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How to Delay Data Thieves

Posted by Donna Recchione on Sep 14, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In client, IT, ICS insights

The increase of cybersecurity threats has affected both small and medium-sized businesses alike, as well as individuals.  For this reason, companies are trying to reduce the complexity of managing cybersecurity against data breach threats.  Traditionally, companies have used a layered approach that includes multiple security technologies to increase security; however, this alone can not always detect and stop data threats.  Hackers are not just going after big businesses anymore.  In fact, smaller companies and organizations are now finding themselves increasingly targeted.  Many of these smaller organizations work within regulations and have an obligation to protect their customer's data against data thieves who are becoming more and more aggressive in their approach.  

The way we think about data and its protection needs to change as the data thieves continue to change the way they hack data systems.  For those companies who have not experienced a data breach, this is great. However, companies must take into consideration that most data breaches occur due to lax internal controls, and this needs to change.  

Read on to learn about the most effective ways to secure data using security methods that ensure a breach doesn't occur.  

Your Company Needs to Adopt a Security Culture Starting Now

The CEO of Security Journey, Chris Romeo, urges companies to adopt a security culture. While this can not be done overnight, it is a must if you want your employees to take data security seriously.  There is a difference, he says, between how things are done in a company as compared to how things should be done.  It takes a great amount of commitment to change a company's culture to include security and for this reason, upper management, including executives and department heads, need to lead the company in this important security culture change.  

Invest in Security Solutions to Prevent a Data Breach

Companies need to enforce the policies and procedures necessary to protect customer data by developing security solution strategies.  Many businesses currently find themselves investing heavily in these strategies. However, if any of these strategies are weak, a breach can certainly occur.  For this reason, there should be frequent technological and financial audits done that go over a businesses' adherence to regulations and security strategies. There is no room for error or letting your guard down when it comes to data thieves who are constantly lurking about to steal your data.  Part of the security solutions implemented should include the best, certified professionals whose mission is to keep up with the data thieves' approaches while implementing the best security solutions for the organization.  

Educate Employees about Security Awareness and Its Importance

Data thieves are a constant threat to any size business.  Typically, they use ransomware, malware, vishing, and phishing to vary their aggressive approach to stealing data.  Therefore, when designing security solutions, there should be simulation testing of employees to make sure they understand and are aware of the various ways data thieves can compromise corporate or personal data information.  When training employees in security awareness, these points should be considered:

  • Your approach should strive for continuous improvement and adaptation since the way the data thieves work is by constantly changing the way they hack into data.  
  • Your employees are your last line of defense. This means that training and testing security systems should be done against corporate policies and procedures on a frequent basis and should include employees to reinforce the training provided.    
  • Finally, you can use a reputable program solution from a provider. While most of these providers have the same features, they also can be expensive.  If you do choose to work with a provider, be sure to make a list of the criteria you are looking for and be sure to write down all the questions you may have.  

Passwords, Passphrases, and the Two-Factor Authentication to Secure Data

This is probably the most important part of information security that sometimes gets overlooked.  Frequently changing passwords is a must to help prevent a breach from data thieves.  In fact, this should become a regular habit for everyone in the company or organization.  If a company and its employees fail to change passwords frequently, it is like leaving the front door and back door wide open for hackers to steal data.  Changing passwords can be done manually or with an application system.  However, it should be noted that data hackers use sophisticated software tools to bypass application systems.  

Most websites require a password to gain entrance. These passwords often come with guidelines, such as the length of the password along with adding numbers or special characters to the password and is something you can do manually.  However, there are some issues with this: People forget or are just to busy to change their passwords.  For this reason, it's important that employees strictly follow a company's policy about password safety.  Passwords should be complex and should never be written down and posted where anyone can see it, like on a post-it note stuck to your computer.  Also, employees should not use the same password for every website.  Instead, passwords should be varied for all online password requirements.  If you never change your password, you make it easy for data thieves to breach information.  The more you change your password, however, the harder it becomes for these hackers to gain access.  The idea is to make it as difficult as you can to prevent a data breach by frequently changing passwords.  

Another way to keep data thieves out of your system is to use passphrases.  A passphrase is a combination of words or other text that controls access to your program data or entire computer system.  It is similar to a password, except it is typically longer, which adds to its capable security function.  

Some individuals and organizations opt to use a password or passphrase generator.  This offers a complex solution to coming up with a password or passphrase that will help defend data by making it more challenging for the hacker.  Because these generators produce complex passwords or passphrases, you may need to write them down in a discreet location, so you don't forget them.  

The two-factor authentication process adds another layer of protection by sending you an access code via text to gain entry into a system, whether that be an iPhone, email, or another online system that holds important data.  

Keep Them Guessing

Unfortunately, the strategies detailed above are not always foolproof.  Data thieves are constantly creating new ways to beach data.  In our modern society, those who use password protected technology need to be on the offensive at all times.  The more awareness a company, individual, or employee has about the threat of malware, the more they are aware of the need to protect against this intrusion.  In fact, data protection should be at the forefront of their minds at all times. Data is big business for data thieves, and the point is to make it as difficult as possible for hackers to breach data information by following the procedures and standards outlined above.  If you do this, you can expect to keep your personal information and your customer's information protected while remaining within the regulations and standards of your industry.  

If you need help with your data, find your talent with ICS. We can help you find your dream team and bring your company to a safer place. Contact us today!

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