Data breaches—any event where a business’ confidential data is viewed, copied, or stolen by an unauthorized person or party—are a serious problem. Unfortunately, they are also a serious problem that can be caused by no shortage of situations. Let’s review some of the causes of business data breaches so you’ll know what to keep an eye out for.
If a piece of software has some kind of security flaw or shortcoming in it, a hacker can take advantage of it in numerous different ways. Whether the security issue comes from an improperly coded application, an out-of-date or neglected piece of software, or even something just being misconfigured, there are plenty of ways that the tools you rely on can inadvertently let in a threat. Making sure you only use software that has been vetted and cleared by an IT resource and is properly updated will be critical to your ongoing security.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it thousands of times—you need to be sure that everyone in your organization is using sufficiently secure passwords, or ideally, passphrases, and that each account they have is protected by a unique one. This makes it so that—should one password be undermined (ideally through no fault of your own)---it is just that one account that’s problematic and needs to be fixed.
If you’re concerned about your team having difficulty keeping track of all these passwords and/or passphrases, implementing a password management system is a secure and efficient option that we can help you execute.
Let me ask you something—what would your response be if I were to reach out to you and request some of your data, or ask to have a password updated? I should hope that your first instinct would be to say no until you confirm that the request is legitimate and aboveboard.
Cybercriminals don’t all use fancy programming and malware, all the time. Why would they, if they can get just as much, just by targeting your employees and taking advantage of them directly? You need to be sure that your team members understand how real this threat is, and that they can identify when this kind of attack comes in.
Let me ask you one more thing: does every member of your crew need the same access to the same resources in order to do their jobs? Of course not—in fact, there are more examples where the exact opposite is the case. Your support team doesn’t need access to the rest of the team’s time off requests, and your sales team doesn’t need access to the entire business’ budget. Locking down access permissions on a need-to-know basis will help to eliminate the risk of a data leak. On the subject…
Not all data breaches are sourced from outside your business. Whether one of your employees feels the need to lash out in perceived retribution, someone with ill moral structure decides to act in their own interest, another business has a plant employed at your company, or someone has decided to turn data theft into a side hustle—insider threats come in all shapes and forms. Restricting permissions to only those who actively need them helps to take some of the teeth out of an insider attack.
There are so many different forms of malware out there, and it doesn’t help that it only takes one to potentially bring your network to its needs and abscond with your data. What’s worse, these threats have no shortage of means to get onto your infrastructure. From downloaded attachments to public Wi-Fi connections to infected USB devices to so many more opportunities, malware can get into an unprotected network and deliver its payload. This means that you need to keep your network locked down—something we can assist with as well.
We have plenty of experience in evaluating your IT and improving the security of your network. Interested in learning more? Give us a call at 724-473-3950.
About the author
Dan has 25 years of progressive experience in the IT industry. He has led three successful companies focused on small and medium business IT solutions since 1997.