According to Statista, 715 data breaches impacted small businesses from November 2020 to October 2021, significantly more than in the case of large companies, where only 255 data breaches occurred. Since SMEs do not have all the necessary equipment and preparation to avoid cyber threats, they are more prone to be victims of data breaches than large enterprises. Shockingly or not, solutions are needed because substantial loss is at a stroke.
Cybersecurity should be taken seriously now more than ever. So, here are some valuable insights into what data breaches are and how they can be prevented.
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What is a data breach?
Before digging into the topic, it is compulsory to make it all clear regarding data breaches. You might have used the term cyber-attack often, referring to a data breach, but learn they are not the same. Data breaches are just a type of cyber-attacks, like malware, phishing, or DoS (Denial-of-Service attacks). This kind of cyber threat puts anything from client lists, digital reports, and password information to financial account details at risk; in other words, any proprietary or private information that businesses keep away from the public’s sight. Think about this type of attack as a sort of theft that occurs if the robber (in this case, hackers) is successful, but not all cyber-attacks can result in a data breach. Like other cyber-attacks, a data breach requires a particular way of approach, so let us find what it is all about.
Develop a cyber breach response plan
Although it is hard to imagine that your company could be the victim of a cyber breach, we highly recommend having a thorough breach response plan in place. It is essential to understand what can be lost in this regard and inform employees about the potential damage of a data breach. What would it be like if your laborers learned about the event of a cyber breach months after its occurrence? They would most probably lose trust in the organization and feel disappointed. Thus, ensure you include your employees in your plans and, if possible, brainstorm solutions together.
Nonetheless, a data breach is still possible regardless of how well you prepare. These cyber threats are unpredictable, so the best thing you can do to keep your enterprise safe is to adopt the recommended measures, like keeping your data in the cloud, updating it regularly, building difficult-to-decipher credentials, and installing antimalware software. But if there is a skilled actor in the game, it might be possible to overcome these obstacles and compromise your system. In such a situation, it is critical to take the proper steps.
Some of the most important actions include:
- Talk with legal authorities. It might sound like too much, but in some cases, the best way to deal with the event of a data breach is to inform the authorities. Ignoring it might prove to the attackers that it is cool on your part, and try their luck another time. Every state has different requirements regarding a data breach report, but if you get in touch with the authorities in your area, you will receive much pertinent information.
- Hire a data breach lawyer. It is essential not to go through this alone, so apart from getting in touch with authorities, consider calling on a professional data breach attorney. Specialists in the domain will advise you regarding the case and further represent you in court. If you do not know the steps toward data breach compensation in the UK, working with a professional lawyer is the best solution.
- Inform those who were affected and neutralize the breach. In the event a malicious actor steals crucial customer information, it is essential to notify them, although this can be embarrassing. But people will likely appreciate a direct truth rather than a hidden one.
- Take security to the next level. Now that the unexpected happened, you can learn from past mistakes. Think about that as your chance to improve data breach security and minimize future damage.
Make security part of your organization’s culture
Everything starts from a human’s intention, so the first and foremost step to protecting your company from data breaches is to make all employees aware of the risks involved. Providing adequate training about data security and practices for a safer online environment would also be helpful. Intentional or not, your employees can give others crucial information that can be further used to benefit someone else.
The risk of a data breach can also be mitigated with the help of awareness programs that go beyond a playbook of potential attacks. Such programs can continuously remind workers of their obligation to keep the company safe and infuse security into the organization.
Enhance credential security
Never underestimate the power of a strong password. Complex credentials are a must, especially when it comes to an organization’s online safety, as hackers are likely to try their luck first on account credentials. If you have a password like “favorite sports team” or “name plus date of birth” followed by the well-known combination of numbers “1234”, you should not be surprised if someone gets to crack your password. Determined attackers can guess even complex and lengthy credentials, so make sure you rethink your password management.
Protect your cloud and data
A helpful way to protect your company from a data breach is to store critical information in the cloud. But that is not enough to take your data security to the next level: you need to develop a more complex and comprehensive cloud safety tactic. For this, a CASB (cloud access security broker) is ideal. These software platforms provide businesses with monitoring and governance service, data protection, and continuous visibility. CASBs use machine learning technology to identify and neutralize unauthorized products and users that can endanger the company. Apart from these helpful features, CASBs can also encrypt and tokenise data so that it becomes almost impossible to steal.