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5 Effective Ways to Prevent Data Breaches 5 Effective Ways to Prevent Data Breaches
News    02/24/2022

5 Effective Ways to Prevent Data Breaches

Here, we discuss the five useful ways to prevent data breaches that can help lessen the risk and react to an attack or phishing activity more effectively.

We hear about businesses big and small suffering data breaches and all the fallout endured afterwards. Don’t let it happen to you and utilise these 5 effective ways to prevent data breaches.

Method No. 1: Enhance Security

Many businesses work with sensitive information such as credit card details, personal data, and highly confidential statements and reports. According to experts, the first and foremost thing to consider when managing confidential information is security. Make security one of your top priorities in every department, from sales and IT to marketing and finance. Avoid collecting and storing unnecessary information, as that's not a good idea anymore. You should strive to make conscious choices in regard to the type of information to collect and to store. Also, you must decide for how long to keep the data and who should have access to it. Such decisions depend on the type, size and nature of your business. Don't ask users for personal information that's not essential for your business processes. Don't store information you don't need on long-term. Make the right choices and you'll cut the risk of a data breach. SIEM tools are the option de jour at the moment and many recommend them – take a look at this report on SIEM tools to help you make a decision.


Method No. 2: Tighten Access to Sensitive Data

Once you decide upon the sensitive data your business must collect and store, take reasonable measures to keep it secure. Don't allow unrestricted access to sensitive information to everyone in your company. Consider creating a group accounts structure, in order to be able to grant your employees access solely to information they need to do their job. For physical documents, the easiest way to control who has access to what is to use a locked file cabinet, for instance. Limit administrative access to your networks solely to employees who are in charge with that job. Having multiple access levels is a good way to prevent intrusions.

Also Read: How to Protect Your Data on Cloud


Method No. 3: Require Strong Passwords and Secure Authentication

Strong passwords and secure authentication procedures can help you prevent data breaches by ensuring that only authorized employees can access sensitive data. 

Ask everyone in your company to choose unique and complex passwords and make them change these passwords every three months or so. Basic passwords like 12345678 aren't a lot more secure than no passwords at all. This is why you should ask your employees to create strong passwords that are different than the ones they use for their personal accounts.

Secure password storage is another important thing to consider. Give hackers a hard time at breaking your passwords. Here's what some of the FTC's settlements alleged in regard to data breaches:

The business stored user data in clear, unencrypted text, thus making it easy for a hacker to access credit card information;

The company allowed the storage of user credentials in browser cookies; and

A company failed to implement a firm security policy to prevent employees from storing work-related passwords as unencrypted text massages in their inbox.

All of these cases are clear example of situations in which the data breach risk could have been significantly reduced by implementing security-related procedures and policies. You may also want to consider enforcing a two-factor authentication policy to help against password breaking situations. Explain your employees that this is an absolute security must rather than a burden you want to put on their shoulders.

Protect Your Network Against Brute Force Attacks

Unfortunately, hackers use automated software that tests large numbers of combinations to break passwords. Sooner or later, such brute force attacks will find their way into someone's password. This type of attack is easy to counteract by enforcing a policy to suspend accounts on repeated failed login attempts.

Also Read: How To Protect Your Data Online?

Protect Against Authentication Bypassing

Locking your front door won't be effective in the event of a back door intrusion. Failing to test your web application for the most common security flaws may land you in trouble with the FTC. One of these security flaws is known as "predictable resource location" and it allows intruders to bypass your login screen by manipulating URLs. This is how the intruder can enter your system through the "back door" without you even becoming aware of it before it's too late.


Method No. 4: Secure Confidential Material During Storage and Transmission

Use cryptography to secure sensitive personal data during both storage and transmission. The method of choice depends on the nature of your business and on the type of data you collect, store and transmit. TLS/SSL data encryption and iterative hash are two of the most common methods companies use to protect their confidential information. Make sure your IT persons in charge with security understand how to take the right measures at any step of the data manipulation process. There are situations when companies could have prevented data breaches, had they properly configured their SSL implementation.

Also Read: Top 5 Best Cloud Data Backup Strategies To Keep Your Data Secure


Method No. 5: Segment Your Network and Control Access

A secure network design should make use of firewalls to limit access between computers and the world wide web out there. This is a good reason for you to design your network based on the seamless integration of such security tools into its structure. In addition, you should consider using intrusion prevention and detection tools to keep tabs on your network and to have the ability to detect and kill malicious activity before it has a chance to wreak havoc on your business.

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