Data Security: Effective Ways of Preventing a Breach

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Before the age of information and technology, most companies and businesses would need to keep much of their information well-guarded in archives and libraries, especially when other rival companies might want to get hold of such information. As the centuries pass, information started to evolve and would be kept through documents in offices with filing cabinets. Of course, such information is only privy to those that are associated with the business organization.

With the invention of the computer, portable USB devices, and the internet, vast amounts of information didn’t have to be kept locked away in cabinets or even libraries. Most of this information can be easily uploaded online. This is even more convenient for international corporations that have different sites around the world. When information can be easily sent back and forth across thousands of miles in minutes or seconds, there’s no need for most companies to house documents on filing cabinets and archives that others can easily access while being potential fire hazards.

With most information being available and readily-accessed online, most employees and users can interact and access this information without sifting through hundreds of files. But the problem with having information being readily available online is that anybody else who might not be authorized to see the information can also access it, especially those with the right tools in hacking through mainframes and servers.

As such, we have to keep our databanks and servers safe from these malicious entities through effective security measures and means. But what can we do to safeguard our companies information? Do we need to be vigilant 24/7 to ensure that it doesn’t happen? Well, here’s what you’ll need to know.

Transparency of Inventory

Contrary to what most people think, restricting access to these files to only a select few people can do more harm than good. Most experts suggest giving visibility and transparency of both software and hardware in the network and physical infrastructure. Having a clear list of your asset and inventory can help you identify threats and possible vulnerabilities to your network’s structure.

Another good way of mitigating any threat is by categorizing and rating these vulnerabilities based on what needs to be prioritized. More “serious” issues and vulnerabilities will need to be remedied as soon as possible, while those with lower ratings can be prioritized after more pressing matters are done.

Compliance with Rules and Regulations

A good number of companies have been using rules and regulations in ensuring that vulnerabilities will be identified as soon as possible. The use of vulnerability and compliance management tools can help discern gaps and weaknesses in the system, which are usually exploited by hackers and malicious entities in getting sensitive information. Vulnerability management tools are a great way of monitoring much of the infrastructure, especially when IT specialists are present.

Another great way of understanding vulnerability and risks to security is by creating an action plan that will address these vulnerabilities. In case of a data breach, a recovery plan should be in place to ensure business continuity. Backing up files, replicating them in another environment, and virtualization is key in recovering sensitive files and information. Fortunately, some services provide business continuity and disaster recovery plan that can mitigate damages done by data breaches.

Regular and Frequent Audits

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Doing regular audits and inspections on your infrastructure and validating files and security procedures can help ensure that your system is on its toes when it comes to threats. Security audits are one of the most effective ways of knowing your system’s integrity, especially when you plan on doing penetration testing. Still, it’s important to consider your organization’s dynamic nature and different types of processes before doing such a test.

Some questions that you might want to ask yourself right before performing a security audit:

  1. Are there any documented security politics regarding IT in your business?
  2. Do you have log monitoring set up?
  3. Are there any policies regarding password and encryption?
  4. Is there software that has been tested for flaws and shortcomings?
  5. Are the auditing logs reviewed by corporate individuals and others?
  6. How will the files be backed up? Who has the privilege of accessing these backed-up files?

Training and Educating Employees

Management-wise, educating and training your employees on the importance of keeping information confidential can mitigate any risk of information being leaked. Right after completing audits, you might want to send out a memo to different echelons of employees regarding data privacy and the security process. There are bound to be employees that won’t be as “tech-savvy” as other employees, so it’s only appropriate to train them on phishing scams, attacks, and ransomware.

There are several ways of keeping your company’s treasured information safe and away from the clutches of those that seek to exploit it. Having strict policies, measures, and audits can help ensure that no form of danger can happen to your company’s information or your employees’ information. Although this might be an added cost, this is way better than losing millions-worth of sensitive information from your company.

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