5 Tips for Avoiding a Data Breach

Data breaches can be costly not only in time and money but also in terms of your company’s public reputation. Preventing these data security incidents is critical to your ongoing success in the competitive marketplace. For companies with limited IT staffing and resources, finding the most cost-effective strategies for preventing data breach incidents can protect your company from some of the most damaging effects of these cyber attacks on your business operations. This article will review to top 5 tips for avoiding a data breach.

Why Data Breach Prevention Is Essential

In 2022, the average cost of a data breach was $4.35 million. The financial cost of these cyber attacks, however, is only part of the story. A security breach can also result in data loss, the installation of malware, and the loss of confidence in your company by your clients. This can have devastating effects on your future profitability and your ability to succeed in your chosen field:

  • Loss of reputation can affect your company’s profitability and market position for years into the future.
  • Potential identity theft of credit card or financial information can affect customers and vendors.
  • Downtime can also be necessary to remove malware and address vulnerabilities revealed in a security breach. This can reduce productivity and lead to lower profits for your company.
  • Data loss is a critical issue that can arise after a data breach. Even if the information is not accessed directly, it can be damaged by malware or can be rendered inaccessible by the actions of hackers and outside agents.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the chance of a data breach and to protect your sensitive information from unauthorized intrusion by cybercriminals and hackers. By safeguarding your data against cyber attacks, you can close gaps in your cybersecurity and can identify vulnerabilities before they are used against you and your organization. Here are five proven strategies for stopping data breach incidents before they start.

1. Perform Regular Audits on Your Cybersecurity

Identifying vulnerabilities before they are exploited by hackers is one of the best ways to boost your company’s data security. Making sure your antivirus is updated and effective and checking the security of your corporate firewalls can lower your chance of being victimized by cybercriminals. Keeping a close eye on your cybersecurity measures is a practical step toward protecting your data from unauthorized access and misuse.

Scheduling regular audits of your data security measures can also help you to stay in compliance with regulatory requirements. By monitoring and keeping records of your cybersecurity activities, you can build a foundation for the ongoing protection of your customer data and a lower risk of data breach incidents in the future.

2. Invest in Training for Your Staff

Phishing and social engineering techniques are among the most common ways in which cybercriminals gain access to servers and sensitive information through human error. Proper training for your staff members is necessary to prevent these types of cyber attacks. Educating your employees about avoiding weak passwords will limit the ability of hackers to access your servers and sensitive data.

The right training can allow your staff members to serve as a first line of defense against security threats. By teaching in-house staff members the tactics used by cybercriminals to access customer data, you can make a significant difference in their ability to spot phishing attempts and safeguard sensitive data from outside intrusions.

3. Manage Access to Critical and Sensitive Data

Maintaining robust access control for sensitive data is necessary for compliance with many regulatory requirements. Proper authentication methods (like multi-factor authentication) and strong passwords are among the most effective strategies for preventing unauthorized access to your company’s sensitive and proprietary data. Restricting access to sensitive data only to those who have a legitimate need for the information can minimize the likelihood of data breaches and the unauthorized disclosure of confidential customer and company data, making security controls more effective.

4. Track and Maintain Inventory for All Digital Assets

Maintaining an accurate inventory of all digital assets and endpoints used by your company will allow you to keep these mobile devices and computing systems up to date and protected against unauthorized access. Mobile phones, tablets, and other mobile devices require special attention to prevent security breaches in which hackers gain access to your company’s servers and systems.

By tracking the various digital assets and endpoints that connect to your company’s systems, you can maintain a greater degree of control over these access points. This can translate into improved data security throughout your organization and fewer opportunities for cyber attacks.

5. Work With a Company That Specializes in Data Breach Prevention

Preventing data breaches can be challenging for companies without extensive IT departments and resources. Outsourcing cybersecurity can ensure a prompt and effective incident response strategy. Companies that specialize in cybersecurity can provide an array of services designed to boost the security of your systems and your customer data, including the following:

  • Endpoint management services that monitor all access points to your networks, servers, and systems
  • Managed cybersecurity detection and incident response planning
  • Security awareness training for your staff
  • Consulting and assessments that can help you improve data security throughout your organization
  • Cloud infrastructure and security solutions for easy and secure access to personal data and applications
  • Secure SD-WAN implementations
  • Connectivity solutions that are designed with security in mind
  • Server support and help-desk functionality that will allow your IT staff to focus on core business activities

As one of the nation’s top IT solutions providers, Meriplex specializes in providing managed IT services that can help you manage data security more effectively. By implementing these five tips for reducing your risk of data breaches, you can protect your company from the serious and lasting negative effects of these security incidents. To learn more about how we can help you protect your data and your company’s reputation, contact us today. At Meriplex, we are here to help your business grow and prosper now and in the future.