Covve Security Breach Handbook

As part of our continuous focus on security, and having had a security incident ourselves, we launched the Covve Security Series to help you protect your business from security breaches and respond to threats. This Covve Security Breach Prevention article will equip you with the necessary knowledge to proceed smartly in a digital world.

Understanding the Type of Web Data

As a preface, we list the different places information can be stored on the web.

  • Surface web: Data accessible through Internet search engines.
  • Deep web: Data on the Internet not accessible through search engines. This includes items like private social media profiles, hidden subreddits, medical and business databases, and archived web pages. It is estimated that 99% of information is stored on the deep web.
  • Dark web: Unlike the deep web, some sites on the dark web are intended to be publicly accessible. However, they are usually illegal and require special software to encrypt and anonymize your connection in one way or another. This also includes operations running on onion routing.

Most security breaches occur as 3rd parties get unauthorized access of data in the deep web, which is then made available and sold in the dark web.

Why Security Breaches Happen

It is reported that security breaches occur every 39 seconds. Digitalattackmap.com allows you to see live breaches. Five key factors in today’s world contribute to the growing vulnerability of organizational information, making them increasingly difficult to secure:

  1. Interconnected, interdependent, wireless business environment
  2. Smaller, faster, cheaper computers and storage devices
  3. Decreasing skills required to hack computer and network systems
  4. International organized cybercrime
  5. Lack of management support

Luckily, not all of the attempted breaches are successful. As an organization, you can’t reduce the number of attacks to your system, but you can equip yourself with the proper security measures to reduce the likelihood an attack will succeed and become a breach. This Covve Breach Prevention article is intended to help you understand how and where potential threats come from as you analyze your organization. The following list outlines seven areas for faulty behavior that could leave you exposed:

  1. Structure: Security policies are created once and then ignored. Organizations lack best practice security sharing and do not perform regular password changes.
  2. Systems: Lack of immediate upgrades, monitoring software, and supplier security checks.
  3. Style: Business process owners and line of business managers are responsible for process flows and services, not security.
  4. Strategy: Security isn’t viewed as important to a business’s strategy. It may be, at best, a secondary concern.
  5. Shared values: Security is not important enough in the workplace to remind coworkers.
  6. Staff: No preassigned security response team exists.
  7. Skills: Employees are told to follow security policies. They are not encouraged to engage in ongoing security prevention and monitoring.

Covve Security Breach Prevention

IBM calculates the average total cost of a data breach for an organization to be $3.86 million. With careful planning and monitoring and an up-front investment in proper data security measures, can save you much more in the long run. Every operation in your company builds upon the critical foundation that data provides. Protecting and using your organizational data securely is paramount to your success. Cybercriminals recognize the value of data as well. They seek to exploit vulnerabilities. And if they know where to look, so should you. Secure data solutions exist on-premises, in cloud environments, and in a hybrid model. They increase visibility and insights into keeping your information out of risk. On top of proper software architecture, you should be focused on how to activate real-time monitoring and automatic controls to assist your IT team and provide further peace of mind.

Once you understand the value of protecting your data proactively, security breach prevention becomes ingrained in your business operations. This article is providing five areas for concentration to prevent security breaches.

1. Limit Lateral Data Transfers

Educate employees on secure data sharing practices and enforce them. Internal data breaches are a top threat for many organizations for this very reason. Limit employee access to sensitive data with restricted access privileges to only those that require it and who are trained in proper data handling practices.

 2. Update Hardware and Software Regularly

Internal data breaches can occur when employees conduct work from unprotected machines. They can inadvertently install malware due to incorrectly managed devices. Upgrade operating systems and software, antivirus software, and firewalls often to reinforce defense systems.

3. Monitor with Machine Learning

Network administrators should look into monitoring software that can assist in preventing data breaches by analyzing normal behavior and identifying any suspicious activity. Threats usually hide within networks to exploit them over an extended time frame. It is possible that you miss them the first time around, which makes it all the more necessary to consistently monitor for impropriety and correct policies before more harm is done.

4. Create Strong Passwords

Password and login procedures are repeatedly an area for improvement. Two factor authentication, fingerprints, smart cards and other supplementary methods should support text-based credentials wherever possible. These additional items are much more difficult to replicate by cybercriminals. All passwords should be frequently updated to prevent data breaches and preempt any suspicious behavior.

5. Security as Insurance

At the end of the day, there is no perfect system that is immune to attacks. Since we can never entirely prevent security exploits or human error, Covve Security Breach Handbook advises small businesses to consider cyber insurance policies. These will help cover the damages that may occur even with top-notch security systems. Consider it an added layer of protection.

How to Respond to a Data Breach

So, you have taken steps to prevent a breach but a breach takes place anyway. This situation is faced by the largest companies in the industry and knowing how to react to a breach is as important as preventing one.

  1. Be quick and be honest publicly
  2. Bring in the right experts
  3. Isolate the incident
  4. Inform your users
  5. Notify the regulator
  6. Monitor social networks like Twitter, set Google alerts, and review your site visitors to stay on top of what is happening
  7. Prepare responses to press inquiries
  8. Prepare to address the questions and concerns of affected users and data subjects
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