Here’s why you should be aware of data breaches

When we think of security breaches, we often make the mistake of associating them with major ransomware computer attacks (malicious viruses that encrypt a company’s files and demand a ransom to make them readable again). But the truth is that the vast majority of security breaches occur simply when an employee loses a laptop that contains personal data, or when a mass email with an open copy is sent, in a way that allows the rest of the users to be identified.

What is a Data Breach?

A data breach uncovers sensitive, confidential, or proprietary information or data to an unauthorized person. Files that are the subject of an information breach are shared and/or accessed without authorization or permission.

It doesn’t matter, if you are an individual, or from high-profile corporate companies, or governments, everyone can be at high risk of data breaches. Usually, data breaches occur due to deficiencies in both technology and user behavior.

As our mobile and computer devices become more interconnected, data can get in. IoT devices are evidence that we’re increasingly putting convenience before security.

But also, if the underlying technology were perfectly configured, some users would still likely have bad digital habits. It may take only one person and a few minutes to breach a network or website.

Without comprehensive security measures at the enterprise or user level, you are at risk.

How can I tell if data breaches are high risk?

In order to manage security breaches, we need to potentially determine how dangerous the breach is. To determine whether a security breach could pose a high risk to the data, we must resort to the impact assessment or risk analysis that was carried out before.

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In cases of doubt, a weighting of various factors must be carried out:

– Nature and category of data processed (sensitive data, identification data, financial data, etc.)

– Volume of personal data affected. Experts recommend that the volume be expressed in periods of time (months, weeks, days) or in quantity (records, documents, files)

– Encryption / no encryption: If the data is protected with pseudonymization systems, it may not be necessary to report the security breach

– Consequences for individuals: It must be determined whether people will not be affected, if they may encounter significant inconvenience, or if they may face dramatic consequences as a result of the security breach

– Number of affected: A numerical scale must be used to quantify the number of affected individuals

However, there are several ways to avoid these gaps. Let’s learn in the following section how to prevent data breaches.

Here is how you can prevent data breaches

Raise awareness throughout the organization:

Organizations that want to prevent data breaches must raise cybersecurity awareness at all levels. The most successful advances are based on social engineering tactics rather than brute force techniques. For example, when it comes to unexpected emails, it’s better to be skeptical and cautious than to apologize.

That is why organizations need to train their employees on security best practices and policies. Employees must be able to generate and use strong passwords, encrypt email and data when it is sent to other employees, and detect or prevent malware from spreading into the system.

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Vulnerability and compliance management:

Using a Vulnerability and Compliance Management tool, or at least performing a vulnerability scan, helps you identify security holes, weaknesses, and misconfigurations in your physical and virtual environments.

Benefits that help mitigate a data breach include giving your security team a better understanding of potential vulnerabilities in the environment.

Secure data protection:

Many businesses rely on cloud storage providers to secure their business data. But they may not understand exactly how their data is protected. By looking at the cloud storage provider’s service agreement, you can learn what security measures are in place.

These include the measures taken to protect your business data, who has access to it, and what happens to the data if you decide to cancel the agreement.

Sort the information by its importance:

The company’s information must be managed and classified by a series of reasonable criteria to determine the degree of security that corresponds to it. The classification can be made according to its level of confidentiality and taking into account various factors such as the value it has for the organization, the impact that its leak can cause, whether it is personal information or not, the level of sensitivity, etc.

Apply basic internal security tools:

Firewalls are some of the indispensable tools to block threats, despite being one of the oldest security options. Another method used by many companies is antivirus – an essential program when it comes to detecting infections that have the ability to adapt to the needs of each user. To supervise and collect information from all the applications at different points of the network, there is a remote monitoring tool that allows the IT team to solve, regardless of the place or time, the incident in question.

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Train employees:

Teleworking has been one of the main triggers for companies to become aware of the importance of preparing their employees and thus avoid data leakage. In fact, in order to anticipate these incidents, companies are betting on awareness programs to train their workers in the skills necessary to identify possible cyber-attacks.

Besides, you can ask your employees to use Nuwber before sharing sensitive data with any unknown person. Doing that, you will come to know whether or not that person is genuine.

In this way, the company can better control leaks and prevent outsiders from accessing sensitive data. For the activity to be effective, it is essential to review the permissions on a regular basis to know who has access to what. As an added value, it is interesting to provide an alert system to find out if an employee acts out of the ordinary, consults a large number of documents, or accesses restricted information.

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