How Can You Prevent Data Breach in Your Organization?
Data breaches have become normal. Unfortunately, preventing them hasn’t. Cybercrime has proven to be a lucrative business, and cybercriminals are dedicated to remaining profitable. This creates a problem for business owners, investors, and businesses themselves.
Security breaches that result in compromised data occur through a variety of vectors. Vectors are how the security breach is initiated. Meaning, that cybercriminals do not use the same “door” if you will, to gain access to the data each time an attack takes place. By using a variety of attack vectors businesses become more vulnerable, and may not know where to thwart the attacks.
The Five Steps to Prevent Security Breaches
Fortunately, there are ways to be proactive. Here are five steps you can take to better protect your business by strengthening the integrity of your digital infrastructure.
Step #1 – Complete a threat analysis
To close security gaps, you first must fully understand what and where they are. To do so, you should have a security vulnerability and threat analysis completed. This may be done through an internal team, such as an internal auditing department, or the IT department themselves. However, other times, organizations will opt for an external company, which focuses on security vulnerability and threat analysis to conduct a study.
They will take a look at items like the current hardware and software used, as well as other devices that are connecting to the network. From there, a full report will be supplied showing what outdated hardware and software are being run on the corporate network and how this poses a security risk. Appropriate remediation steps should also be provided at this time.
Step #2 – Close security gaps
Whether you have conducted an internal analysis or paid a third party, you should now have a firm grasp on the security holes your organization faces. It is now time to close them. Depending on the security vulnerabilities the organization is facing, it may require software updates, hardware upgrades, or higher levels of control to block staff from connecting personal devices to corporate networks. Some may ponder why personal devices connected to a company network pose a security risk; however, the reasoning is quite simple – the unknown.
Employers do not know what security controls are in place for these devices if any. Additionally, staff members are accessing personal platforms, like e-mail and social media accounts on these devices. Both of which are prime phishing grounds. If they happen to click on a malicious ad while scrolling social media, or mistakenly download a bad file from their email account while connected to the company networks, it can infiltrate the entire business.
Step #3 – Evaluate employee credentials
Passwords are used for everything from logging into a hardware device to accessing various software systems. Due to their high prevalence, and new complexity requirements, employees will often reuse them across various platforms, both professional and personal. By doing so, employees are unintentionally decreasing the security integrity of the password itself.
Furthermore, a cybercriminal can use brute force attacks to hack into the system by guessing employee passwords. If controls are not in place to mitigate this risk, they will get in.
This leaves a few options regarding employee credentials. Businesses can implement a multi-factor authentication approach to increase security. Meaning, that to gain access employees must confirm their identity by verifying two or more controlled elements like a proximity card and password, a pin and passcode, etc. Optionally, they could begin using employee biometrics as their credentials. Unlike passwords or proximity cards, employee biometrics cannot be lost, stolen, or shared.
Step #4 – Layering the Security Stack
Speaking of security controls, it’s worth inventorying what the business has in place. Of course, you will need your basic security solution to block all the various forms of malware, but it’s worth considering how this software functions. Ensure your security solution includes a proactive form of detecting malicious attacks, meaning they block them before they infiltrate the network. This could be machine learning, artificial intelligence, or zero trust technologies like application whitelisting.
Many of these proactive forms of detection offer a layered approach to security. Therefore, you do not need to rip and replace the entire security stack. Instead, you can layer this proactive detection on top of the existing solutions for rather seamless integration, creating a cybersecurity mesh if you will.
Step #5 – Segmenting Networks
Similar to reducing the security risks for edge computing, you will want to segment your networks. By separating your networks into smaller parts, the threat of a security breach reaching all aspects of your business becomes significantly reduced. Alternatively, if all else fails the cybercriminals may gain access to a piece of the network, but not all.
Overall, there are multiple ways to mitigate the risk of your organization becoming the latest victim of a security breach, and there is no shortage of advice regarding how to stop them. Ultimately, you should consider what your business already has in place, and start by making the smallest change that will have the greatest impact. From there, you can move on to the next phase of implementation to further strengthen the integrity of the business’s digital infrastructure.
Remember, as a business your employees, clients, and customers trust you to keep their information secure. Failing to do so will not only hurt your bottom dollar but your reputation as well.