Data breaches and cyber-attacks continue to make headlines. Ransomware attacks on various organizations like police departments, hospitals and universities are increasingly common and governments are doing everything in their power to curb the trend.
However, data security issues do not only affect big businesses and organizations. Anyone can be the target of a cyber-attack and it’s essential for businesses big and small to have the proper set of precautions in place to prevent them. Thankfully, a lot of these attacks can be avoided just by knowing their root causes and addressing them. Let’s look at some of the most common causes for data security breaches and how to prevent them.
If you thought hackers would be on top of this list, you are sorely mistaken. The biggest threat to your data often comes from within. It’s much easier for employees that have direct access to critical data to abuse it than outsiders. You also have to deal with disgruntled employees either damaging, corrupting or stealing hardware containing sensitive data as a form of retaliation.
If you’re dealing with highly sensitive data, make sure you have a secured harbor or vault for highly sensitive information. A digital vault is a dedicated server that only allows one way in and one way out access. The server should also have multiple layers of protection like a firewall, VPN, full encryption and access control.
If you have been the victim of an insider attack, it would be wise to work with a digital forensics team to know who’s behind the breach. Companies like Secure Data Recovery can perform data recovery in case any data was lost and they can also retrace from which user or device the breach was initiated.
Cloud Storage Applications
Cloud applications can be a convenient solution for many, but they do have their fair share of risks as well. Cloud storage applications can open the door to hackers or insiders as well. The first thing you should do is work with a reputable cloud storage service that will correctly encrypt your data. Also, it would be wise to limit access to critical cloud-stored data by using dual factor authentication.
Unsecure Mobile Device
Mobile devices are also a big threat to data security and this risk is only heightened if you don’t have a strict BYOD policy. When you allow your employees to bring and use their own devices at work, you have much less control over passwords, security and application downloads which could all pose a direct threat to your business’s cyber security. You also have no idea who could have access to the device later. Your employees’ kids, friends or partners could eventually get a hold of critical information just by browsing through their devices.
While completely restricting personal devices is close to impossible, try to inform your employees on common security threats and your expectations on device usage. You should also consider having mobile device management systems in place to reduce the chance of mishaps.
No one is safe from data breaches, but that doesn’t mean you should remain idle. Do everything in your power to prevent the chances of leaks and have all the proper security measures in place to make sure that your company’s data remains safe at all times.