Data security has become a critical topic in today’s online marketplace. Businesses must strive to protect their sensitive data while ensuring that information related to their customers remains safe.
There are many factors that lead to data breaches. Eliminating these factors is essential to protecting your business and customers while avoiding costly issues that can devastate your organization.
Data Breaches Are a Growing Problem for Today’s Businesses
The number of data breaches continues to increase. It’s not just small- and medium-sized businesses that are the victims of these security breaches.
Companies like AT&T, Home Depot, Target, and even AOL have all seen their data compromised in recent years.
Data breaches result in millions of dollars in losses for a company, impact its reputation, and destroy their customers’ confidence and trust in their brand.
These data breaches are forcing businesses to put the appropriate tools and practices in place to avoid the losses that may occur.
Common Causes of Data Breaches
The following are some of the most common causes of data breaches:
- Abuse of data by company insiders
- Data theft by external individuals or groups
- Data theft of partners or vendors
- Phishing scams
The abuse of data by an insider leads to damage from which it can be difficult to recover. You can prevent this by creating audit strategies that allow you to track a file’s custody chain.
Your business must be able to grant and revoke data access in order to maintain full control of its sharing throughout your organization.
Using data encryption on your devices can prevent data theft by an outsider. Implement ways to clear the data from any computer or mobile device that’s been stolen.
Your business partners and vendors can have data breaches that affect your business. That’s why it’s essential that you manage all of the data that is accessed by partners and third parties.
Phishing scams occur when an outsider attempts to gain access to sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, and financial information by pretending to be a trustworthy individual or group.
Firewall systems can be put in place to detect phishing scams and prevent them from making their way to users.
What Causes Over Half of All Data Breaches
There’s one factor that’s responsible for over half of the data breaches that occur in today’s marketplace: human error.
Data breaches occur when members of your team misplace or damage a device, hard drive, or flash drive. They occur when employees leave usernames and passwords exposed or mistakenly send files to an unauthorized user.
Human error may never be completely eliminated, but there are key steps you can take to minimize the risk that it can have on your data security.
Establishing and managing control of your data across your organization is the first step. The access that employees have to company data should align with their roles within the company.
Use file classifications to control data and implement rule-based permissions to control data access. Device encryption and secure storage can prevent unwanted security breaches.
All devices should be locked when not in use, and you should perform regular backups on your devices to ensure that your valuable data is properly stored and protected.
The protection of valuable data and the prevention of security breaches must be performed in a top-down approach.
Senior management, administrators, and company board members must understand the risks and implement the strategies needed to prevent the loss, theft, or misuse of data.
Employees must be able to report data breaches and protect the sensitive data that they work with. Company policies must be put in place so that your organization understands the potential consequences of data breaches.
If you think your data is facing any of these risks, let us know where you might need assistance in the comments below. We’ll help you understand data security and create a customized solution that meets the needs of your business.