In today’s digitized business environment, securing sensitive data has become a top priority for most organizations. Gartner predicts that cybersecurity spending will exceed $1 trillion by 2021. With the continuous increase in the number and sophistication of malware attacks and APT exploits, organizations (no matter their size) must establish robust security measures to ensure that their networks and databases are not breached by cybercriminals.
Although you can’t prevent hackers from targeting your organization, you can stop them from getting their hands on your sensitive business data and using it for their malicious objectives. We will review some of the ways enterprises can prevent data breaches, from hiring cybersecurity experts and increasing organization-wide awareness of data security best practices, to creating a data breach response plan and restrictive data permissions policy.
Increase organization-wide awareness
Organizations that want to prevent data breaches need to increase cybersecurity awareness at all levels. Most successful breaches leverage social engineering tactics rather than brute force techniques. When dealing with unexpected email messages, especially those that could be phishing emails, it’s best to be skeptical and safe, rather than sorry.
As such, organizations should train their employees on security best practices and policies to enforce them. Employees must be able to generate and use strong passwords, encrypt email and data when sending to other employees, and recognize or avoid malware.
Secure data backup
Many organizations rely on cloud storage providers to back up their business data. However, they may not understand exactly how their data is protected. Going through the cloud storage provider’s service agreement will enable you to understand the security measures in place.
These include the steps taken to safeguard your business data, who is authorized to access it, and what happens to the data if you decide to terminate the agreement. The robustness of cybersecurity measures should be a major deciding factor when choosing a cloud storage provider for your data.
Enforce restrictive data permissions
Employees, third-party suppliers, vendors, and regulatory agencies all interact with your sensitive business data at some point. They are usually given access to the data to facilitate their activities; however, it’s best to control what they can access.
You should enforce restrictive data permissions to ensure that employees and other stakeholders only have access to the vital information that is necessary for their activities. Controlling the type of data that your employees can access and download is necessary for reducing your exposure to data breaches.
Bring in cybersecurity specialists
Although businesses should aim to reduce expenses to the barest minimum, employing the services of a cybersecurity specialist will help boost the cyber resiliency of your organization. Such a specialist reviews your entire data network and business functionalities and determines the right security strategy, techniques, and tools that will ensure the highest level of security for your organization.
You should perform vulnerability assessments regularly to determine the weak points in your security strategy. By doing so, you can detect areas where hackers are most likely to exploit and take proactive measures to safeguard your network and data.
Secure Critical Applications
As companies are now relying more and more on increasingly complex web applications, application security is more crucial than ever. The 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, for instance, included 2216 data breaches this year and 53,308 security incidents. As a result, it’s important for companies to establish holistic application security programs within, ensuring that best practices for code scanning, threat modeling, and secure coding are followed early on in the software development lifecycle. To aid with these practices, you should consider investing in a policy-to-procedure platform to automate security and compliance so that it doesn’t slow down business.
To learn more about our own policy-to-execution platform, SD Elements, get a free demo here.