At worst, data breaches wreak financial havoc and reputational damage that can sink your business entirely. At best, data breaches can be costly embarrassments that can put your business on a path to a long road to recovery. That’s why it’s crucial for business owners and their employees to learn how to prevent a data breach. According to an IBM report, potential cybersecurity breaches can take, on average, about 280 days to detect. That’s a long time for malicious actors to have unfettered access to your company’s data. If you know how to recognize a data breach, you can save your company a lot of money and time in rectifying the fallout.
While the recent transition to remote work has complicated many businesses’ ability to keep their data secure, you can better safeguard your organization’s sensitive information by following some general guidelines:
- Conduct regular company-wide cybersecurity training. The first step in learning how to prevent a data breach involves recognizing common social engineering tactics bad actors may use to trick your employees into unwittingly sharing their login credentials with a cybercriminal. Training your employees to recognize phishing and spear phishing emails goes a long way towards protecting your organization against dreaded data leaks. Training should also educate employees on how to recognize a data breach after the fact.
- Make sure all security software is patched and up to date. Firewalls, scans, and antivirus software are all effective tools to have at your disposal, but bad actors can exploit their vulnerabilities if patching and security updates aren’t installed. With that in mind, make sure to upgrade mobile devices once the manufacturer stops supporting the software.
- Destroy before disposing. When determining how to prevent a data breach, remember that merely deleting files or reformatting devices doesn’t erase the data they stored. Before tossing your company’s old hard drives and mobile devices into the trash, make sure to take the proper steps in permanently deleting their data. Otherwise, you’re just leaving a treasure trove of potentially sensitive information for malicious actors to find.
- Conduct a security audit. It’s worth consulting an IT professional to perform a complete security audit on your information systems to help identify vulnerabilities and risks that may otherwise go undetected.
- Only send encrypted data. When sending confidential data by email, or otherwise, make sure it’s encrypted. Remote employees should bypass any unsecured WiFi hotspots in favor of a secure network designated for your team’s use.
Plus, it’s always a good idea to stay vigilant. When trying to figure out how to recognize a data breach, make sure to report anything that seems suspicious to IT. That might include experiencing multiple failed login attempts, applications launching automatically, unexpected software installations or file downloads, unexplained system reboots, unexplained changes to files, and the like. Noticing one small detail and detecting a data breach early can pay dividends when it comes to protecting your business’s health and longevity.
Curious to hear more about how SiteLock can protect your data? Get in touch with us today and speak with a security professional about how we can help your website security.