The issues of high-level security breaches are becoming more and more common nowadays in small and big organizations alike. While owners, as well as consumers, are left wondering what leads to such breaches, it is of utmost importance to understand how these happen and how to brace yourself against such incidents. Much like any other problem, the problem of data breaches too can be tackled in two simple steps: by understanding the issue and then gearing up and protecting yourself from it.
What is a Data Breach?
A data breach is a security breach on a system wherein information is accessed, stored, or stolen without authorization. It potentially exposes an organization or individual’s confidential, sensitive, and protected information to unauthorized person/persons. Files, data, personal and financial information as well as credentials can be viewed and/or shared and even stored without permission in a data breach. Furthermore, identifying a data breach is extremely important as it helps understand the vulnerabilities in a system and rectify it. Most commonly data breaches occur due to either bad user behavior or technologically advanced hacks from outside, either way, breaches occur because convenience is often valued more than cybersecurity.
Malicious data breaches are a huge cybersecurity threat, thus, it is essential to understand the various methods in which a data breach may occur. The most common ones are:
- Phishing- It is a social engineering attack disguised as a trustworthy e-mail or message. It is designed by hackers to lure you into a web of malicious links and activities, thus, causing you to enable them to breach data. These deceptive emails may be cloaked as organizations you like, or people/firms you love, or even as lottery announcements that can fool you.
- Brute Force Attacks: These attacks are designed to go through your passwords until they have been guessed correctly. As computer and internet speeds continue to improve these attacks are becoming more rapid. While doing an exhaustive search as part of the brute force attack, hackers may even inject malware in your system while doing this.
- Malware: All kinds of malicious software like viruses, ransomware, spyware, and worms can be injected in your system via advanced tools by hackers. Such malware can compromise your data and information while preying on your systems’ vulnerabilities. Thus, it becomes crucial to protect your devices from such malicious software.
What should be done?
While chalking out a plan on how to prevent data breach attacks it is essential to keep in mind that your security is only as strong as the weakest link. Thus, it becomes imperative to include everyone in your organization while working on data breach prevention. Here are some effective practices to avoid a data breach:
- Upgrading Devices Regularly
It is always advisable that applications, software, as well as operating systems, are regularly updated. Installing patches whenever available is effective in protecting your systems from network vulnerabilities that may otherwise occur.
- Upgrade to a good antivirus protection
Antiviruses are extremely effective and have proven their worth when it comes to data breaches. Innovative cyber protection that prevents, detects, and acts accordingly is a must-have. By choosing the best antivirus for Windows you may be able to save yourself from unnecessary troubles, and your organization from a bad cyberattack. Phishing threats, online frauds and many such threats that lurk on the web can be effectively avoided by getting trustworthy antivirus protection.
- Strong Passwords and Multi-factor Authentication
Encouraging employees to use difficult passwords and manage passwords wisely is another step towards good cybersecurity practices. Make multi-factor authentication mandatory especially for highly sensitive information and data. The more critical the data, the higher the risk of it getting stolen, so it is better to be cautious with it. These small, good cybersecurity practices go a long way.
- Creating Employee Awareness
Updating employees about the best security practices and potential threats may save your organization from many socially engineered threats. Employees need to be made aware of suspicious, potential viruses that may even be a threat to their identity and thereby the company. As an employer, you should think a step ahead and invest in a good identity protection service that safeguards your employees’ personal information, and of course the company’s data. It will effectively monitor your digital footprint and save your organization and employees from nasty data breaches.
It is the 21st century and with the world of the web taking over, it seems more likely that companies take their data security very critically. Breaches not just cost a lot of money but also badly affect the reputation of your firm, thus, it becomes all the more crucial to have a solid plan for when things go south. Having the right knowledge and being prepared for the worse is always the ideal way to go when it comes to data breaches.