Every business owner is concerned or should be worried about the possibility of an incident involving data. In a matter of hours, your company could suffer a loss of thousands of dollars in revenue, damage its reputation and put the identity of your customers in danger. If you’re lucky, you may be able to get rid of the mess with just a couple of million dollars and several months of laborious lifting. If you’re not fortunate you could end up ruining your business, and possibly land you into legal troubles.
Fortunately, the majority of data breaches are simple to stop.
If you’re not familiar with of the term “data breach,” it’s simply the term used to describe the specific kind of security breach where sensitive or private data are stolen, copied or even viewed by an unauthorised third party. That is, the data you’re trying to keep private falls into the hands of another.
As you’ll discover you can see, there are numerous scenarios where a breach could occur, and a variety of reasons that could result in a data breach. While many people think of data breaches being caused by the most brilliant cybercriminals and billion-dollar hacking operations, the reality is that the majority of attacks on data are simply exploitative and are carried out by ordinary people.
This means that even the simplest of methods should be able to keep you safe from the most common data breach threats.
Let’s look at the most frequent risks and most significant factors that lead to data breaches across the globe.
Passwords that are weak and stolen
Your password isn’t something you’ll be contemplating if you’re not in the IT department It’s still the most important element of every security strategy. If the password you use is simple to guess, anyone who has no technical expertise might be able of guessing it and gain access to your system. If your password is a short one or contains clearly identifiable characters (like “1234”), an algorithm that is simple could be capable of cracking it. If you are using your same password on a number of different platforms, like the mix of professional and personal systems, one breach could make all systems in the network vulnerable.
The most efficient method is to pick a lengthy string of characters as your password. This should include the use of a variety of numbers and symbols, as well as lowercase and uppercase letters that are not obvious phrases or patterns. Also, you should use your own password for every particular application. Additionally, never divulge your password to anyone, not even apparent officials. It is also essential to train everyone in your workplace to adhere to these habits of passwords, because every weak link could be the result of a message he preached.
Application and Third-Party vulnerabilities
Certain security breaches consequence of an external party getting access to a system by using an “backdoor” of some kind. If there’s a way to gain access to a table of data or workaround to allow an unauthorised user access to the system an experienced hacker could find it.
These are the typical suspects in this case:
Software that is outdated. If software developers find out that there’s a security backdoor or security flaw inside their program, they typically release a patch immediately and warn the world of the potential. If you don’t download the patch and fix the issue, the vulnerability will to be there for a long time, and lots of criminals with malicious intent are waiting to take advantage of the vulnerability. Even the outdated plugins you use within your website builder may be enough of a threat to shut down your website. The best solution is to make sure that your website is updated always.
Poor coding. If an application isn’t properly developed, or the developers aren’t willing to release regular updates, security weaknesses can also pose a threat. It’s the reason it’s essential to only work with trusted experts in the field who have previous experience and a track record of accountability.
Poor configuration. Sometimes, security issues arise due to poor settings or mistakes made by users in the process of setting up and integration. It is essential to use an experienced setup for these top-of-the-line systems.
If even one device in your network is affected by malware, the malware may be spread to other devices, allowing an external user access to some of your valuable information. There are many types of malware available and all of them require the chance to be downloaded.
There are a variety of ways that one could be deceived into installing and downloading this kind of software, usually not even realizing that you’re doing this. For instance, you may be fooled into downloading an attachment in an email since it appears to be coming through an official. You could connect the flash drive you found at the park and see what’s on it. You can also connect your device to a network that is public which will allow access to those in the vicinity.
Anti-malware software is useful in reducing certain threats, as well as in removing malware after it’s installed. It’s nevertheless vital to train your employees to be aware of the threat of malware as well as the best methods of preventing it. A few best techniques are enough for reducing the threat to a manageable level.
It’s easy to dismiss as unlikely the idea of using social technology as a scam; who would believe in such a obvious scam? However, social engineers are extremely proficient in their work and the vast majority of people trust them by the nature of it. If someone sporting a vest that is high-visibility and a clipboard begins asking questions, you’re likely begin to give them the answers. If someone claims as an engineer at the tech company you’re using and you may confide in them with sensitive information.
Social engineering is a phenomenon that comes in numerous types, there’s no one-stop method to prevent the possibility of it happening. It’s impossible to instruct and train your employees to keep an eye out for such a scheme.
Violent (or the word “greedy”) Insiders
Many business owners view data breaches as something that happens externally, like a shady third-party in Russia or a child across the globe who is pursuing revenge attempts to gain access to. But , often, security breaches can originate from within. When you consider it, it’s logical insiders already have a lot of access to your information which puts them likely to abuse this access in a way that is easy.
Insider threats can take many types, including:
- Employees who are unhappy, seeking revenge against the company they believe is a liar.
- Insanely ignorant people who did not pay attention in the class on data breach prevention.
- Corporate espionage/colluding organizations that are working in conjunction with other businesses to undermine this company’s image.
- People who are looking for income, and need to earn some cash on the side, by selling or stealing information.
Poor Permission Management
Do all your users have access to all your information constantly? The answer is “no.” It’s a good security practice to restrict access to data and grant access to only those who require the information. Insufficient permissions management could enable employees at a lower level to access sensitive and confidential data that they shouldn’t view.
Security of data seems only a matter of the digital realm but that’s not always the scenario. Sometimes, data breaches happen due to physical threats or a physical event. If a person leaves their device in the coffee shop without supervision and someone is able to easily take the device and gain access to any information that was displayed. If they enter their password in the view of another person they could instantly gain access to your systems. This is why it’s crucial to put physical security protocols implemented in your company.
Fortunately, most of these risks to data breaches are preventable with simple and affordable methods. However, it’s essential to have a data breach response plan. Be sure to have systems for early detection that notify you of unauthorised user access or suspicious activity as well as dangers in the process of being discovered. It is also essential to have a strategy for shutting down any threat after it is discovered.