No one wants to think about the financial and emotional toll a data breach could take on a company and its employees, so it is easy to avoid dealing with the necessary steps that need to be taken to protect yourself.
As the world’s volume of data grows exponentially year after year, organizations are scrambling to take the necessary measures to ensure they are doing all they can to protect themselves from breaches by cyber criminals. The unfortunate reality is that if you don’t think you have had a breach, it is only a matter of time, so it is wise to begin to prepare now.
These breaches happen for many reasons. Some of the most common causes include:
- Employees sharing sensitive information to the outside world. This can be intentional or unintentional, but the result is the same. Transmitting things like financial data, client information, employee data or legal information via unsecured means can result in this data getting leaked and into the wrong hands.
- Hacking and malware – without proper training, employees can easily fall prey to phishing schemes and click on links in emails that allow hackers a portal into your data.
- Loss or theft – we live in a mobile world. Things like laptops, tablets and smartphones can be easily stolen or lost and the data contained on them could cause a data breach.
There are some best practices that you can put into place to help safeguard your organization as much as possible. Here are a few to consider:
- Have proper access guidelines in place for staff. Not everyone needs to see everything when it comes to an organization’s data. Different roles in an organization call for different levels of access. This is called the principle of least privilege which is the practice of limiting access rights for users to the bare minimum permissions they need to perform their work.
- Have proper monitoring in place. Companies should routinely perform vulnerability assessments and data audits to know what types of violations are happening. Through our partnership with SecurityStudio, BerganKDV offers access to a complimentary tool where you can assess your risk.
- Have proper security for your devices and expectations for staff. It is important to have the proper antivirus software, secure connections, encryption and data back-ups in place. It is equally important to set clear expectations for staff on what they can do to help keep data secure, including care of the equipment issued to them. And if employees are using their own personal devices, they need to have a secure way to access company information.
These best practices will help you as you defend your company against the increasing number of data
breaches. But, as I said in my introduction, unfortunately it is a case of not if but when you will discover
that you have been hacked. In my next post, I will discuss the immediate steps you need to take in the
event of a data breach.
At BerganKDV, our technology team is here to help you get an idea of the health of your organization’s information security. Start here. Want to receive more technology updates like this? Subscribe now.