Security breaches: tips for prevention

As long as businesses host valuable data, cyber criminals will continue to bypass the security protocols meant to protect this data. The causes of security breaches range from device theft or loss, weak and stolen credentials, malware, and outdated systems that use ineffective security measures. And with these five tips, you can take the first step toward comprehensive cybersecurity program.

Limitation of lateral data transfers

Employees not being educated on data sharing and security is one of the biggest reasons for internal data breaches. It’s a good idea to limit access to important data and information by restricting access privileges to only a small number of individuals. "Limiting permissions is one of the 5Ps of Cybersecurity" said Mike Gilmore, RESULTS' Chief Technology Officer. "This limits the potential of damage to critical information in case of a breach."

Keeping your machines and devices updated

Internal breaches might also occur when employees work with unguarded or unprotected machines. They might unknowingly download malware, which normally wouldn’t be a problem if machines were properly managed. Updating your operating systems, antivirus software, business software, and firewalls as often as possible will go a long way toward solidifying your defense systems. It is not enough to turn on automatic updates! Make sure all systems are patched (Microsoft, Adobe, Java and all browsers) and antivirus current. One unpatched computer is all it takes!

Use monitoring and machine learning to sniff out abnormalities

It’s not all on your employees, however. Your computer support professional should employ monitoring software to prevent breaches by analyzing what is “normal” behavior and comparing that to what appears to be suspicious behavior. Cyber criminals often hide in networks to exploit them over a long period of time. Even if you miss them the first time, you should monitor suspicious activity so you can recognize impropriety and amend security policies before it goes any further. Not sure how? Hiring an IT services company may be the answer.

Creating strong security passwords and credentials

No matter how often we say it, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to your passwords and login procedures. (We recommend using a Password Manager to keep it all straight.) In addition to text-based credentials, you should require other methods whenever possible. Great for fortifying your network, fingerprints and smart cards, for example, are much harder for cyber criminals to fake. Regardless of which factors are used, they must be frequently updated to prevent breaches, accidental or otherwise.

Security Insurance

In the end, no system is perfect. Zero-day attacks exploit unknown gaps in security, and human error, accidental or otherwise, can never be totally prevented. And for this reason, small businesses need to start embracing cyber insurance policies. These policies help cover the damages that might occur even under a top-of-the-line security infrastructure. Considerations for selecting a policy include legal fees, first and third-party coverage, and coverage for reputation rehabilitation.

The field of cyber security is overwhelming. If you need help applying these five steps toward better cyber security or any other IT service, feel free to contact us! Our expert staff can analyze your current cyber security system and give recommendations for improvement.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.