How to prevent data breaches?

icon Posted by: Hasan Sameer
icon December 21, 2022

In Brief: 

How do Data Breaches Occur? 

Data Breaches are mostly orchestrated through phishing attacks, brute-forcing, and unauthorized access to the victim’s data repository. This way, your sensitive data ends up in the wrong hands and it might be misused. Moreover, these breaches are insanely costly. According to the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report published by IBM, $3.86 million is the average cost of a data breach. If you calculate the loss of time and reputation, it will paint a more frightening picture to look at. Data breaches not only happen through online penetration. Physical actions like stealing paperwork, laptops, phones, or storage devices are also a part of it. 

52%

of data breaches are caused by malicious attacks.

76%

of respondents during an IBM survey said that remote work increased the time to identify and contain breaches.

37%

was the increase in the number of data breaches between the second and the third quarter of 2022.

12.7%

is the rate at which the average cost of a data breach has increased from 2020 to 2022.

Top 5 Ways to Prevent Data Breaches

There are many ways to attain Cyber security verification and validation to make your infrastructure immune to data breaches to an extent. Although you need to take care of a lot of things despite that. Conventional security measure does not guarantee 100% safety from the malicious intents of threat actors out there. They are looking to capitalize on even a single mistake committed by your side. You need to be on your toes in terms of your data security to evade the risk of breaches. The following are the top 5 practices to prevent data breaches: 

1. Always Be Updated 

Creating security procedures is not enough. You need to be up to date with all the practices and protocols related to data security. The top threats to your data are Security flaws, including zero-day vulnerabilities present within your systems. Modern hackers are using AI, neural networks, and sophisticated computer mesh topologies to target these vulnerabilities. If you are operating with outdated and unpatched versions of software. Then you are directly inviting data security risks to exploit the vulnerabilities within your infrastructure. 

2. Vulnerability and Compliance Management 

Managing vulnerabilities and compliances is an underestimated aspect of preventing data breaches. If you are compliant with standard regulations for data protection, you are already halfway through achieving a secure database. Plus, conducting a vulnerability assessment every now and then will give a clear idea about the security loopholes and weaknesses present in your systems and networks that might lead to breaches. It will help your security teams in a better understanding of the highs and lows of your security posture. They will be able to informingly prioritize risks and remediate them accordingly.  

3. Access Control and Management 

You need to limit access to your most valuable set of data to a bare minimum. In earlier times, almost every employee used to have access to every file in the organization. This was the reason for the high number of industrial espionages in that era. This is the case today as well. If you provide every employee with access to all files, especially the ones with crucial and confidential information. It will potentially bring catastrophic consequences for your company. Therefore, you as a business organization must stick to the principle of least privilege access. Everyone should only have access to the files that are required to do their job.  

4. Encryption and Back Up  

Sometimes it is next to impossible to avoid an attack or breach even after deploying all security protocols. So, you need to be prepared for such a situation. Encrypting your data makes it useless in the wrong hands. If your data is encrypted, hackers can’t misuse it even if they get their hands on it. However, encryption is a tricky process. But you can take help from the Cyber Security Consultant Companies for this. Also, backing up your data is important. Because sometimes attackers wipe out all your data at the time of a breach. Back Ups come in handy after such an incident. 

5. Educate and Train Your Employees  

According to various statistics, human error has been rendered as the primary cause of data breaches. The only way to deal with this problem is to provide your employees with proper training on education on data security. They must know how to identify a threat vector and must have a response mechanism when they spot one.  

Before You Go! 

  • Data breaches are indeed the most pressing issue in front of businesses across the globe. It is just as threatening as the declining economic graph, if not more.  
  • However, if you apply the above five practices along with Cyber security verification and validation, you are almost safe.  

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