A data breach is a serious matter and one that can cause irrevocable harm to a company. However, not all incidents of data breaches are necessarily harmful. There are several ways to protect your data and stop it from being accessed by hackers in order to cause destruction and compromise.
Information security is important for any business. All personal and financial data should be protected at all times. Hackers and other unauthorized users can easily access this data and put it to use if given the chance. By securing your data now, you can prevent these people from accessing it in the future, and they will have no place to gain access to it. You can start at the very beginning by securing the most important data in your company.
As stated before, there are different types of what is a data breach. A minor breach may not result in any harm to your company. However, even if there is only a minor breach, it could have harmful effects on the workings of your business.
Hackers who want to gain illegal access to this information can use it to steal your customers’ identities. This means that your customers’ personal details, such as their name, address, telephone number and more, could be used to send spam or carry out other illegal activities on your company’s server. Your customers would not think anything of it if you did not secure your data, but they would certainly raise a red flag if your data was openly accessible for everyone to see.
What is a data breach, then, if your website has breached some laws? For example, if you use unsecured Wi-Fi to connect to your website (which is what many of us do nowadays), you are putting yourself at risk of being charged with wire fraud. You might not think it is a big crime, but it is. If your connection is intercepted and the data it contains is obtained by someone else, you could end up in prison for up to 15 years. Other examples include stealing passwords and using another person’s credit card.
Even if you do not have any direct interaction with customers, it is still important to take note of what is a data breach for your own business. If you sell products and services over the internet, you should be aware of any customer email attachments that you might download and not open. These could contain the names and addresses of your customers, which are very valuable pieces of information if you need to contact them.
Every year, millions of dollars are lost due to data breaches. Some of these losses are a direct consequence of the illegal acts of someone trying to obtain your private information. Others are caused by your own negligence, such as failing to properly set up your website and monitoring your site for updates. If you take the time to look over what is a data breach for your company, you will be taking a step towards protecting your company from liability.
How to Prevent Data Breach
Data breach prevention needs to cover everyone at all levels – from end users to IT personnel, and everyone in between.
When you are trying to plan how to prevent attacks or data leaks, security is only as strong as its weakest link. Everyone who interacts with the system can be a potential vulnerability. Even young children with tablets on your home network can be at risk.
Here are some best practices for avoiding data breaches
- Patch and update software as soon as options are available.
- High-quality encryption for sensitive data.
- Upgrade devices when the software is no longer supported by the manufacturer.
- Enforcing BYOD security policies, such as requiring all devices to use a corporate VPN service and antivirus protection.
- Enforcing strong credentials and multi-factor authentication to encourage better cybersecurity practices from users. Encouraging users to adopt a password manager can help.
- Educate employees on best security practices and ways to prevent socially engineered attacks.