Advances in technology have opened new doors for businesses. Access to information about potential markets and competitors has increased, allowing businesses to make evidence-based, strategic decisions. However, with these advances and widespread access comes potentially substantial consequences. Data breaches have proven to be an ongoing security risk for any organization. Whether you are running an established business or venturing into a new one, data breaches will always be a threat. Despite the increased security measures, here is why data breaches will get worse before they get better.
Security Measures Fail to Protect Against Employees
Most businesses perceive data breaches as an external threat – some nefarious hacker who steal consumer information for their gain. However, your network is also a threat to data security. Employees, administrators, and contractors have access to information and the potential to abuse that access. According to the SANS 2017 Insider Threat Study, 40 percent of surveyors identified the internal network as the biggest threat to data security. It is difficult to identify insider abuse when it is occurring, but it is almost impossible to prevent.
Businesses Are Incentivized to Collect More Data
As more devices connect to the internet, more information is available for gathering. Businesses collect data from consumers, partners, and social media sites. With almost 90 percent of consumers reporting that they'd rather be contacted via text messaging, collecting the phone numbers of potential buyers is practically mandatory in 2019. The data ends up stored in a database with functional deficiencies. Information is often recovered or backed up, but never deleted and often lack security measures such as encryption.
Breaches Are Becoming More Complex
Security measures are instituted to defend against data breaches. However, cyberattacks are progressively becoming more sophisticated. Attacks are not only breaching security measures but also becoming more difficult to remove. Furthermore, data breaches are no longer only a problem for IT, as these sophisticated cyberattacks can now impact every department. As the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” With the right motivation, a committed hacker will figure a way into your network, no matter how strong your security measures are.
Human Error is Unavoidable
Regardless of how many security measures you implement, human error is essentially unavoidable. Mistakes are a normal part of life and present opportunities to learn. In the case of data breaches, these mistakes can have serious consequences. Human error is ranked as the top cause for data breaches, accounting for 52 percent of all root causes. Errors include having weak passwords, sharing account information, sending confidential information to wrong recipients, and falling for phishing scams. These are a few examples of how human errors can lead to breaches in security.
Device Theft is Common
Theft of devices containing sensitive information can compromise data security. Although it is considered not as threatening as complex cyberattacks or human error, theft gives others access to confidential information about your company. How severe the theft of a physical storage device is dependent on the contents of that device. Although thefts are considered less threatening, they are difficult to predict. Additional security measures to secure your data are needed to protect it in case your device is stolen.
Advances in technology have provided new opportunities for both businesses and hackers. Database technologies today are equipped with stronger encryption methods and are becoming more sophisticated, hindering the ability of outsiders to abuse data. Enhanced database controls are allowing businesses to share select data with select groups of people, minimizing the risk of internal data breaches. Understanding the nature of data breaches is the first step in preventing (and preparing) for them. Taking the time to institute a solid security system helps prevent the financial and social consequences that can permanently cripple your operations.
Being a small business owner is full of potential problems and difficulties, and in this day and age cyber security is the newest one. This new threat can destroy small businesses in a single moment, so protecting against it is vital. Here are 5 practices to provide successful cyber security for your small business.
Beware of Emails
When protecting your small business, the first step is understanding the threat, and to do this you need to be aware that over 90% of malware comes through emails. Emails are vital to any modern business, and hackers know this and that is why they target them. Having malware detection set up on your email server can change everything, but the first step starts with you and your employees. Having the understanding not to open email attachments you don't know can save your entire business.
Don’t Neglect Physical Security
Cyber security does not just mean online, and you need to protect every aspect of your business to stay secure. Locking the office door probably isn't enough. Installing at least the essentials of physical security equipment is vital for protecting computers, servers, and sensitive paperwork. Criminals will be able to find your logins and passwords manually or even hack directly into your servers, and both of these will bypass all of your cyber security. This means protecting your business online means protecting it physically. Using security systems, advanced locks and cameras will ensure this.
Educate Your Staff
While malware and viruses are becoming more advanced, the majority of breaches of computer networks comes from user ignorance. Hackers can use poorly chosen and insecure passwords to get into any security system, no matter how high-level security is. With the majority of malware coming through email attachments, that doesn't need to be impressive computer skills from the hacker, just making the email and attachment enticing enough for someone will click is enough. You can install and maintain the world's best cyber security, but if your staff still falls for the same old tricks and doesn't secure their logins your network will be just as susceptible to hacking.
The key to changing this is education. Bring in cyber security experts to talk to your employees about proper internet practices. Have a handbook made up that is specific to cyber security for every employee to read and keep by their computer. This is a common but simple problem, and it has an equally simple solution.
Update Your Hardware
The older and more antiquated your computers, software, and servers are, the easier they will be to hack. Older technology does not have inbuilt protection, and if a model has been around for a long time then hackers will be familiar with it. This familiarity can lead to disaster with your system because they will know the easiest ways to use your hardware against you and get into your cyber network through it. Updating your computers and servers will be costly in the short term, but in the long term, it could save your company and protect further into the future.
