Data Protection is Key

Protect Your DataHere are a few steps you can take to protect your data.  Some are easier than others.

  1. Passwords.  You need to get rid of your passwords.  A quarter of the data breaches studied could have been prevented if the victimized companies had required more than just a password to get into the system, per a Verizon Study.  It’s easy for hackers to crack passwords because users normally use pet names, birth-dates, and other easy-to-remember numbers for them.
  2. Encryption is the most effective way to achieve data security. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it (http://www.webopedia.com).  Wikipedia’s definition of encryption is “Encryption does not of itself prevent interception, but denies the message content to the interceptor.”  There is one downfall of getting your data encrypted…it’s pricey.  To know if data encryption is for you, weight the cost to the dollar value of the stolen data.
  3. Vendor Check.  The same Verizon Study that was mentioned before also notes that between one-fifth and two-thirds of data breaches are linked to hackers breaking into vendors or other third parties to gain access to bigger companies’ data.  For example, the Target hack that happened almost two years ago, sadly, happened through an HVAC company.  To ensure your companies data, there must be oversight, which means following up with vendors so they can prove their cybersecurity programs and track records.  Also, have them sign a document regarding their cybersecurity approach.
  4. Do not leave the Internet doors open.  This can be done by keeping track of all tablets, smartphones, and computers that have access to the Internet and your company’s digital footprint.  Almost 25% of breaches come from computers that don’t need to be online, per the Verizon Study.
  5. Keep up-to-date with software patches, especially with operating system updates.  If the software on your computers are not updated, you are leaving yourself at risk to hackers.

Article taken from ACHR News magazine.

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