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How to Prevent a Data Breach

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Last editedMar 20222 min read

Data breaches wreak havoc for businesses and institutions. According to report from IBM, data breaches in the US cost $8.64 million in the year 2020.

While acting quickly subsequent to a data breach can help limit the damage and expedite recovery, breaches are frequently not discovered until months afterwards, by which point the damage is difficult to mitigate.

For this reason, taking measures to prevent a data breach is imperative. In this post, we’ll go through some crucial steps you can take to help prevent a data breach in your company.

What is a data breach?

A data breach is the transfer of secure or sensitive information into a public domain or a suspicious environment. In other words, it is the exposure of confidential or protected information to an unauthorized individual or group of individuals. It can be intentional, i.e. initiated by a hacker, or it can be accidental, i.e. due to company carelessness. Examples of data breaches include the release of private company records or emails.

How to prevent a data breach

With a clear definition of what’s meant by the term data breach, let’s delve into measures you can take to prevent its occurrence.

Restrict access

Each individual with access to data poses a risk. If you ensure data is only accessible by a few privileged employees, you can keep the risk of data breach to a minimum. If you have a large body of staff, you can set up different levels access and ensure only a designated few can access highly sensitive data.

Improve security

Fending off cyberattacks comes down the strength and quality of your security. Setting up firewalls and VPNs and monitoring any traffic can help to improve your security measures.

Appropriately train employees

While hackers certainly pose a risk, most data breaches actually occur through carelessness on the part of an employee and are a result of simple human error. Providing adequate and appropriate training to your employees can help minimize the occurrence of these errors, meaning a lower likelihood of a data leak.

To do this, you can incorporate training on password strength and emphasize the importance of not revealing your password to anyone. You can also educate staff on how to identify cyber threats and make sure they know who to speak to if they are worried about a potential data breach. All in all, optimizing security training can be a huge aid when it comes to data breach prevention.

Audit and adapt

There is no one method or system for permanent protection against cyberthreats and data breaches. This is because a company will always be experiencing some level of flux, with new employee onboarding, customer acquisition and company expansion. Old security measures and previous staff training may become obsolete at any moment, while hackers are constantly developing new techniques and becoming increasingly savvy and advanced.

If you want to act to prevent a data breach long-term, then you need to be constantly auditing and adapting to the ever-changing cyber arena. You should be constantly checking for any new security practices to implement and making sure employees continue to follow security protocols.

The importance of data breach prevention

Data breaches can cost your company a lot of money, and require a great deal of time and resources to remedy. However, they can be prevented with proactive data breach prevention practices and a willingness to be continually implementing new and advanced security measures.

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