Get Advanced and Reliable Antivirus Software
While the other practices are all preventative to make sure hackers and malware don't get near your system, this is the only way to protect yourself if they do. Of course, a good antivirus system will shield against attacks as well, but the most important thing is that if a hacker does get into your system you are able to stop them before they do any damage. Antivirus will prevent malware getting into your system, but if it does it will instantly find it, quarantine it, find out where it came from, and then destroy it. All of this without any damage being done to your system. Research antivirus before you get one and do not pick the cheapest option. This could be the most important purchase for your business.
Cyber security can seem complicated, but when broken down it's straightforward. Just these simple practices will protect your business now and in the future, and allow you to operate with peace of mind. So, remember to beware of suspicious emails, don’t neglect physical security, educate your staff concerning cyber security related issues, and use current antivirus software.
Cyber attacks are a major problem for businesses today, resulting in billions of dollars in losses and damages. Millions of customers also have their personal information compromised during these attacks. This has caused businesses to make cybersecurity a top priority. While every industry is susceptible to cyber attacks, the industries below have a more critical need for cybersecurity.
It's no secret that today's common e-commerce business is an enormous industry that will continue to grow in the future. Many Americans shop online regularly and depend on it for a variety of goods and services. This means that millions of consumers have very important financial and personal information stored online that is susceptible to being compromised by hackers. Because of numerous recent high-profile e-commerce data breaches, online retailers have made efforts to improve their cybersecurity. Amazon is partnering with Bank of America for its merchant lending program. This new venture will require a new focus on cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
The transportation system is susceptible to attacks for financial and customer data. Like the industries above, GlobalSign reports that this has resulted in billions of dollars in losses and identity thefts. In addition, some attacks focus on this industry simply to create mass chaos. This can have catastrophic results.
According to The George Washington University, physicians depend heavily on technology for patient databases and records. While this can improve patient care and overall efficiency, it can make critical patient medical and financial information susceptible to hacking. The healthcare industry has been the subject of numerous cyber attacks in recent years. These attacks have resulted in enormous financial losses for the industry and patients. In addition, patient information was compromised, leading to possible identity theft. This is why cybersecurity should be a top priority in the healthcare industry.
In 2015, the United States government was attacked, resulting in millions of employee records being compromised to include fingerprints, social security numbers, and birthplaces. These attacks extend well beyond the United States to basically every nation across the globe. Government systems have enormous amounts of sensitive data, which is enticing to hackers. The latest in cybersecurity technology must be used to protect these databases.
Cyber attacks are on the rise, and this trend is likely to continue in the future. The cornerstone industries above are a few of the primary targets for these attacks. This is why cybersecurity should be of utmost importance in these industries.
As technological advances place more demand in cloud-based computing, data security is becoming a serious concern for many companies. Breaches in security, cyber-attacks and the access to and compromising of crucial company data has become common, and demand for professionals to secure data for businesses has increased. If you are thinking about getting into a career in cybersecurity, below are a few of the most important things to know beforehand.
Do Not Specialize in Security Alone
If you want to be a well-rounded cybersecurity professional, you have to go beyond basic security and also learn to focus on other parts of tech work. The work environment is currently very demanding, and most companies are looking to hire people who fit perfectly both into general information technology and security as a specialization. If you are already in IT and you want to get the role of a security expert, you need to study about network security and endpoint hygiene. These extra skills will make you the security guru in your company within a short period.
Source: The Simple Dollar
Scale Your Network and Connections
Sometimes, regardless of the skills and abilities which you possess, your network is what determines how fast you will get into a specialized career in cybersecurity. The best way to scale your network is to join IT forums and attain IT-related events close to you. When you have a large network, the possibility of getting a job referred to you by someone that has heard about it increases significantly. Do not shy away from starting with minor and outsourcing jobs because they will give you the experience that you need to move upwards.
Source: Maryville University
Learn Tools of the Trade
When it comes to cybersecurity, there are some activities and jobs you will have to carry out that fall into a grey area. For instance, if there is a source of threat to a client’s data security and you need to access their system to deactivate or interfere with their activity, approaches such as ethical hacking are allowed. Working with people who have been in the field longer than you have will be a simple way to understand what to do in these situations.
Source: Computer Hope
Cybersecurity experts are in high demand in an increasingly digital world. With the right amount of education and experience, it is possible to become the go-to IT guy when there are cyber threats in your company. Learning and looking out for opportunities as they arise will get you there.
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It used to be that going to the dentist for anything other than a routine cleaning could be at best slightly uncomfortable and at worst downright painful. Fillings, crowns, and root canals can be painful procedures that require numbing shots, which themselves can also be painful.
Some procedures take multiple visits with the possibility of discomfort between visits, and some people experience general anxiety no matter how benign the visit. Today, however, dentists aren't something to be feared or to feel anxious about, and modern technology has only helped in this regard.
Anesthetic shots are practically pain-free with digital anesthetic instruments and alternative pain-blocking techniques. Multiple visits are many times unnecessary because modern dentist offices use digital imaging for crown sizing, and they mill the permanent crown directly at the office.
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Technology is not stagnant; it continues to bring innovations to the table. Every day is a new day with new discoveries. Tomorrow beckons with fresh knowledge that can be applied to all aspects of our lives.
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Justus Daniel Eapen is a policy level Organizational Transformation Consultant with over 25 years experience in Banking & Government.