How Can Businesses Prevent Data Breaches?
In Australia, data breaches are not uncommon. According to reports by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), there were approximately 812 data breaches in 2018 alone. This quarter, a single incident compromised the information of 10 million Aussies. The number and frequency of data breaches should be a cause for concern for all Aussie business owners—particularly those who do not have a strategy in place to protect against threats.
As technology evolves, hackers are using increasingly sophisticated methods to break into networks and steal data. Another concern is internal threats—most data breaches are caused by people who work within the organisation. For this reason, it is critical to design and implement an IT system security strategy that defends against both external and internal causes of data breaches.
What Is a Data Breach?
A data breach occurs when private information is taken or accessed without the owner’s authorisation. It can occur due to many reasons. The following are some of the most common.
IT System Security Vulnerabilities
Out-of-date software and operating system design flaws provide hackers with an entry point. Unfortunately, these and other IT system security vulnerabilities are often not detected in time. It’s essential to conduct regular IT maintenance to reduce the odds of a vulnerability being exploited.
Hackers tend to target businesses because they store a huge amount of sensitive customer data. This information is valuable to hackers because it can be duplicated and used for identify theft, fraud, and even blackmail.
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In many cases, a data breach is caused not by malicious activity but by simple carelessness. Accidentally sending emails to the wrong recipient, sharing account information, and misplacing files can create vulnerabilities. To prevent human errors, business owners should make sure their employees know basic security measures. They should also have an IT system security policy in place.
Users can unintentionally and unknowingly download malicious software when they visit certain websites. It then installs itself into the user’s computer and steals data. Afterwards, it performs actions such as capturing information entered by the user and granting remote network or device access to hackers.
Prevent Breaches by Removing Trust From the Equation
Many Australian businesses are still using outdated security architecture. However, what worked 10 years ago won’t be sufficient to protect sensitive data today.
Traditional IT system security strategies entailed strengthening and widening the security perimeter to defend outside threats. However, hackers with stolen credentials as well as malicious or careless employees can access data because they’re doing so from within the perimeter.
With the zero trust approach, all activity is considered compromised until it is verified. If you have a zero trust security architecture in place, all internal and external traffic will be checked and validated. User access will also be limited depending on factors such as the employee’s job role and the action he or she is asking to perform.
The Final Word
A data breach can be catastrophic to your company’s finances and reputation, and recovery can take years. To prevent a data breach, be proactive. Consult IT experts for a solution that effectively protects your network. The right architecture can help prevent attacks and identify external and internal threats early.
Contact a CHB Leader in Managed IT Support to learn more about IT outsourcing and other IT security solutions for your business.
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