A data breach is no joke, and it can take many forms. Whether it’s a case of confidential data being viewed, copied, stolen, or destroyed, a data breach cannot be ignored. Let’s take a look at some of the various causes of business data breaches and what you can do to prevent them from sinking your organization.
If a software solution has security flaws or shortcomings, hackers can exploit them to take advantage. Sometimes the solutions are simply coded poorly or are just out-of-date compared to more modern solutions. Other times misconfigured settings can be problematic. In either case, it’s important to keep your solutions updated and configured correctly, and any IT professional should be able to help make sure this happens.
Passwords are the first line of defense against security threats, so you should do your best to ensure that you’re using sufficiently secure passwords. Ideally, you should be using passphrases, as they are harder to guess and can make your passwords more unique. On that note, you should always be using unique passwords for your accounts, as it means that if one account is compromised, the others are not at risk. A password management system can make for a safe, secure, and efficient tool that makes remembering complex passphrases much more manageable.
Cybercriminals don’t always use advanced technology to penetrate your systems and hack into your accounts. Sometimes they only have to ask and receive, depending on whose identity they have stolen. These types of social engineering tricks are real threats that can and should be prepared for. You should emphasize the importance of verifying the identity of whoever is reaching out to you.
There is a very low probability that your staff all need the highest level of permissions to do their jobs, let alone the same permissions, period. Most of your employees do not need access to human resources documents, for example, and your sales team doesn’t need administrative access to your computing infrastructure. If you can keep your permissions on a need-to-know basis, you can dramatically reduce the damage dealt by any data breach.
Sometimes an insider can cause trouble for your business, like an employee lashing out in retribution or someone making questionable moral choices that benefit themselves over the organization. Insider threats can come in many forms, some of which may not even be on purpose, but they must be prepared for all the same. Restrict permissions to minimize the damage dealt by insider threats.
Malware takes many forms, and most of them can cause trouble for your network or data infrastructure. There are seemingly endless ways for malware to sneak into your network, too, from public Wi-Fi connections to infected USB devices. You’ll need to be extra careful with how you protect your network, and if you’re not confident in your ability to protect it as well as it needs to be, we have some great news for you.
To learn more, call Computerware today at (703) 821-8200 or go to: https://www.cwit.com/blog.
Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.