If your company handles confidential proprietary information and sensitive customer data on a daily basis, the last thing you want to find yourself dealing with is a breach. Putting measures in place to protect data at every point of vulnerability is essential in today’s highly connected corporate world.
Why Your Company is a Target for Corporate Data Theft
Hackers are on the lookout for any kind of information they can use to make money. Businesses are popular targets because they often handle:
• Credit card numbers
• Bank account numbers
• Customer identity information
Hackers also target insurance companies to get health care information and social security numbers. Once all the necessary data has been gathered, it can then be sold on the black market or used to make purchases, steal individual’s identities or demand ransoms from companies in return for the release of the records.
Be Aware of Employee Activity
Most employers are aware of phishing scams used by hackers to trick employees into sharing company information or providing access to corporate networks. However, you also have to be aware of the growing network of partnerships between disgruntled employees and opportunistic hackers. A 2015 breach report by Verizon showed around 50 percent of breaches occur as a result of insider activity, 20 percent of which are considered to be deliberate.
These connections are often formed through online forums on which hackers post “job listings” for company employees, looking for someone to help them access confidential information they can’t get on their own. Employees who have a bone to pick with their companies accept these jobs in exchange for payment and use their knowledge of internal systems to grant hackers access to data.
Put Protections in Place to Preserve Data Integrity
What can you do to minimize the chances of losing data to outside hackers and insider threats? Increase security by:
• Identifying and fixing network vulnerabilities
• Installing antivirus, antispyware and antimalware programs
• Setting up strong passwords and firewalls
• Encrypting data during transmission and storage
• Running consistent software updates
• Limiting employee access to suspicious websites
• Creating regular backups with redundant copies across servers
By being discerning and vigilant, you can protect the data on which your company relies on to operate and grow. Strong security measures prevent hackers from getting in, discourage insiders from engaging in malicious activities, and make customers more comfortable when dealing with your company.