Data breaches aren’t just a security risk; they are also a huge financial liability because they require additional overheads to cover them—and that too doesn’t come with guarantees. This means that the best way to avoid losses by data breaches is to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
This article serves as a guide of sorts that will walk you through seven different ways to prevent data breaches for medium and small-scale businesses alike.
Before we move onto the tips and tricks, let’s talk a bit about how data breaches happen.
A word on how data breaches occur
A data breach means that someone who wasn’t supposed to access particular data has managed to get into it. Depending on how sensitive the information that was hacked into is, the breaches become more expensive to solve and cover.
According to a recent report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach is approximately $3.86 million. That is excluding the incalculable damage that befalls the reputation of the organization that was hacked into. In the same report, IBM has also discovered that it takes around 280 days to identify and rectify a data breach on average.
Given how the global business infrastructure experienced such a sudden online shift due to the novel Corona Virus, data breaches have recently become a much more severe issue. According to IBM’s study, 76% of the workforce increased their timeframe for identifying and containing these security breaches, leading to an approximate $137,000 as additional cost per data breach.
That being said, all is not lost. There are several measures and steps that business owners and C-level executives can follow to avoid falling victim to breaches. Whether you have been in the business world for quite a while or have just taken your first couple of steps, here are seven different tips to prevent data breaches for your business in 2021.
Educate your team on how to practice online security better
One of the main reasons data breaches even occur is ignorance and not practicing digital security better. The best way to solve this problem is to train your team on keeping their machines and online activities safe from prying eyes and dangerous people.
Regular online security training that teach employees basic security measures like increasing their password strength, changing passwords to essential files often, understanding what scams and phishing emails look like can go a log way in ensuring data safety.
Frequently update your security procedures and protocols
Many companies create independent security procedures and protocols to make sure that their digital security is always up to par. Suppose you already have security procedures and protocols in place. In that case, a great tactic is to update it frequently so that even if a hacker or a snooper has managed to break in, they can still be locked out of confidential data before it’s too late.
This will do two things; the first is to clarify your company’s expectations when it comes to its confidential data. And the second is that it will show your team and employees that data and breaches are a serious issue for the company and serve as a reminder that online security isn’t to be taken lightly.
Introduce remote monitoring
Many companies have introduced remote monitoring to ensure round-the-clock digital security for employees that are working from home. In-house remote monitoring could add to additional expense, so it is better to work with an IT service provider in cases of small-scale businesses.
This will help eliminate the need to hire additional staff to monitor your systems round-the-clock, hence help you cut down on other security overheads.
Make sure you have data backups and recovery options available
One of the most significant downsides of data breaches is data loss. Sometimes, breaches end up in the data getting deleted, which is almost impossible to recover if you don’t have backups made and stored in a safer place.
To counter this, it is best always to be prepared and have automated data backups stored on a safe, remote server to cut down on losses if a breach, natural disaster, or a server crash occurs.
Keep any physical data under strict security
It is a misconception that breaches can only occur online. The truth is that physical breaches are just as common as online ones and can include stealing or making copies of items like physical files, storage devices, and hard drives on which confidential data is recorded.
To prevent this, make sure all sorts of physical data is stored at a secure location. To provide an added security layer, it is also a good practice to restrict access to this location to only a few trusted, higher officials.
Keep your data encrypted
Encryption is another great way to prevent losses and confidentiality breaches, even if your systems are hacked. Encryption prevents anyone without a decryption key from making sense of your data, even if they have access to it.
This means that encrypted data is of no use to hackers until and unless they have the decryption key, making it a great low-cost way to prevent data breaches.
Ensure that your entire team uses a VPN while working
Finally, if you’re looking for a simple solution that will provide encryption and ensure online anonymity so that no one can trace your online activities back to you in the first place, use a VPN.
VPN services mask your IP address in addition to making sure the entirety of your online communication is encrypted, making it very hard for hackers and other cybercriminals to get their hands on your machines and the files stored on them.
Since many VPN services offer multiple log-ins, a single subscription can be used by entire teams, making for an affordable and highly efficient way to safeguard your data against breaches.
Now that you know our top seven best practices to protect your business from breaches in 2021 let us know your favorite ones. Also, feel free to add to the list and help our readers out!
Evie Lester is a blogger by passion and a writer by profession. As a blogger, she writes about the ins and outs of the tech industry. At times when she isn’t busy in writing, she finds herself contended in travelling and sharing experiences with others.