Data Breaches Protection

Last year, retailers, financial institutions and small businesses saw more frequent data leaks, more cybersecurity scrutiny, and an increase in the rate of sophisticated attacks. Massive pointed out that the cost of recovering from a data breach increased in 2014 to $11.6 million. It was $9 million in 2012. The source also cited Duo Security and Ponemon Institute’s research stating the cost of recovering from separate data breaches ranged from a low of $1.6 million to a high of $61 million.

So what’s expected in 2015? The trend is expected to continue irrespective of business sector or company size. Information age points out that the situation will rise in intensity this year. The perspective is that the amount of data is growing at an astonishing pace, so fast that it can be difficult to cope, while businesses struggle to catch up with the evolving threat landscape. Another alarming fact is that the cyber crime industry is growing as fast as the digital universe.

That said, many lessons have been learned during data breach cases last year, which translate into steps you can take to protect your business from being a victim.

Data breach prevention strategies

  1. PCI compliance

The first step to take to protect your data, your business and its customers from a data breach attack is to comply with the PCI DDS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). This means your business is being PCI complaint. The requirements of complying with PCI standards means boosting security for processing and storage of cardholder data.

Additionally, your business can try newer ways to make and receive payments, such as Apple Pay and PayPal. Any technology that prevents your firm from storing customer credit card information is safer than using POS terminals, which were at the forefront of data breaches last year.

  1. Mange and govern data flows

MFT or managed file transfer enables your organization to secure, manage, control, and govern the data that powers your business. A reliable, scalable, and a centralized file transfer solution can increase your business performance, reduce inefficiencies, and IT complexity, while supporting growth of big data initiatives, and reducing risk associated with non-compliance and data breaches.

But when you select a MFT solution, select the one that keeps your data secure both in transit and in rest so it can evolve and adapt to changes in your partner relationships and your organization as a whole. The right solution should grow with your firm and offer flexibility to consolidate with several legacy solutions, saving you time and investment while improving compliance and control.

  1. Educate employees

Lack of employee information often translates into data breaches via email scams, poor password practices, and social media use. Educate employees about the telltale signs of a data breach attempt such as not responding to a suspicious email that is badly worded and asking them to submit company information in order to conduct a financial transaction.

Employees should also be trained to create stronger passwords, or you could deploy a password manager that detects weak passwords and changes them. Password managers can also be used in conjunction with two-factor authentication so there is centralized control over passwords and hackers can’t get into sensitive accounts without access to employee devices.

Featured image credit: ShutterStock

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