Every year, businesses lose billions of dollars due to data breaches. Apart from these financial losses, businesses risk having their reputations destroyed and their ability to work with other businesses decimated. All the high-profile data breaches that are reported on remind all of us about just how important protecting businesses from these data breaches is. In this article, we are going to look at ways you can protect your business from costly data breaches.
Do Regular Audits
Complete, regular infrastructure audits can help businesses identify gaps and vulnerabilities in their infrastructure. A security audit that goes much further than penetration testing and vulnerability assessment works a lot better. Such an audit looks at how the organization handles data as well as how its infrastructure is configured to give recommendations on how both can be improved and strengthened.
Limiting Access to Data
In the past, all employees would have all the company’s data on their computers. Alternatively, they would have access to a central hub where all this data was stored. This means that breaching a single point in that network would grant access to all the data on the network.
These days, businesses have to limit data access to only the data specific employees need. When a business limits the people that can view certain types of data, they limit their exposure because a breach on one computer would only lead to a leak of the data on that computer alone.
Encryption ensures that even if a data breach happens, the data would be meaningless to the parties that end up with it. Businesses should therefore hire IT firms that can provide powerful protection for their systems, networks, and data through strong encryption. At a minimum, every business should have its emails and network traffic encrypted.
Update Software and Hardware
Professional IT consultants recommend updating your software and hardware regularly. Installing all security updates and patches regularly protects your data when vulnerabilities in older software, operating systems, and hardware become known to malicious third-party actors.
Use Passwords That Are Impossible to Guess or Decipher
Until recently, few businesses had strict guidelines on the passwords employees would use and how often they would change them. Now, businesses have been proactive in asking their employees to use strong passwords that are impossible to guess or decipher. They also need to remind their employees to change their passwords regularly, as this is one of the simplest steps to helping protect the businesses from data breaches.
Conduct Security Awareness Training
Studies have found that employees are usually the weakest link in many cybersecurity strategies. Employees are the ones who are most likely to click on suspicious links or download suspicious software. Therefore, training is important to help them understand the risks associated with doing this.
Also, one training session is not enough. Employees can forget about the lessons taught and keep doing things the same way unless you make them understand why following certain precautions is required.
It may seem like a lot of work has to be done to protect businesses from data breaches, but doing so is necessary for businesses that do not want to lose their data. Putting the right measures in place and educating employees on security measures, procedures and policies will go a long way in protecting your business and its data.