You probably do not think about data breaches too often, as they rarely happen in your industry or location. However, suppose you have not already experienced one. In that case, it will happen eventually, resulting in huge losses of money and time that would have been better spent growing your business.
If you are ready to do something about this issue once and for all, these ten cybersecurity strategies for preventing data breaches are the perfect place to start.
What are Data breaches?
Data breaches refer to the illegal or unauthorized access, use, disclosure, destruction, or modification of electronic data. A data breach is when confidential data and information is taken from a company’s servers or stolen from other devices such as a laptop. Data breaches can lead to originality theft and the exposure of confidential information, damaging your organization’s reputation.
10 Cybersecurity Strategies for Preventing Data Breaches
1. Data backup and recovery
Know how often to back up and keep your backups in a secure location. An offsite data storage option differs from where you typically do your business. Consider using cloud-based solutions for storing some or all of your backups.
Keep hard drives that have been backed up disconnected from any other devices until the backed up data has been verified to ensure its accuracy and integrity, including checking file sizes and looking at checksums of backed up files.
2. Train Employees in Security Awareness
Assuring all employees are aware of the importance of cybersecurity can be achieved in two ways:
1. Encourage participation through an internal awareness campaign that provides a baseline understanding of cybersecurity strategy and the potential risks that data breaches pose. This approach is ideal because it helps make employees familiar with the most important topics to focus on when thinking about cybersecurity.
2. Require participation by requiring all new hires to take a cybersecurity course. Many people do not understand why their job requires them to know about cybersecurity, but if they are made to take a course, they will better understand their role in preventing data breaches.
3. Ensure your current security measures are up to date
The soundest way to ensure you are protected against a data breach is to ensure your cybersecurity team is doing its job. Anybody in your team should be able to detect a data breach as it happens and quickly respond by taking down any active threats before they do any more damage.
Plus, you will want an experienced cybersecurity specialist in the form of somebody from the IT department or another dedicated company that specializes in this area. You may also want cyber liability insurance if something happens and you need legal protection moving forward.
4. Install SSL certificate
Your SSL certificate is the first line of defense to prevent a data breach. When activated, your webpages will include an encrypted connection that can only be decrypted with a public key.
In non-technical language, any information sent from your device is encoded to block outside parties from reading it and vice versa. There are many benefits of buying branded SSL certificate like Comodo SSL certificate, Sectigo SSL certificate, and AlphaSSL certificate. However, one of the best things about this type of encryption is how easy it is to set up.
5. Strictly limit privileged access
An organization can do more to prevent data breaches by implementing strong authentication, two-factor authentication, and tokenization. They should also deploy firewalls and conduct penetration testing to identify potential vulnerabilities.
Organizations should implement privileged access management solutions in order to limit the number of people who can change a record in the system or who have administrative rights in that system. As an added precaution, organizations can conduct audits using firewall logs or other audit trails.
6. Lock your portable devices
Portable devices are just as vulnerable to security breaches as your desktop. To prevent a data breach, consider locking your portable devices. This simple step can help protect you if you lose your device or it gets stolen. First, install a PIN or password on your device before it falls into someone else’s hands.
Doing this will put an extra layer of protection between thieves and your personal information while preventing cyber criminals from remotely activating features like geo-tracking with the press of a button. Next, have security software installed on the device to ensure any unauthorized attempts to access the data are blocked before they reach their destination and encrypt sensitive information so that even if hackers manage to infiltrate your system, they will find it unintelligible code.
7. Install anti-virus software and regularly update them
Anti-virus software is not infallible, but it is a perfect start. Ideally, you want to install anti-virus software on your PC and update it regularly, using trusted sites.
Of course, installing and updating software is not enough – you should also avoid clicking on suspicious attachments and links that come in email or social media messages.
Finally, be aware of threats when browsing the internet in public areas such as cafes or libraries where you are sharing the same network with other people.
8. Regularly apply security patch updates
Often, the easiest way to prevent a data breach is to ensure that all security patches have been updated and applied. The best cybersecurity strategy is one in which multiple protective layers are implemented: threat prevention, intrusion detection, monitoring and strong authentication.
Finding an app with good visibility into an organization’s network environment is essential to looking for abnormal behaviour.
9. Regularly Test Systems for Vulnerabilities
Regularly test systems for vulnerabilities and ensure that the devices connected to your systems are secure. Ensuring these checks are in place can give you an early warning system for potential threats and identify risks before they arise.
10. Have An Emergency Response Plan in Place
An emergency response plan is crucial to any company’s cybersecurity strategy. If you are unsure where to start, have a team brainstorm about what could happen and how you would respond in the event of that happening. Keep the plan updated and ensure it is tested often so that everybody knows their role in an emergency.
Practicing cybersecurity strategies can help prevent data breaches and other cyber threats. Follow these ten tips for best practices to help protect your business. Remember that the best offense is a good defense and staying up-to-date on the latest security vulnerabilities can make all the difference in preventing a data breach. That is why applying the SSL certificate is so important to prevent data breaches.