Here Are Five Measures Tech Firms Can Take to Halt Data Breaches

  • Here Are Five Measures Tech Firms Can Take to Halt Data Breaches
Here Are Five Measures Tech Firms Can Take to Halt Data Breaches
Here Are Five Measures Tech Firms Can Take to Halt Data Breaches
Here Are Five Measures Tech Firms Can Take to Halt Data Breaches
Here Are Five Measures Tech Firms Can Take to Halt Data Breaches
Here Are Five Measures Tech Firms Can Take to Halt Data Breaches

In today’s digital world, it’s getting harder and harder to keep sensitive data safe, especially if people aren’t good at data management, network security, encryption methods, or endpoint protection. As the number of cyber attacks keeps going up, it’s more important than ever to keep up with better security practises. It’s important to learn the main ways to protect sensitive or confidential data, whether you’re an individual or an organisation, to avoid data breaches or data loss. Losing important data can be especially bad because it usually leads to identity theft, loss of business, or the exposure of classified information. This article talks about the best ways to keep your most important information safe.
What is private information?
Sensitive data is important, private information that needs a higher level of data security to keep hackers and malware from getting in without permission. Data that is considered sensitive is usually kept away from people who don’t have permission to see it. Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, and the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) in Australia set cybersecurity and data protection standards for large companies. These standards are meant to strengthen information security.
Personal information (PII), financial, banking, or credit card information, legal information, medical or protected health information (PHI), biometric data, customer and employee information, Internet browsing history, proprietary information or trade secrets, business operations data, and classified government information are all examples of sensitive data.

7 Best Ways to Keep Private Information Safe
Here are the seven best ways to keep your data safe and secure:

1. Organize & Classify Data
Data classification is the process of putting information into different groups within a system so that it is easier to find and protect, can be ranked by how important it is, and costs for storage and backup can be cut. Organizing the data by risk level (low, medium, or high) lets organisations take different security steps for each level of sensitivity and decide which information is public and which is private.
Having a data classification policy in place can make things run much more smoothly and keep personal or company data safer. It helps a company figure out how sensitive data is used and gives third and fourth parties better privacy and security for their data.

2. Turn on encryption of data
Any organisation that works with highly sensitive data should think about encrypting it so that people who shouldn’t be able to see it can’t. Cryptographers use complicated algorithms and cyphers to code the data so that it can’t be stolen or seen by the wrong people. Even if the data were stolen or intercepted, it would be hard to figure out what it is without the decryption key. Data encryption makes sure that the message stays private while it’s being sent and lets authentication happen.
Data encryption has been used by the government and the military for a long time to send and receive secret messages. When sensitive information, like credit card numbers or social security numbers (SSN), is sent over the Internet, encryption helps keep that information safe. But it’s important to remember that encryption has its limits because technology is always changing. For example, cryptographic attacks or using cloud storage can get around encryption. Even though encryption is important, it shouldn’t be the only way to protect data.

3. Do Impact Assessments on Data Protection (DPIA)
When it comes to storing or processing data, it’s important to look for and assess all possible risks before they happen. Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) are live tools that are meant to help organisations protect their data if there is a big risk of personal information getting out. As part of their rules for compliance, the GDPR has made DPIAs a requirement for any company that handles personal data as of 2018.
As part of a DPIA, organisations must: • Identify the nature, scope, context, and purpose of the data processing • Assess what risks are involved for each person or party • Determine the necessity and proportionality of security measures • Make sure security processes are in line with regulations
A DPIA isn’t just a way to figure out how risky data processing is; companies can also use it to define the roles of data processing within the company, the flow of data between systems and people, and the security policy in case of a cyber attack.

4. Use “data masking” or “data obscuring.”
Data masking is similar to data encryption, but the main difference is that it uses fake data to protect the security of the real data. While encrypted data will always have a key that lets you see the original data set, masked data removes the original data completely.
Usually, organisations use data masking processes for internal use to stop developers, testers, or researchers from accessing sensitive data. Using data masking, they can also test different security protocols, fix systems, and build new features without using real user data. Data masking adds an extra layer of protection against outsiders or people who work inside the company.

5. Set up two or more ways to prove your identity
Password protection and authentication is one of the easiest ways to keep information safe. Many big companies have major data leaks that let customers’ login information out. This information is easy to find on the dark web. But users can keep sensitive data safe by using 2FA (two-factor authentication) or MFA (multi-factor authentication) (multi-factor authentication).
The extra things that are needed for authentication increase security and make it harder for threat actors to get to data. In fact, a Microsoft report showed that 99.9% of compromised accounts did not use MFA and that only 11% of enterprise accounts had MFA.
Hackers often use a method called “brute force” to guess common usernames and passwords in order to get into accounts. On top of that, a lot of people use the same usernames and passwords for more than one account, which makes them less secure. Authentication protocols make it easy and quick for users to protect themselves from most hacking attempts.

