Data breaches are preventable, but it requires a holistic approach to data security. There are many steps you can take to reduce your organization’s risk of a breach. For instance, the average data breach cost in 2021 is $4.24 million.
But Companies that implemented a zero-trust architecture paid an average of $3.28 million for a data breach. Almost 60% of data breaches occurred via compromised third-party providers. So, by shutting down vendor data leaks, the majority of data breach incidents can be avoided.
By following the best practices outlined here, you can keep your company’s data safe and prevent any future attacks from happening. If you do find yourself in an unfortunate situation where a breach has occurred, make sure not to panic! The most important thing is to contain the situation as soon as possible so that no further damage can happen with help from reliable experts such as Managed Security Services.
Educate your employees
Training is an essential part of your company’s data security strategy. It should be ongoing, tailored to the specific needs of each individual, interactive and fun. Employees need to know how they can help prevent cyber attacks and what measures they can take to reduce the risk of a breach.
Employees should be trained on how to handle sensitive information and what procedures they need to follow when they leave their desk or computer unattended (i.e., logging out). To help make this easier, create an internal library where employees can find resources related to company policies and procedures.
Create and update procedures
- Create a data breach procedure. This is one of the most important steps in preventing breaches, as it will alert you to what to do if there is an incident and when to file an incident report. It should include who needs to be notified and how they should be notified, as well as who needs to be involved in any follow up investigation or response activities (e.g., legal).
- Update the procedure every time there is a change that impacts how you respond or identify potential incidents that could trigger it (e.g., a new system connects with your network). Make sure everyone knows what they need to do in case of an incident so they can help prevent its spread or mitigate its impact by taking action right away.
- Ensure that everyone follows the procedures by regularly reviewing them and making sure people are following them properly. When addressing issues like these, make sure you document everything so there’s no confusion about why certain actions were taken later on down the line.
Data backup and recovery
If you are not already doing so, consider creating a backup plan for critical systems as well as an offsite backup facility that is secure from natural disasters or other threats (e.g., fire). Data backups should be tested regularly by IT personnel in order to ensure functionality during an emergency situation like ransomware attack which could render all local copies inaccessible without proper restoration methods in place beforehand!
Make sure that your backups are secure, whether they are stored in a remote location or onsite. If you store them at a remote location, make sure that you have controls in place to prevent unauthorized access to the backups and ensure their availability if needed.
Also consider encryption as an added layer of protection for sensitive data when transferring it over the network or storing it in a remote location.
If you do keep your backups locally onsite, be careful about how accessible those servers are to others and make sure only authorized personnel can access them. This also applies to any mobile devices used for accessing this data remotely as well as backup media such as tapes/DVDs/CDs/etc., which should be kept locked up securely.
Destroy before deletion/ recycling
Deleted files can still technically be recovered using special software tools like PhotoRec. This is why you must dispose of your data in such a way that it cannot be recovered. This means shredding, pulverizing or incinerating the media to ensure that no one can ever read it again.
If this is not possible (for example, if you have a hard drive with sensitive information on it), at least make sure that the data is unreadable by anyone who may get access to it before disposing of the device for reuse or recycling. Another important step is ensuring disposal methods match with how long something needs protecting before being discarded.
Maintain up-to-date security software
- Use a cloud-based security solution
- Install antivirus software on all devices and make sure to update it regularly.
- Install firewalls on your internet-connected computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.
- Use a password manager to help you create strong passwords for each service or website you use online. This helps prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information if they get hold of one of your usernames or passwords along with other details such as name, birth date etc.
- Use a VPN (virtual private network) when connected to public Wi-Fi networks or use encryption to protect yourself from snooping by ISPs or hackers in hotels/coffee shops etc. where there is no encryption built into the network infrastructure itself (e.g., WPA2).
- Encrypt all data stored locally on hard drives and removable storage disks using BitLocker/FileVault if available. Otherwise, look for commercial products that offer file encryption features within their toolset such as Microsoft’s EFS feature set in Windows 10 Enterprise editions.
Post courtesy: Cyber74, Cybersecurity Solutions Provider