Data is now the new crude, gold, and basically every other commodity word you can pick to qualify it. Being the lifeblood of your business, data is inevitably needed in all your operational processes from start to finish. Be it a huge corporation or a promising start-up, information security can make or brutally break your business.
The repercussions that come with a business failing to safeguard confidential information are always massive which could even lead to potential business fold up. Back in May 2019 Canva, an Australian tech unicorn and a graphic-design tool website made the headlines when confidential data of almost 140 mln users surfaced on the dark web for sale.
For those that love stats, according to IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 is around $150 per one compromised record that contains Personally Identifiable Information. This looks tasty enough to make cybercriminals prey on this precious commodity. As a result, almost 25% of businesses fall victim to data breaches with an average fraud loss of almost $40,000.
Since 2021 is fast approaching with the hope that it won’t be as exhausting as 2020 has been so far, one of your company’s New Year’s Resolution really has to be to amplify data security, read on for proven practices to keep hackers at bay and give your valuable information the love, respect and care it deserves.
Getting ahead of cybersecurity breaches: Business edition
Stick to the essentials: The more data you collect about your clients and employees, the more effort it takes to keep this data safe. Companies are usually big overdoers regarding the amount of stored information. As a result, their clients and customers are the ones who take a hard blow when data falls into the wrong unauthorized hands.
To reduce possible risks, collect and store only the essential or critical data required for your business needs. In case you require additional information for the time being, make sure to dispose of it properly when you no longer need it.
Create a data fortress: Scammers and hackers are always looking for new tricks. Sometimes, they treacherously use a savage cyberattack trick. Sometimes, they creep in through a back entrance to your operating systems or security. Sometimes, they send welcoming ‘postcards’ with totally legit links also known as phishing. That is why you need perimeter fences to safeguard your business data. To make your fences impenetrable, you need to:
- use firewalls;
- make sure your antivirus is up and running;
- use a U2F Key or other two-factor authentication;
- encrypt, always encrypt and encrypt more;
- disable webcams and microphones (Edward Snowden has once revealed stranger things from NSA to us).
Educate your employees on data security: Unfortunately, email security and employee training are usually among the top problems faced by companies when it comes to data protection. Not to mention, that according to data, more than 30% of employees don’t have the slightest idea of what phishing or malware is. That’s just how bad it is. In reality, even cutting-edge technologies won’t save companies from data breaches, as employees are the most common easy entry points for phishers.
Therefore, cyber literacy is very essential for organizations with sensitive information. As the Advanced Computing Systems Association (USENIX) suggests, the ideal training routine occurs every 4-6 months with recurrent “live fire” training exercises and constant reminders.
By investing in regular cybersecurity training and making it part of the onboarding process, companies make sure they don’t find themselves in the headlines that often.
Even with emerging technologies and tightening cyber regulations, cybersecurity still presents a weak spot even for the most tech-savvy companies. As threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and advanced, neither small companies nor giant enterprises feel comfortable with storing sensitive data.
Although there’s no silver bullet on best cybersecurity tips to deploy, such essential practices as storing only the necessities, using firewalls, and the U2F key, as well as raising awareness can save your companies from backfire.
Culled from Hacker Noon