Did you know that there the number of data breaches last year increased by 68 percent when compared with the year previously?
There is no denying that this is one of the biggest threats that businesses all around the world face today.
It does not matter whether your business is big or small, you need to make a dedicated effort to ensure your business does not become the next victim.
The trouble is that cybercriminals are becoming more and more sophisticated all of the time, so you need to make sure that you are diligent with your efforts. Data security cannot be a one-time thing. It’s something you need to work on all of the time.
With that being said, below, we will take you through some of the different things that you can do to prevent a data breach in your company.
Adhere to the rules and regulations that are in place
There are a number of different rules and regulations there in place when it comes to data breaches. The laws that are applicable to you will depend on where you are located, the sort of business you run, and the data you store.
For example, in California, the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) has been implemented to make sure that you are handling the data of all California’s residents in a secure manner. This does not only apply to businesses in California.
It applies to any business that collects information about a person in California, so if you have a customer in California, the CPRA is applicable to you. Osano will help you stay compliant with the CPRA with Osano’s guide to CPRA, which provides in-depth information on the topic.
But CPRA is just one example when it comes to the different rules and regulations that need to be adhered to. The good news is that a lot of these regulations overlap in terms of what they require you to do.
Educate your employees
The next step is to make sure that you educate your employees on data security and how they can operate in a safe and secure manner.
The vast majority of data breaches that happen today are insider attacks. While some of these happen due to malicious employees who want to steal data from your business, the majority of them simply happen because an employee has made a mistake that has unintentionally given a hacker access to your network.
The worst thing you can do is simply assume that your employees know all about data breaches and how to protect important information. Instead, it is important to make sure you train them in data security so that they can understand the steps they need to take and why it is critical.
Once employees learn about the impact data breaches can have, and how a large number of businesses have had to shut their doors permanently after suffering a data breach, they will realize why it is vital, and they make a dedicated effort to ensure they conduct their work in a safe manner.
You should teach your employees all about how to generate strong passwords. Make sure they change their passwords regularly and do not use the same password for all of their accounts. Little things like this may seem like common sense to you. However, if your workers have never been taught about it, they won’t know to do it.
Make sure there is also someone that your employees can turn to if they notice something that does not seem quite right. Whether their computer is acting slow or they have received a strange email, they should know who they can turn to for assistance.
Use access controls to limit who can get their hands on data
One of the issues that businesses have today is that they are processing more information than ever before. This can be quite challenging because it means there are masses of data that need to be sifted through and handled in the correct manner.
In a lot of cases what happens is that businesses end up storing heaps of data and do not know where it is or what sort of data they are holding. Not only does this go against the regulations that are in place, but it makes it incredibly difficult for you to stop a data breach from happening.
After all, how are you supposed to safeguard data and prevent a breach if you do not know where all of your data is to begin with?
Instead, you need to make sure you have an effective method in place for sorting through all of your data and organizing it correctly. You should add labels to categorize your data. Once you have done this, you will be able to limit access to the data. You can ensure that only certain professionals are able to access the most confidential data.
By doing this, you reduce the risk considerably. You will be able to know exactly who has access to data and you can track the history of this as well should an incident occur.
Always update software whenever you are prompted to do so
It can be annoying when you’re busy working, and a pop-up appears on the screen, asking you to update your software. How many times do you click the button saying you’ll do it later? While this may be the convenient option, it is not the best approach to take.
There is a reason why the software has been updated. In most cases, vulnerabilities have been patched up. Therefore, if you do not update the software, you are leaving yourself vulnerable. So, make sure you are proactive and automatically update software whenever you are prompted to.
Invest in penetration testing services
If you have never heard of penetration testing before, this involves getting an ethical hacker to hack into your system to discover any vulnerabilities. The objective here is that they will hack into your system before a criminal hacker does so and exploit the said vulnerabilities.
Instead, by performing a hack, they will be able to determine exactly how someone would be able to hack into your system. You can then use this information to patch up these weaknesses so that someone with malicious intentions would not be able to do this in the future.
Given the nature of this service, it is imperative to make sure you choose an ethical hacking company with care. Look for a business that has plenty of experience and a great reputation to back it up as well. Do not use the services of a company that does not have much of a reputation or a presence.
Use a multi-layered approach
Last but not least, there is not one singular tactic or piece of software that you can use to keep your business protected. Instead, you need to make sure that you are leveraging as many of the different tools and techniques that are available as possible.
To begin with, you should be using high-grade military encryption to protect all of your sensitive data. This means that even if someone were to access your data, they would not be able to interpret it or use it.
Aside from this, firewalls and anti-virus solutions are also a necessity. As mentioned earlier, make sure that this software is kept up to date at all times so that you can ensure you are always protected.
Network segregation is something you also need to consider carefully. If someone were to gain access to your system right now, would they gain access to everything from your social media to your POS systems? If so, this is a big problem, as it means a hacker can infiltrate all areas of your business and cause maximum damage.
Instead, you need to make sure that you segregate your network so that this does not happen. This means that if someone does manage to get access to your network, they won’t actually be able to access everything on there, meaning the problem is contained, which will be more manageable.
Final words on preventing a data breach at your business
As you can see, there is not a magic wand you can simply wave to prevent a data breach at your business. You need to have a dedicated approach, which involves a number of different approaches so that you can give your business the greatest level of protection.