The vast quantities of systems, devices, and users, along with the colossal amount of data built, transferred and stored each day means that companies need to handle complex systems more than ever before.

Almost every day, these systems are targeted by various types of attack to steal classified data of customers, clients, employees and other sensitive organizational information.

Even though technology has largely evolved, data protection systems within organizations, awareness strategies, and amount of investments in security processors against cybercriminals, systems continue to stay vulnerable.

Moreover, the threat is continuing to rise. According to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost to an organization from a data infringement was up 25% from the previous year.

Data Breaches are keep Increasing

Hackers have become more sophisticated, dangerous and with the help of social engineering have built advanced automated tools and a wide variety of processes to breach data.

The most common and expensive forms of cybercrime for an organization were criminal attacks and malicious intent, according to the study.

Until a while back, organizations would try to hide cyber-attack incidents and data breaches in order to save face and prevent loss of consumers, clients, and partners.

However, an increasing number of organizations and information security experts have begun to accept that data infringements are no longer impossible to avoid or conceal.

Best ways to Lock down the Sensitive data

Today a company’s information security position must consider risk repercussions and incident response programmes in order to handle and extenuate the detrimental strikes of data infractions. A few processes can help companies deal with such issues.

Firstly, companies must be aware of their data sensitivity (the type of information contained and its significance to the organization).

The company must enforce policies and have regular inspections on ways to access information, get rid of systems or procedures that are not required, safeguard classified components and ascertain that what is remaining is well coordinated and easily accessible.

Classified, high-value PDFs and other documents such as consumer accounts, intellectual property, and undertakings require specific management.

The rising bulk of data and varied media, devices, and systems employed as storage devices are causing the process of data lockdown to become even more complex.

An effective way of locking down data within an organization is to employ encryption methods to safeguard the privacy, accessibility, cohesion, and non-exposure of data only for specified users.

Encryption techniques can be used to protect the secure transmission from one storage area to another, than to safeguard information within the storage systems inside companies and to protect information in remote storage systems such as the cloud.

Another way of locking down important data is to apply tools that can provide management and access rights for documents and PDF files. To do this, would be to make use of passwords that only allow permitted users to access precise information.

In addition, to maintain the safety of data at all times, attention must be paid to how certain applications are being downloaded and processed within the organization.

Companies must set rules that applications must be downloaded only from official sources permitted by the IT department. A number of malware and viruses are known to come through downloaded applications from insecure sources.

Things Need to follow post Data Breach

If you are a customer of an organization, that has suffered a data breach, you would need to know the steps to mitigate the effect of the data breach and do it quickly.

These steps will differ, based on the situation surrounding the breach and the vulnerability of the stolen information. Importantly, consider the current situation:

  • Verify that the breach has taken place, affecting your data
  • What kind of data breach has taken place?
  • Was your data or credentials affected in the data breach?
  • Has any data concerning your personal information been stolen, or is the breach more constrained?
  • Do you have proof that the cybercriminals have done anything with your personal data, such as used it to carry out identity theft?

Data Breach Response

Consider the following data breach response actions that you may wish to take in the event of a data breach involving your personal information.

  • If it has become public knowledge that a data breach has taken place, you may receive additional queries from scammers posing as the breached company in order to get more information. Do not respond to fake emails. Speak to the company and confirm that the data breach has taken place and if your information has been compromised.
  • Ascertain the kind of information stolen. While credit cards and similar financial details can be immediately made void and new ones reinstated, it can be difficult to obtain a new Social Security number.
  • Take up the breached organization’s offer to mend the situation and safeguard you for a while. For instance, when a credit-reporting agency suffered a data breach in 2017, it offered its consumer’s credit file surveillance and identity theft safety.
  • Update or change all your login IDs, passwords, and security questions. Additionally, you can also strengthen your security by taking additional precautions such as moving to two-factor authentication.
  • Keep a close check on your accounts and be alert for any signs of new activity.

Although data breaches are unlikely to stop completely, in order to effectively and successfully address information, effective data management solutions must be employed in order to lock down data in such a manner that keeps it protected at all times

Even if an organization is subject to a data infringement, the information that has been safely secured will continue to remain protected preventing a hacker from accessing and gaining that information.

BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.


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