6. Create Data Backups
All security solutions are based on how well data is managed and backed up. If malware gets on a hard drive or ransomware attacks a network, users or companies can quickly restore a backup to limit the damage. To protect against hacking attempts, data should be backed up at least once a week, if not every day.
The 3-2-1 rule is a good way to back up your data: keep three copies of your most important data on two different storage media (physical storage and the cloud) and one copy offline or offsite in case of emergencies or disasters.

7. Make your network security stronger
Network security is a broad term that refers to a number of different ways to protect your sensitive data from being stolen or accessed. It helps users have a safe IT (information technology) environment by keeping unauthorised people from getting in. Here are a few tools you can use to protect your data better:

• Antivirus and anti-malware software • Data loss prevention (DLP) • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) • Firewalls
Virtual private networks (VPN), Endpoint response and detection (EDR), network segmentation, and secure data removal tools.

Thanks to the efforts of the IT sector, digital transformation has been able to permeate all industries. The majority of businesses now use cloud services or other technology providers to handle mission-critical tasks. It is now up to technology companies to handle the ever-increasing amount of sensitive data, which they must adequately safeguard to avoid widespread data breaches.

The average cost of a data breach in 2022 was a staggering US$4.35 million, according to research from IBM and the Ponemon Institute. Organizations that have their security penetrated incur not just immediate financial consequences but also the long-term, irreparable cost of damaged reputation.

This article delves at the factors that make the IT sector a prime target for data breaches, as well as the ways in which strong security practises may ensure the security of data across the supply chain.

When does a data breach occur?
Any time a third party is able to access, copy, transmit, or view sensitive information, it is considered a data breach. Data thieves use this information to perpetrate insurance fraud, social security number theft, and other financial crimes online.

The following sorts of information may be compromised in a data breach:

Personal monetary facts like credit card numbers and bank account info
Indicators of Social Security
Data from your driver’s licence
Information that is personally identifiable but not included in the aforementioned examples would also include things like phone numbers and addresses.
Proprietary terms
Covert methods
Protect your private information by reading up on the topic.

The most typical reasons for a data breach are:

Subtle data loss

Weaknesses in network security due to insecure software

incorrect settings in the software

Data loss due to actual theft, such that of a laptop or hard disc

Vulnerabilities caused by Outsiders
Gain knowledge about how to avoid a data breach.

The Worrying Reality of Data Breaches for Tech Companies
It is common knowledge among cybercriminals that the cybersecurity and data protection safeguards at IT organisations are often weaker than those at highly regulated sectors like healthcare and banking. Attackers don’t go after these businesses directly for their data, but rather take advantage of the lax data security at the first link in the supply chain: the IT companies that store and handle this data.

When a data breach occurs in the IT sector, it may have a domino effect across the supply chain, compromising the information of hundreds or even thousands of companies and their customers.

The SolarWinds supply chain hack in December 2020, for instance, hit over 18,000 users of the network management service. As a result, thousands of more clients were compromised since the breach spread to the United States government and international technology providers including Intel, NVIDIA, and Microsoft.

This article describes the time-consuming and expensive recovery procedure that SolarWinds had to endure.

After news of the hack broke, SolarWinds’ shares dropped by over 40% in just a week.
SolarWinds estimated Q1 2021 investigation and remediation expenditures to be between $18 and $19 million.
As a result of the breach, SolarWinds was hit with a class action lawsuit brought by shareholders who lost a lot of money.
Customer renewal rates for SolarWinds fell from the low to mid-90s to the low 80s in the year after the event.
The most devastating data breaches in history have been documented here.

There are six methods IT companies may use to protect their data against breaches.
An efficient data security approach may greatly lessen the likelihood of a data leak in the event of a cyber assault.

Here are five measures IT firms may take to prevent data theft or loss.

First, Restriction of Data Access
To avoid data loss, it is imperative that technology providers use Zero-Trust Architecture (ZTA) to control who has access to sensitive information. If a user is located outside of the network’s perimeter, ZTA considers that they cannot access the protected resources without further authentication or verification. Many different security measures, such the concept of least privilege and multi-factor authentication, make up a zero trust security paradigm, which allows for more insight and management of who has access to private information.

the idea of “least privilege”
The danger of insider threats, such as purposeful or inadvertent data leakage, may be mitigated by adhering to the concept of least privilege and giving all users just the access they need to do their tasks. If an employee’s function or status changes, or if they leave the organisation, it’s important to plan periodic audits to update their access credentials.

