How to Protect Yourself from a Devastating Data Breach
The global cost of data breaches in 2021 is expected to reach $6 trillion annually, which is almost doubled of the cost in 2015 – Source.
With businesses turning digital, and increasing usage of digital storage in today’s digital era, crippling data breaches have become more common and it shouldn’t be surprising if they grow multifold in the forthcoming years.
Customer data, financial records, databases, and other kinds of sensitive data: this valuable information are potentially prone to theft. The data breach may cause serious damage to your reputation and business. This is why data security should be on top of your priority list of critical tasks.
- Ransomware attacks rose to 350% in 2018.
- Malware infections rose to over 812 million in 2018.
- Over 45% of US-based companies have experienced data breaches.
- 7 out of 10 cloud infrastructures are prone to be breached.
As a guide, the following part of this article includes some set of practices that one should apply in business in order to safeguard precious data from falling into wrong hands.
There are plenty of data security methods you should know to safeguard sensitive information against potential threats. Data security must be taken seriously and we have a few good reasons that you should look at below.
Data breach not only affects your database but also ruins a company’s reputation, breaks customers’ trust, and may even lead you to major financial losses.
How data breaches affected businesses
- Data breaches badly affected business for years.
- A one-time data breach damaged their reputation forever.
- Small businesses hit badly.
- Data breaches had a negative impact on customers’ trust.
What is a data breach?
A data breach is a security incident where sensitive information is accessed illegally by hackers without any authorization. The data may contain financial records, personal information, a database containing customers or clients’ records, confidential information such as bank details, credit card numbers, and private documents or files.
- There are plenty of reasons that lead to data breaches among which the most common is human error that can be the use of weak passwords, sharing personal details with wrong persons, and phishing. And it alone is accountable for over 50% of data breach cases.
- Software that is designed to extract personal data without permission is known as malware. By installing such programs or software, hackers can easily get their hands into your data. Not only malware but the use of outdated software or operating systems are also highly susceptible to security threats.
Running an online business without properly executing data security plans is like owning a home without a lock. A data breach is not a temporary pain but you may suffer many years from it.
A roadmap to plan a data security plan to prevent data breaches in 2021
- Set a team and involve people of all technical domain
- Use encryption and strong passwords
- Upgrade softwares and operating systems from time to time
- Use legit software
- Educate your team and employees
- Limit the access to confidential data
Set a team and involve people of all technical domain
A proper security plan program should involve technical experts from different domains so they can give their valuable opinion and suggest different approaches to strengthen the data security. This way you can better plan out an appropriate security strategy. Also, teamwork can help you in many ways. For example; if you are not at the workplace, other involved people can take action in case any potential threat occurs.
Use encryption and strong passwords
When your data is transferred from one place to other hackers might get their hands into it. The encryption process adds an extra layer of security by converting the original meaningful text or data to strange symbols and code which makes no sense.
Passwords are a digital key to access the valuable database and they must be strong, not guessable. Therefore, the use of strong passwords is the most recommended security protocol by professionals to safeguard devices and online data from attackers. The use of weak passwords is one of the most common reasons for data breaches. A better practice is that you should also change passwords from time to time.
Upgrade software and operating systems from time to time
Software updates are critical for not only better performance but also for security reasons that’s why you should take them seriously. From time to time, the developers push updates and sometimes “security updates” that include security patches and bug fixes to make the system more secure and improve performance.
It is also recommended that you shouldn’t use an operating system that is outdated. Devices running on outdated operating systems are less secure and incorporate more security flaws over time by not supporting advanced programs to run.
Always Use legit software
The habit of installing pirated software may lead to dangerous ends as they are tweaked by anonymous users. They may include harmful code which can infect the system, resulting in loss of data. Along with this, they can access sensitive data without permission, allowing hackers to monitor all your activities.
Limit the access to confidential data
There should be a strict policy that the data which is confidential should be shared with as few people as possible. The fewer people have access to confidential information, the more secure it will remain. Your employees might be using various kinds of outdated programs on their system that may weaken the security of the system. When you restrict them to view certain documents or files, you will be limiting the chance of data being misused.
Educate your team and employees
New methods of attack are developed continuously, so you should pay heed to security training programs that can help you save from huge potential losses. You can run a training program monthly, quarterly, or according to your schedule in which employees should be disciplined to follow healthy security practices.
As programs are being updated from time to time and the methods of attack evolve, employees should be upgraded constantly.
Today data is the most valuable asset. It’s a new digital gold therefore it must be kept under the strong and powerful secure vault. Data security programs, healthy habits, and keeping abreast with the latest security is a key point to protect businesses from a devastating data breach.