Data Breach: The new epidemic

Because of technological advances, an increasing amount of our information is being transferred to the digital realm. The frequency and cost of cyberattacks as a result of this progress in the world of tech. As per a report by Purplesec, the overall value of a security breach to a company in the world is $3.86 million per incident.

Security Magazine also mentioned that according to the Risk-Based Security Report release, in the first half of 2021, there were 1,767 publicly reported breaches, exposing 18.8 billion records.

Data breaching is the process of accessing confidential data without authorization. It is an incident that invades and exposes protected information. Businesses and institutes can suffer a lot, but self-entrepreneurs also have their careers at stake if this happens with them. 

However, businesses and corporations comparatively suffer more as they are incredibly appealing targets for cybercriminals. This is simply because of the significant amount of data gathered in a single fell swoop. The offending organization may face fines, lawsuits, and even the loss of its ability to conduct business if a data breach results in identity fraud and an infringement of state or industry compliance mandates.

Intentional and unintentional data breaches are both possible. A cybercriminal may gain access to your database, or an employee may reveal sensitive information on the internet.

The most common breached information is:

  • Credit cards
  • Social security number 
  • Driver’s license 
  • Healthcare histories 

There are many reasons why and how a data breach occurs. Therefore here are some of the most common ones:

Natural/genuine human errors: 

A data breach does not have to be the result of malicious behavior. According to Stanford University, employee error accounts for roughly 80% of all data breaches.

Trusting people a bit too much: Businesses that do not strictly control who has access to what within the company are more likely to have given all the access of data to the wrong people or left outdated permissions in place for a sneaky hacker to take advantage of.

Malware: Spam and phishing emails are used by hackers to trick users into revealing passwords, downloading malware attachments, or visiting vulnerable websites. Malware is quite often delivered to your computer via email.  If you do click it, as a result, your computer may become malware-infected. Also, keep in mind that an email can seem to come from a trustworthy source even if it does not.

System Vulnerability: Outdated systems and software are one of the reasons why cybercriminals get a chance for data breaches. Hackers always keep an eye on systems that are not up to date as they are easier to access. If you don’t fix the old security flaws and update your system, hackers will have free access to your company’s most confidential information.

Weak Passwords: The vulnerability exploited by the opportunist hacker is often a weak or forgotten password. 

That being said, every problem comes with a possible solution. To avoid data breaches, we can take the following steps:

Be cautious: 

Misuse of information by an insider can significantly damage a company’s reputation. It is essential to take matters into your own hands whenever you see suspicious activity or gestures from anyone in your surroundings.

Be careful who you share corporate and private information. If an email comes from an unknown person, better run their name through Nuwber to check whether it is a real person. The same applies to phone calls and non-employed visitors.

Using stronger passwords: For each one of your online accounts, form a complex password. You can use online password management tools and stop worrying about remembering multiple passcodes. One of such tools is Norton Password Manager.

Conduct regular audits: A data security audit is a comprehensive evaluation of your company’s information systems to ensure that they are operating as smoothly and efficiently as they possibly can. For security purposes, performing regular audits of your security safeguards includes ensuring that your business is shielded and that vulnerable data is accurately stored and handled.

Training colleagues and staff members to eliminate possible human errors: After you have completed your data security audits, you can put in place a written employee data security and privacy policy. Regular security training will ensure that all employees know the newly implemented policies since people cannot follow the rules they simply don’t know about or don’t understand.

Inventory inspection: By looking at the hardware and software assets in your network, you can gain a better understanding of your company’s security. Asset inspection and inventory management can also be used to categorize and calculate the threats that your assets and inventory may face. The flaws can be ranked to help you better prioritize the tasks that would eradicate these issues.

Only antivirus software is not enough to prevent a significant data breach. Relying solely on antivirus protection leaves your systems open to online attacks. Your desktops and laptops can serve as a significant entry point for hackers.

Employing vulnerability and compliance management: By utilizing a vulnerability and compliance management tool or conducting a vulnerability assessment, you can identify the gaps and weak points in your physical and virtual environments and make necessary adjustments. Using VCM, you can have your facilities and information technology assets evaluated in real-time for issues relating to the online security of your company or organization.

In addition to assisting you in identifying security flaws, a competent vulnerability assessment can also encourage your company to fix them, thereby maintaining strict security for both users and those in charge of the company.

Conclusion: Natural human errors can be kept to a bare minimum if the right people are in charge of data security and the right processes and procedures are in place to prevent user error. Security management of a company is critical. Addressing security concerns is necessary to keep online security intact. To make sure your data stays safe, you need to employ strategies that do not hurt your business reputation in any possible way.

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