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Analysis / Security

How To Keep Valuable Business Data Safe

Data Security

There is no surprise that people spend so much time in the online field nowadays. With the latest technological innovations and expansions, even businesses are moving their work online. Software programs are continuously updating to make people’s lives easier and more efficient. Even though things might seem positive from all point of view, there are some downsides to consider.

By exposing data online, people put themselves at risk. Privacy issues are now encountered much often than before because accessing data became easier. When businesses were entirely based on actual paper information, the only risk they were exposed to was physically stealing the documents. Of course, storing loads of paper in different rooms is not ideal either, so both methods have drawbacks to consider.

This risky behaviour is the most accentuated in the business field since companies are the main victims of cybernetic attacks because of the information they possess. People send their personal information to businesses which promise to respect their privacy, so imagine the implications a company has to face if there is a breach of their data security. Also, most companies consider that such thing would never happen to them, so they simply ignore the warnings, not being aware of the consequences involved.

The key is to stop thinking about potential situations and start acting towards preventing them in the first place. Cybersecurity is now a must that everyone should know at least some facts about.

Overview

The first step in understanding how cyber attacks take place is learning more about security breaches. These are unfortunate events that are caused by different factors. Most security breaches come from diverse forms of hacking, malware and social tactics. There are methods to produce such breach physically, by stealing data or taking advantage of privilege misuse, which can still happen today. This is the main reason why any company has to make sure they have their data backed up and ready in case something unpleasant happens.

Data can lead to irremediable consequences and extreme loss for the victim company. The next question is who is behind these attacks and the answer couldn’t be simpler. In most cases, external agents are the ones sitting behind data breaches. Their purpose is not clear, but as long as your company possesses precious information, it’s enough to take protection measurements.

Activist groups, internal employees or even business partners can be the ones behind these breaches as well, and it is quite complicated to tell without specialised help. The business industries that are most affected by data security issues are the accommodation and food sector, the retail one, finance and insurance industry, healthcare, and other. The reason why these represents sure targets of hackers is that they store plenty of information related to their customers. Both smaller and larger organisations can be the victim of a cyber attack.

Talking about costs and efforts to prevent such events, each company should invest time and money to prevent them from happening. Data security measurements are a must in this era of information, and without taking these measurements, you risk losing everything in just one day.

Measurements To Consider

There are plenty of ways to protect your information. The problem is not many business owners are aware that they need to keep their data secured. Once awareness is going to be raised in this direction, people will start paying more attention to the consequences and understand the implications of a cyber attack.

The first measurement to consider is represented by creating strong passwords and two-factor authentication for each employee and administrator, respectively. Each person that has access to data must be identified. Also, their actions regarding business data should be tracked and stored. Passwords should be complex – at least 12 characters long, including numbers, symbols, and capital letters.

For bigger companies, it is recommended to change all the passwords at a certain interval of time. Paying attention when sharing relevant information to other recipients is also important. Many companies experienced a loss of information because they accidentally submitted data to a wrong recipient. Audit who has access to your company’s data to avoid all sorts of privilege abuse. Block all the access passes that were previously lost or stolen immediately, especially if they allow entering the building of the company itself.

The second step you can take is to invest in top-quality devices and backup services. Developing a plan and investing financially solely for this purpose is a burden for some businesses because they consider it irrelevant, but studies shown that the consequences of a cyberattack incident are up to five times higher than the costs implied in buying the right devices and backup services. A data backup can save your company from total failure when a cyber attack occurs. If data is completely stolen and you have absolutely no access to it anymore, you can be blackmailed.

Types Of Online Threats

The online environment proved to be tremendously beneficial for the entire world, but it is also scary because it’s the host of many threats. Taking basic precautions, even as a simple personal computer/internet user, is paramount. Here are the main types of online threats and how they can be infiltrated into your company’s system:

Malware – Malware threats are malicious software that can be installed on a computer without acquiring permission. This category includes viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Trojan horses are the most dangerous because they can be easily transmitted as benign data. Once activated, they create a breach in the system, allowing exterior access to a personal computer. Viruses are the ones that can corrupt or entirely delete files on a computer. They can affect the hardware part of a device, resulting in a major loss of information. Worms are self-replicating and can copy itself on all the computers existent on a network. They usually cause damage to the network, making it inaccessible for the primary user.

Botnet – Botnet represents a network that contains compromised computers. Bots are the ones that allow hackers to control a computer or another type of device that’s connected to the network without your knowledge. This way, cyber attackers can use your devices to spread a virus, to make your information public, to delete data etc.

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Cynthia Madison is a young blogger and economics and marketing graduate. She writes about home, lifestyle and family topics and is a frequent contributor to popular niche publications.