. In this article, we will discuss some of the Data breaches and how to prevent breach incidents before they happen.
How Data Breaches Happen
A common misconception is that outside hackers cause data breaches, but that’s far from the truth. They can result from oversight by people and flaws in an organization’s infrastructure.
Even though you might think cyber criminals will only access data remotely, physical actions are another way to gain access. For instance, they can steal laptops, paperwork, storage devices, and phones. They can also access physical assets and copy them without anyone noticing they were tampered with.
Safeguarding your business from online security threats is a good data breach plan. You might have heard of phishing. This is when cyber criminals try getting access to your sensitive data by sending malicious emails that look real.
For instance, they might send an email that appears to come from your organization’s IT department asking for a worker’s password to be changed. The scams can be in the form of calls or emails and can assist scammers in accessing confidential data that they can sell or use for fraud.
Data breaches are not always caused by malicious acts. Accidents can occur, and sometimes, an individual leaves sensitive data somewhere where it’s not safe or accidentally sends it to unintended persons.
How Can You Prevent Data Breach Incidents?
Since data breaches are expensive, you need to invest money and time in ensuring they don’t occur. Here are some practices to prevent data breach incidents that you can implement:
1. Educate Your Workers
A cybersecurity strategy cannot be complete without ample security awareness training. Unintentional and intentional errors of workers, partners, and contractors represent the highest threat to data security. It also poses a significant challenge in data breach prevention.
Adequate training will cover password policies, data usage guidelines, and common threats like phishing scams and social engineers should happen frequently.
Eliminating ignorance is the best way to prevent data breach incidents. Educating your workers on how to protect sensitive information from being compromised is crucial.
You can achieve this by showing them how to create hard-to-guess passwords, change passwords, or assist them in spotting, avoiding, and reporting phishing incidents.
Implementing proper password policies is essential. Modern password policies should be a requirement for all services and applications running on a business network. These requirements and restrictions include:
- The minimum password length
- Mandatory use of lowercase & uppercase letters, special characters, and numerical digits
- Mandatory password changes
- Maximum number of password tries before lockout happens
2. Data Backup and Recover
In most cases, data breaches might maliciously delete all the data. It is essential to have a dedicated data backup to recover in case of a crash, data loss, or natural disaster. The IT team should have a remote backup platform to safeguard you from losing sensitive data.
3. Keep Essential Data Only And Encrypt Data
Keep a complete record of the data you keep on your PC and frequently delete what you don’t need. It’s also vital to minimize the number of locations you store sensitive data and keep track of such locations as well.
Make sure you follow the data retention standards for your industry or company since they might require you to store sensitive information for a specific period of time.
Irrespective of where the sensitive information is at any moment, it must be encrypted to discourage anyone who can access the data. This includes encrypting data where it is stored and when it moves from one point to the other within an enterprise network.
4. Secure Network Perimeter And Endpoints
Traditionally, network perimeter security is one of the first lines of defense against cyber attacks. This consists of using firewalls, intrusion prevention, access control lists, and other processes tailored to allow unfettered data flow internally. They also help identify and stop known cyber attacks from outside the business.
Implementing endpoint control mechanisms like malware detection software is vital. Workloads and users are getting highly distributed and fall outside the protection of conventional perimeter security tools.
With correct management and implementation, endpoint security will protect against online threats like malware.
5. Monitor Infrastructure Using Innovative Security Tools
Implement advanced threat detection and network monitoring and observability tools in detecting and blocking intrusion. They also prevent data breaches from happening or spreading.
Habit-based tools that utilize AI, like network detection and response platforms, detect user networks, and data flow anomalies that may indicate a breach is about to happen. These tools notify proper IT security experts, who can investigate and mitigate.
6. Maintain Updated Security Software
It’s important to take proper precautions to prevent security breaches. You can buy security software and automate it to run continuously.
Anti-virus, firewall, and anti-spyware software are essential to protect your company from data breach incidents. Collaborate with the internal security crew or company to set the tools correctly.
7. Empower Your Staff With Best Practices
Workers should have knowledge about sites that can expose office computers and mobile devices. They should avoid suspicious file-sharing sites when doing their work.
Particularly with remote work, encourage your workers to use office PCs for business uses and keep other things to their personal computers.
8. Hire a Professional
Running a small business can be time-consuming, so thinking about data breaches might not be in your line of work.
If that’s the case, you might need to consider employing a security professional to handle data breach mitigation for you. You can also consult professionals on the best strategies to assist you in preventing data breaches within your enterprise.
Even though data breach prevention must be a top priority, businesses must balance it with other competing priorities. Businesses should find the perfect, tailored blend of cybersecurity tools and policies to align with their needs and minimize the possibility of data breach incidents.
An ideal data breach prevention strategy should deliver a proper degree of speed, agility, and protection. This will help a business to maximize its productivity.