Using a number of different methods to prove your identity is called multi-factor authentication (MFA)
In order to get entry to a protected resource, users of an MFA system must provide a combination of at least two different authentication methods. These supplementary measures aid in user verification and help stop hackers from using stolen passwords to access business accounts.

Master the art form of MFA.

Instruction on security awareness should be provided.
According to Verizon’s Data Breaches Investigations Report for 2022, the majority (82%) of all reported breaches included some kind of human error. All businesses, even sole proprietorships, may benefit from cybersecurity awareness programmes because of their effectiveness in halting breaches caused by human error.

Update your OS and use a virtual private network (VPN) while using public Wi-Fi, to start.

One of the most frequent entry points for hackers who go on to steal sensitive information is via a phishing attack. Data breaches and other similar security mishaps may be avoided if IT businesses implement comprehensive awareness campaigns.

Find out what the difference is between a data leak and a data breach.

Practicing Your Passwords
The adoption of brute-force techniques makes weak passwords trivial to break, and the usage of the same password for several accounts rapidly becomes a security risk in the case of a data breach.

The following are some guidelines on how employees should effectively protect their credentials:

Keep your passwords secure and one of a kind.
Change your passwords often.
Passwords should never be shared.
Put your social networking accounts on private mode.
Be aware of the potential dangers posed by password managers
Create a system that requires many forms of identification to log in (MFA)
Take use of this password security check list in your training initiatives.

Tips for Recognizing Phishing Attacks
Social engineering methods, such as phishing schemes, are used by cybercriminals to deceive workers into divulging confidential information. They use this private information to gain access to internal networks. Once hackers get access to a company’s internal network, they are able to steal sensitive information, plant malicious code, and launch ransomware attacks, all of which are very damaging to the company’s operations.

Some telltale signs of a phishing email include awkward language, demands that seem out of the ordinary, and a feeling of urgency. The prevention of corporate email compromise and other forms of data leak is facilitated by training personnel to recognise these signs. Antivirus software is another layer of defence that businesses may use to protect their endpoints in case phishing education fails.

Understand how to recognise phishing attempts.

Second, divide your networks up.
Providers of technological services should use network segmentation as a standard security measure. When you divide your primary network into smaller subnetworks, you limit the scope of your network’s nodes and the amount of space they have to move laterally. In contrast to flat networks, which may be exploited to launch widespread assaults because hackers get access to every device linked to them, a mesh network’s security remains intact even if a single node is hacked.

Access points, passwords, and firewalls are all handled independently between each subnetwork. These safeguards provide an added layer of defence against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and other cyberthreats that may bring a whole network to a grinding halt.

Figure out how to properly divide your network.

Thirdly, establish a cybersecurity framework
Companies in every sector depend on IT firms to safely handle their sensitive information. Customers in highly regulated businesses must verify that their suppliers meet all applicable regulations.

To better manage and reduce cyber risk, your firm might benefit from using a recognised cybersecurity framework, such as NIST CSF. Compliance mapping is another feature of frameworks that may help you keep up with regulations like PCI DSS and ISO 27001, among others.

Customer confidence that you are taking enough precautions to secure their personal information is bolstered by evidence of your compliance with widely adopted standards and legislation.

Gain knowledge about how to use the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.

Put an End to Data Loss
When confidential data is unintentionally shared, either in person or online, this is known as a data breach. If data breaches go undiscovered for too long, hackers will use them as access points in a cyber assault. Misconfigured software settings, for instance, might make sensitive business information easily accessible to the public and so facilitate unwanted access to internal systems.

To prevent data loss before it is discovered by thieves, a rapid incident response strategy with effective remediation options is essential. In order to avoid security breaches, it is essential to have a data leak detection system that constantly monitors all levels of the web for any signs of data leaks that might impact a company or its suppliers.

Find out how UpGuard’s real-time leak detection may help you avoid major problems.

Count and Catalog Every Weakness
Within 15 minutes of a new CVE disclosure, fraudsters begin looking for vulnerabilities, according to research conducted by Palo Alto. The fallout from a breached zero-day vulnerability may be catastrophic for IT organisations. Attackers may infect hundreds of users with ransomware or other malware by exploiting security holes in software update code.


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