In an increasingly dangerous digital world, companies of all sizes are more vulnerable than ever to data breaches. The Grand Theft Data II report reveals that 61 percent of IT professionals have observed data breaches involving their employers. These calamities are particularly devastating for small businesses. According to a report involving a collaboration between Cisco and the National Center for the Middle Market, over half of small businesses fold in the first six months following a cyber-attack. Sadly, these breaches are often entirely preventable.
Let’s examine why these security disasters occur and how they can best be avoided.
Common Sources of Data Breaches
A variety of vulnerabilities and circumstances can lead to data breaches, but a few patterns have emerged over time. The following are among the most common causes of commercial data breaches:
- Vulnerable System Infrastructure – The very structure of your network may make it uniquely vulnerable to modern security threats. Often a top target for hackers, network system infrastructure should be designed and maintained at a greater level of security than individual devices – but this is not how most modern businesses approach security. Common concerns include exploitable services, infrequent patching, and lack of antivirus protocol.
- Human Error – How secure is your password? How about the passwords used by your employees? Most people are well aware of the need for complex log-in information and the need to swap it out on a regular basis. However, few actually use passwords capable of keeping hackers at bay. Passwords represent the first line of defense for many companies, but they are often ignored for the sake of convenience.
- Outside Servers Prompting Intercepted Data – Server quality matters; the wrong server can undo any efforts to secure network infrastructure. Many companies make every effort to secure inside infrastructure but never bother to properly vet outside servers. If not properly secured, these servers may be vulnerable to data interceptions. To reduce this risk, enterprises should vet servers early on and continue to check in to ensure that outside data remains secure.
Best Ways to Prevent Data Breaches
Today’s hackers may seem impossible to stave off, but they’re far from all-powerful. A strategic security policy can make all the difference. Get started by implementing these key steps:
- Invest in Risk Assessment – Where do your greatest vulnerabilities currently lie? Even highly skilled IT professionals may struggle to pinpoint weaknesses within their own organization. An outside perspective may be essential as you determine where improvements are needed.
- Develop a Comprehensive Security Plan – Security protocol at many enterprises can best be described as putting out fires. Businesses occasionally patch up their networks but tend to neglect the comprehensive, overarching security measures that are capable of providing long-term protection. A truly effective security plan must be built from the ground up to ensure that a range of threats are addressed through customized solutions.
- Train Employees on Effective Security Protocol – Some employees may prove shockingly unaware of the role they play in keeping company data secure – or in handing sensitive information directly to hackers. Keep employees in-the-know with regular training. They should learn why security protocol is so important and how they can contribute to developing a safer and more secure workplace. However, a single training session may not prove sufficient; continue to provide periodic updates to ensure that security remains a point of concern for all employees.
- Off-Site Data Management – The cliché “the best defense is a good offense” clearly applies to cybersecurity. Sometimes, however, the most effective offensive moves are initiated well before players take the field. Translated to systems security, this analogy points to the need for off-site data management services, which can pinpoint potential risks long before they cause your business harm.
Whether you’re determined to prevent future data breaches or have already been compromised, you can benefit from the assistance of the experts at NerdsToGo. As a trusted data security company serving Huntsville and Decatur, AL, we offer a comprehensive suite of security services designed to address today’s most worrisome security threats.
We also provide disaster relief services – in the aftermath of a data breach, our experts can visit your office or storefront to assess the damage and determine the best fix. From there, we can help you implement a full data recovery plan to ensure you are protected in the event of future breaches. Contact us today for more information about our business data security services or to sign up for managed IT services.