Businesses run on data, and customers trust them or abandon them based on how well they take care of that data — but many organizations are ill prepared to prevent or deal with a data breach.
Robert Westervelt wrote for CRN that one of the biggest issues in data security is a lack of incident response teams:
“A survey of 674 IT security professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, found a lack of investment and awareness of incident response activities from senior management. The majority of survey respondents said additional people and more efficient processes could help speed up incident response, but they acknowledged that investments in incident response capabilities in their organization had remained static over the past 24 months.”
Since organizations are finding it difficult to dedicate the personnel to investigating potential security breaches, they should look for technological solutions to the problem. Dealing with a data breach is incredibly difficult. It is far better to invest in the tools and processes to prevent a breach from happening in the first place. To know when it is time to invest in additional data security, organizations should watch for the early warning signs that indicate their data is in jeopardy.
Some of those warning signs include the following:
1. Help Desk teams spending most of their time dealing with password resets.
Help Desk staffs are usually spread thin across an organization. If they are spending a lot of their time dealing with password resets, then they are not dealing with other more pressing issues and are at risk of falling victim to hackers’ social engineering schemes to steal passwords. Automating this with a self-serve password reset program improves security and frees up Help Desk employees to work on more important things.
2. Employees are increasingly working remotely and needing to access the mainframe.
Remote employees and employees practicing BYOD have similar data needs to those working in the office behind the firewall. But if the security systems that allow them access to the data they need are weaker than the ones behind the firewall, then data could be at greater risk of being exploited.
3. Employees are accessing sensitive data without multi-factor authentication.
Passwords can be guessed or stolen, but including a second authentication factor makes identifying authorized users by their login credentials much more reliable.
4. Your company is using cloud computing and offsite data warehousing.
As more of your organization’s data moves off your servers and into the cloud, encryption becomes increasingly important. Implementing a cloud encryption strategy for all your cloud data will help keep your data secure even if your cloud provider’s servers become compromised.
5. The data on your systems is critical to your business’s success.
Mission critical data cannot be lost. The systems that access it cannot go down. If there is data and systems your business cannot do without, invest in the security and backup systems to keep your business running in case of data loss or hardware failure.
6. Your company is dealing with credit card or healthcare related data.
Businesses dealing with these sorts of data have compliance related security requirements that they must meet. If your organization is dealing with sensitive data of this sort, make sure your systems meet all the compliance requirements to avoid fines and other penalties.
7. Your company has suffered an embarrassing data breach or doesn’t want to suffer one.
If your business has suffered a data breach, that is a clear sign that something was missing, that there was some data security practice that fell short. After a breach it is usually clear where the shortcoming was. But it is important to try to address data security shortcomings before they are exploited.
If you think it’s time to increase your organization’s data security, check out ASPG’s complete line of data and security software. Your business will thank you.