The most time-tested method of safeguard against the ordeal and cost that arises from data breaches is to avoid them. But understanding data breaches is critical to its prevention. Here is our simple guide outlining the types and cost of data breaches you might run into and ways to prevent them.
Data breaches are said to occur when cybercriminals are able to gain access to your organization’s data and sensitive information. Data breaches are expensive! IBM’s 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report shows an average total cost of a data breach of $3.92 million, in addition to the organization’s credibility. Even smaller-scale data breaches, with an average cost of $150per lost record, can be painful. Data breaches may occur either physically or remotely.
Physical Loss of Data
A general notion is that cybercriminals are savvy individuals who obtain data access remotely. However, a common tool they use is theft. They could get their hands on, inter alia, essential documents, and mobile phones. It is possible that the data access does not leave a trail and you never realize the data has been accessed.
Social Engineering and Human Errors
Cybercriminals may use tactics other than theft in their pursuit of acquiring data. For instance,they could send you a fraudulent email or make fake calls misrepresenting themselves as though they are calling from your company’s IT department asking for your credentials by reason of a cooked-up purpose. These emails and calls enable cybercriminals obtain your confidential information that they sell or use to commit fraud.
Apart from deliberate data breaches, accidental data leaks occur when data is left unprotected or erroneously sent to an unauthorized person.
Prevention of Data Breach: The Best Practices
Prevention of data breach has assumed a central position given its cost to the organization. While a number of efficient prevention techniques are available, the organizations must study them and perform a cost-benefit analysis to draw up a final data breach prevention strategy. Listed below are the most effective data breach prevention practices.
- Staff Training and Education On Cyber Attacks
The most vulnerable point of a data breach in the organization are the employees. Educating employees about the seriousness of data protection and mitigating data security threats is key. Training sessions highlighting measures, policies, and procedures for data privacy and security may be conducted periodically. Following parameters may be discussed:
- What information is confidential and their responsibility to protect it
- Making good use of ‘time-out’ functionality on systems
- Never leaving systems unattended or unlocked
- Usage of strong passwords and changing them at regular intervals
- Recognizing and reporting phishing scams
- Regular Security Audits
Regular security audits identify potential loopholes in the organization’s security framework. Some common questions that emerge in a security audit are:
- Are information security policies documented and in place?
- Is adequate network security mechanism (Firewalls, EPP, etc.) set up?
- Does the organization have a password policy?
- Were the applications tested for security flaws?
- Secure Data Backup and Recovery
Your database maybe erased by way of fraud, a server crash, or a natural disaster. In such situations, a vital aidinrecovering your business data is an automated remote backup system that helps data recovery. A robust cyber security framework is essential to uninterrupted functioning.
- Store Only Useful Information; Destroy Before Discarding
The information collected and stored should be monitored and unnecessary data should be discarded. It is also critical to protect the locations where sensitive data is stored.
Another essential elementof data protection is the destruction of data before it is discarded, be it documents or hard drives.
- Data Protection, Safety Software, and Critical Applications
Data may be physically secured in the following ways
- Locking the files or records room containing all the data
- Restrict access to such data
- Verification of information of stakeholders
- Temporary employees shouldn’t be allowed to access any private information
Proper provisions for data protection should be made. Security software should be timely updated. Firewalls, Anti-Virus Software, and Anti-Spyware Software are essential tools for safeguarding the business from data breaches.
With the increasing usage of complex web apps, scanning, threat modeling, and secure coding can provide holistic security for the business to function smoothly.
- Data Encryption
Employees should not be using networks that might be vulnerable to data breaches and confidential data communications should always be encrypted so as to prevent a data breach.
- Portable Media Access
Data on portable forms of media should also be encrypted in order to create a safety shield in case pen drives, DVDs, CDs, or Hard Disks are lost or stolen. Only authorized access should be allowed to ensure data security.
- Hiring Cyber security Professionals
Bringing in experts for data security helps manage data security. They provide businesses with the infrastructure and technology that are tailor-made in accordance with the business’s nature. It enhances cyber resiliency and results in an excellent data security framework.
Let ValuPay Take Care of Your Valuable Data
As discussed above, storing important data in one place is helpful in preventing data breaches. ValuPay secures stakeholder data and payment information, taking your business’s responsibility and risk. We use the most advanced encryption and security tools that exist in the market for your business and customers. Get in touch with one of our representatives to learn more about our solution and security products.