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How to better protect your digital environments from breaches

Even though your organization may deploy cutting-edge technology and have a  team of experienced security professionals, digital protection is still of vital importance. Human error is a leading cause of security breaches globally, with employees accidentally clicking on attachments they believe to be from a work colleague or login credentials being compromised. 

The best way to address data breach protection is to invest in solutions and practices that enable a security-first culture within your organization.  

Security awareness training

In recent years, human error has been responsible for a large proportion of corporate network attacks. Humans are, by far, the weakest link in any cybersecurity solution, so it is critical to ensure your employees are well trained and vigilant about cyber risks and know what to do if they notice suspicious activity, such as phishing emails or malware. High-quality security awareness training should be engaging and enjoyable, and track employees' progress to highlight any weaknesses. Gamification and video-based courses as well as phishing simulations ensure training course material is retained for real-life situations.

Data protection policies

Most people realize that it is unwise to publish a photo of their credit card on social media but don’t hesitate to share business information with a third party outside of their organization. If the data was not meant to be made public, there is a genuine danger of data leaks. Every employee should learn which data should and shouldn't be shared with third parties in your organization. A rigid policy should be put in place to govern how data is handled and shared.

Strong passwords

A recent study revealed the most commonly used password is still “123456,” while the fourth most popular password is “password.” Employees create weak passwords for their work accounts despite knowing they should not use simple passwords for their online banking accounts. The perceived risk is lower when their personal data or sensitive information is not at risk. 

Enforcing strong passwords, with regular mandatory password changes promotes a healthy security approach and the use of a password manager can reduce the chance of reusing the same login details. Password managers keep login details safely stored online, rather than physically written down on a sticky note next to an employee’s device. The added use of multi-factor authentication means that only users with the authority to log into systems can gain access. 

Vulnerability scanning

Cybercriminals scan networks and systems to look for vulnerabilities or weaknesses that can be exploited. When a data breach occurs, often it is through these security gaps that allow hackers gain unauthorized access to sensitive data, such as financial information or personal information. Vulnerability management of your networks requires continuous vigilance. Investing in a vulnerability scanning tool that automatically and continuously scans your organization for vulnerabilities and provides you with a cybersecurity rating can prevent data breaches and keep your data secure. 

Endpoint protection

Every device that connects to the company network is a potential entry point for a cyber-attack and protecting against endpoint attacks can be a challenge without interfering with how your employees can do their jobs. The chance of employees falling victim to a social engineering attack can be mitigated through endpoint device protection, but it is still vital to ensure they are informed about the latest attacks. 

Data backups

Preparing for the worst is a critical part of good security practice. Whilst your IT environment may be as secure as it can be, it is still critical to be prepared for a data breach. A breach may result in critical data being compromised and the need to shut down systems and networks. This is where data backup for recovery is vital and while it doesn’t protect against data breaches, it helps to restore business continuity once the breach is mitigated. 

Penetration testing

A penetration test, which is a simulated cyber-attack performed by an ethical security company, is a good method to find and point out vulnerabilities across your systems. Vulnerabilities across your systems are detected and pointed out by a service specifically designed to root them out. The biggest security risk is a lack of vigilance. Employees who are careless online are putting your network at the greatest risk. You must continuously educate and monitor your environment to detect risky actions before they result in a cyber attack. 

Data breach prevention with world-class cybersecurity solutions

Data security is one of the biggest threats that businesses have to deal with, and it is also the hardest in an increasingly complex threat environment. The ThreatAdvice Breach Prevention Platform offers a strong security awareness program and continuous vulnerability scanning, in one comprehensive solution that provides your business with complete cybersecurity oversight. Contact the team at ThreatAdvice today and find out how to better protect your digital environment from data breaches.