The World Wide Web has opened up a Pandora’s box of opportunities for many companies to conduct their businesses online. With that also comes a slew of cyber attackers who exist only to thieve on unaware companies and their limitless data. In 2013, a census study conducted in Australia resulted to a report of 9.4 percent of respondents having been victimized by information theft. In the US, about 16.6 million people over the age of 16 have reported some type of information theft incidence in 2012.
Cybersecurity has become a formidable industry for cyber attackers in the last few decades, as developments on protective technology have evolved quite a bit. However, data theft is a growing global crisis. It is only inevitable for cyber attackers to find a way to get into and around the most protected systems and highly secured networks eventually. Most of the time, the best way for businesses to protect their companies against data theft is by taking preventative action on their own.
Ways to protect your company valid information from data theft.
There are many different steps businesses can take to increase the level of their cybersecurity. Some of the most obvious ones include keeping systems up-to-date and having anti-malware software installed on computing devices. Here are some other ways that businesses can protect their data.
1. Limit access to information
Businesses will naturally have tons of different sets of data that range in value. These may include financial affidavits, trade secrets, client data, and much more confidential-type information. All of these are considered sensitive information, and one of the best ways to secure such data is by limiting access to it. Setting up a systematic need-to-know basis hierarchy in companies will help establish a firm rule when it comes to accessing data. Only allow people with the proper access to be able to get into certain cyber or physical data. Keeping sensitive paper documents under lock and key should also be followed.
2. Secure network access
Everything nowadays happens through the use of the Internet, and public networks are known to be full of cyber attackers waiting to prey on unsecured connections. Setting up solid firewall software on networks is one of the best ways to keep unwanted visitors from gaining access to a company’s files. There are also ways to make sure Wi-Fi networks are secured, and there are also Virtual Private Networks for employees working off location. Having strong passwords for network access is a given.
3. Data encryption
These days, anything can be encrypted. Any device that holds any type of sensitive information that can be a target of data theft should be encrypted. Without the proper key to decode an encryption, any encoded information is safe regardless of where it is being stored. The good news is that many software applications and operating systems have encryption options that are already built in the system. Most of the time, all it takes to get security is a simple activation. There are also types of encryption that can be purchased to fit exactly what kind of security a business needs.
4. Make sure third parties are secure
Third-party vendors are typical parts of any business operation. Many companies rely on these vendors to conduct some or all of their business transactions, and this requires having some type of access to the company information. Third-party vendors should have the same level of cybersecurity as their business partners. If a data breach happens on any vendor’s end, the main company’s data can still be compromised.
5. Train employees
There are high percentages of data breach incidents that occur plainly due to accidental mistakes caused by employees. Many companies do not put enough effort or priority to increasing the basic awareness of employees when it comes to data and cybersecurity. It’s important to educate employees about how hackers and cyber attackers work to do commit theft, as they are more often than not privy to a lot of sensitive information.
Being prepared for company data being stolen
Physical security is still just as important. Some hackers can’t do their work remotely; there are instances when attackers have to have physical access to hardware in order to retrieve any information they may be after. In such cases, it helps to have a working CCTV system to have continuous recording of a company’s physical space. CCTV systems may be connected to some existing security systems that are responsible for keeping data and the network secure. Any hacking activity on network systems set up with CCTV can record the breach activity as it happens and taking note of any data missing can be easily detected. Since hackers can delete any data as well as footage, it’s imperative for companies to have backup records of all CCTV footage, network data, or any other sensitive information they wish to copy.
It truly is better to be safe than sorry, and for companies that are responsible for the private information of many clients, that statement has heavier implications. Keeping sensitive information secure and hackers at bay should be a top priority for businesses regardless of their company size. Data theft is completely preventable, and no individual or business should be subject to its devastating effects.
So here’s your dummies’ guide to data theft prevention, we hope you liked it? Let’s hear your view below.