Strategies to prevent data breaches are becoming a mandatory thing in this technology-driven world as lots and lots of data are being accumulated every day and without proper security, there is high vulnerability to theft without adequate security.
What exactly is a Data Breach?
A Data Breach occurs when unauthorized people intentionally or accidentally gain access to private or sensitive information. This happens when a pirate or hacker gets access to a system, network, or database without the owner or custodian knowing as they are the ones who hold the information’s knowledge or agreement. Damage to the reputation of the targeted company as a result of a perceived “betrayal of trust” is one of the main effects brought on by a data breach.
A data breach mostly happens when a company’s systems are weak and more vulnerable and the other methods are by using social engineering by tricking individuals into providing access to data or credentials.
Another form of a data breach is exfiltration by gaining access to the firm and stealing its valuable assets. Most data breach happens through cyber attacks like malware or hacking. Some of the common types of Data breaches are Malware, Phishing, Spoofing, and Spear phishing.
To prevent this from happening companies hire cybersecurity specialists who use strategies to prevent data breaches and also safeguard the data and information that the firm holds.
A FEW STRATEGIES TO PREVENT DATA BREACHES ARE
1. Implementing strong access controls –
Access control is a technique for ensuring that users have authorized access to corporate data and are who they claim to be. Verifying credentials, limiting access, and routinely checking your system are all part of access control. To prevent unauthorized access to a company’s data certain measures are taken for example ensuring a safe and secure password is also a way of implementing strong access controls.
There are also other control methods like
- Discretionary access control (DAC) – It is a method of granting someone access while simultaneously restricting them using their identification. The DAC system largely makes use of usernames and passwords for person-to-person authentication.
- Mandatory access control (MAC) – MAC is the strongest among all the access controls mainly due to the high security that it provides. If a particular person tries to get resources from a particular file then the MAC acts as a barrier to confirm the person’s identity and if he has the authority to enter or not the OS is designed in a particular way that high-level firms like the military uses this type of access control systems as a wall against hackers.
- Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) – Under RABC access permissions is administratively associated with the roles of every individual who is inside an organization or a firm. Users are split into groups and only the user of a certain level can access directly to files within the groups other users from other groups will not get the authority or privileges. So that confidentiality and privacy can be maintained.
- Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) – ABAC model of access control is more of an easier way of control structure that gives permissions that can be based on the user’s type, location, department, and so on.
2. Encrypting Sensitive Data-
Encryption means that every piece of data that keeps arriving into the system or which is stored will be translated and transferred as Cyipher text and if a user needs to access this data an encryption key is used to decrypt it. There are several other new methods of encryption available the most advanced one is the Advanced Encryption System aka (AES) it is the most sophisticated one mostly government and private sectors like IT use them for security purposes as they have a large amount of data stored in their servers.
AES uses an algorithm that consists of 128-bit block encryption and is designed to support key sizes of 128, 192, and 256 bits among these 256 is the strongest one that is commercially available in the market. AES 256 is considered to be the hardest one to crack.
Encryption mainly relies on cybersecurity as their wall of defense.
3. Regular Update and Patching up Software-
Patching and regular updates on software are other strategies to prevent data breaches from happening. When a software program or operating system encounters a vulnerability, such as a leak or a hole, a patch-up is necessary to resolve the problem.
Some other methods include
- Stay updated – Always stay updated to be ahead of the game because everyday technology is improving systems and servers need to be fast in order to be productive and for that regular updates are mandatory with new updates software can become highly secured and chances are less for vulnerability
- Patch management– Regular surveys and testing of software are required to look for any leaks or holes within the system and negligence to these minor issues then the chances of infiltration are high. Most firms hire cyber security specialists for this job as they are considered the “repair man”
- System Monitoring– Continuous monitoring of systems for suspicious activities and other anomalies is necessary. Monitoring includes network traffic, system logs, and the user’s behavior to track the activities done inside the system.
- Employee awareness and training– Educating the employees about the importance of patching and software updates is highly important so that they could understand more about the risk factors that come along with it.
- Third-party Software – Any program or application that was not exclusively authored by personnel of the company for which it was built is referred to as third-party software, also known as supply chain, vendor-supplied, or outsourced software. Third-party software can also bring vulnerability so it is important to stay updated to check on for leaks and make security patches where ever necessary.
4. Train Employees on the Importance of Security-
Every firm should Train their employees on the importance of security and the possibility of data breaches. By Giving the right training to the staff they will be prepared to spot an attempted hack or a threat, these are also a few strategies to prevent data breaches. Employees of a firm or organization are the primary target for hackers they are more prone to be hacked their data and passwords must be highly confidential and secure at the same time.
5. Secure WIFI Networks-
Securing wifi networks consists of
- Encrypting the WIFI with a strong and secure password.
- Changing your Username and password frequently.
- Hiding the network from view so that other users don’t notice it.
- Using Antivirus software or use a Firewall as a shield.
- Check files before transferring as they may contain viruses if a device is connected to a public device.
6. Monitor Network Traffic and User Behaviour-
Monitoring the network traffic gives the benefit of analyzing, gathering, and reporting network traffic data to spot the errors that can be fixed.
Network monitoring is also a tool used to identify and send out alerts based on the issues that are affecting the availability or functionality of network service. And User Behaviour is an umbrella term used for all the activities a user makes or performs under the network. Cyber security specialists always make sure to check on user behavior to ensure whether any sort of anonymous activity had taken place if a data breach has occurred. Tracking is also a vital thing as these are a few strategies to prevent data breaches.
7. Backup Data Regularly-
Backing up regularly is important because the chances of losing data from the main server are high, system servers can crash at any time if an unlimited amount of data is being sent to the main server so the best option is to split the data and store it in multiple servers
8. Limit Data Collection and Retention-
Data retention refers to the process of organizing information in order to use it for future reference, it is an easy way to gain access to the information that has been stored on a particular date and dispose of it. This method of storing data has its own restrictions, under retention only for a specific time period the data can be stored.
Yes, it is evident that Data Breaches are becoming an increasingly common problem nowadays but there are strategies to prevent data breaches from happening such as following proper cybersecurity practices, such as creating strong, unique passwords, being vigilant of phishing scams, updating software, and routinely checking financial and personal data for any indications of unauthorized activity.