As time progresses, it is becoming a regular story to hear about security breaches worldwide. Consumers are entirely oblivious to the nature of security breaches. So, companies have to be upgrading their data security. Right? After all, data breaches are extremely costly and can encompass millions of dollars and also negatively affect a company’s reputation permanently. This article will explain how to prevent a security breach.
In 2013, a data breach affected Target. The effect of this was on millions of shoppers wary of returning to a retail giant like Target for their shopping needs. Consequently, there was a $90 million loss for the brand, and the damage to their reputation still affects them. A data breach is exceptionally damning to a company for its entirety.
In Target stores, it’s highly challenging for people to buy online due to the security breach. Similarly, in many brick and mortar stores, there is a general fear to buy online. Many surveys have been used to confirm this skepticism. Why? Well, many patrons have a general reluctance to engage in online shopping through smaller stores. This belief stems from a general conception that large stores have high cybersecurity.
To disprove the data from this survey, JP Morgan Chase, the current largest bank in the USA, suffered a breach. This breach resulted in a loss of names, addresses, and personal details of over 76 million customers. This sort of violation is what causes the public trust to erode. More so, when consumers are more skeptical of online businesses.
Therefore, how can your company prevent a data breach? Is there any real safety today? Well, we will discuss the options available to people on how to avoid a security breach in your company successfully.
1. Limit the access to your data
Previously, employees in companies could access all files on their computers. Today, companies have had to learn the hard way. Now, they are limiting access to the more essential and valuable data. The rationale is quite valid. After all, the receptionist does not need to have the financial information of customers.
When a company limits its access and mailing list, it successfully narrows down the list of employees that may click on malicious links or fall for scams. Companies evolve and have to adapt to a world with data and security breaches. A need also arises to partition all records and data for only employees and contacts that depend on access to that information.
This should be commonplace as companies should have adapted a lifestyle like this a long time ago. Primarily as technology and the digital age have grown so much in this generation.
2.Ensure all third-parties comply with your rules for security
All companies have to do business with some third-parties. In many cases, a wide range of third-party vendors and companies. Therefore, the importance of knowing and identifying these third parties has to increase. A lot of companies are vulnerable to lawsuits as a result of third-parties entering their premises.
For example, a delivery man for your office supplies is a convict. This could lead to your company’s involvement in any accusations of breaches as a result of this. Something even as simple as a third-party merely stepping to the premises. Additionally, you have to limit the access these vendors have to your documents. So, ensure you use a valid sealing method.
Although it’s quite a hassle for an IT department, the truth is that many companies have to make these security steps a necessity. An even better addition will be increased compensation for your IT department. This is the best option for a company in 2019. Why? Well, the other option is a permanently scarring data breach.
For companies that are permitted access to your essential data, you have to demand transparency from them. If denied, it’s best to find an alternative third-party. Also, ensure these companies have compliance with data privacy laws and regulations.
Furthermore, ensure you perform regular background checks for all third-party vendors that enter the premises of your company. Lastly, a CEO should ensure the implementation of tight and rigid security regulations if they want to guarantee their data is protected adequately.
3. Train all your employees on security awareness
With new surveys and developments, employees have identified as the main problem in data security breaches. Although they receive training, many employees end up opening suspicious emails that could lead to malware on the company’s network.
Employers always make the error of believing that a single training session on the importance of cybersecurity is enough to dissuade mistakes. Hence, if you are determined to protect your data, you have to schedule regular classes every month or quarterly.
A lot of the time, employees underestimate the importance of cybersecurity sessions. These sessions will teach them how to prevent security breaches to your company. According to psychological studies on marketing, many people have to hear the same message seven times before it will impact their attitude.
4. Implement regular software updates
Many professionals highly recommend a regular update schedule for operating systems, phones, devices, and applications regularly. When new patches or updates, regardless of file size, are available, you have to install them.
Additionally, your network is extremely vulnerable to security breaches without regular updates. On that note, Microsoft has created a helpful solution to streamline this process with Baseline Security Analyzer. This software regularly scans computers and ensures all programs are updated and fully patched. With regular updates, you can cost-effectively ensure your database and network can combat attacks before they happen.
5. Create a response plan in case a security breach occurs
Picture a scenario where you resume work on a Monday to find out that there is a security breach. If this happens, only a few companies have good response plans to such an occurrence. Many companies feel the need to deny such violations. This is the worst possible reaction. It discourages people from associating themselves with your company. More so when there is hard evidence that states otherwise.
A company should not waste too much time in going public with the information on a data breach. Instead, you should be ready to tell the public the details before the media creates a storm you can’t recover.
Your company should be prepared to take full control of the situation. For example, Home Depot’s CEO, Frank Blake, took ownership of the situation and admitted to their flawed system. He also detailed the type of data affected by the breach and was apologetic about the situation. Furthermore, he shared the company’s plans to improve and avoid future issues. This led to a less destructive blow to the company’s reputation.
The impact of a comprehensive response plan
When you have a well thought out response plan, your employees and staff will have a better understanding of the damages that could potentially occur. So, as an employer, you must have a transparent approach towards communicating the scale and impact of the breach. This is because employees are on your team; therefore, they deserve to know the full truth.
With a good response plan, you can prevent negativity from the public reaction after the initial outrage. Also, a good response plan can help you increase company productivity.
For your response plan, you should present a full evaluation that contains the data that was lost, when it was lost, how and all other necessary information. Also, ensure you find out the parties responsible for a data breach. With decisive action, you can keep your reputation relatively secure and increase your trust with employees.
6. Create Passwords that are hard to Decipher
Before the regular occurrence of breaches, companies never had a strict requirement for employees to change passwords regularly. Now, things have changed a lot. When security breach experts are hired to educate your employees, they are always ready to emphasize the importance of regular password changes.
Even for regular users out in the world, people have learned the importance of passwords that are extremely difficult to decipher. Many of us have begun to use special characters and variations in our passwords. This is a stark difference compared to ten years ago. So, what this means is that our passwords have to be difficult for thieves to break.
7. Give your Customers Regular Assurance
With online shopping and its phenomenal growth, there have been over 80 billion dollars worth of sales for all American businesses. There is a vast user base for online shopping due to its convenience. So, online shopping and sales have had a bright future in the digital space.
However, data breaches of Target, Amazon, and eBay have limited the belief in online breaches. Due to recent surveys, statistics have shown that 56% of consumers in America have reduced their internet purchases due to a general fear of information hacks. As a result, many companies have lost sales of over millions of dollars.
Data breaches are highly prevalent, and many companies have had to create various marketing campaigns to ensure that shoppers can shop safely. However, data breaches are extremely difficult to recover. So, when customers observe that your company is making valid efforts to prevent theft and breaches, they will feel an obligation to buy from you.