The growing rate of security breaches have placed a number of organizations in the spotlight, subjecting them to noteworthy financial losses and damaged reputations. In order to prevent the occurrence of a data breach, organizations require a robust security strategy that safeguards their data, devices and clients.
Today’s enterprise technology leader is responsible for not only protecting the organization against advanced security threats but also its clients or customers against various malware and phishing attacks. Taking into account the shift to a mobile workforce with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) becoming increasingly common in many organizations, the security risk factor is further complicated with the intricate mix of mobile apps and devices in the workplace.
What Causes the Risk?
Cyber security and data breaches occur when individuals obtain access to data and systems that they should not have access to. It might be customer or client data; credit card details; medical information or even just a list of email addresses – any large volume of data in the wrong hands can inflict substantial damage to an organization. The breach can also occur by the hands of negligent employees. A lost or stolen laptop, phone or memory stick or a carelessly unsecured IT network can lead to significant breaches. System malefactions, third party errors and hacking attacks can also result in personal information, classified or commercially confidential information, such as the company’ trade secrets, being compromised.
What Pre-emptive Measures Should an Organization Undertake to Reduce the Risk of a Breach?
Being aware of what personal information is available, where it is located, and what it is being used for
Data records and process maps can assist the organization in providing a blueprint of precisely what personal information needs to be protected (as well as when and where it needs to be protected). It’s important to first understand the data before it can be protected.
Conducting risk and vulnerability assessments and/or penetration tests within the organization help to make certain that threats to privacy are detected. In addition to focusing on technical vulnerabilities, organizations should think about those third parties associated with the business. For example, are third parties gathering personal information on the organization’s behalf without suitable security measures? Does the organization utilize paper-based application forms, which are then passed on to a central location (the loss of which may result in no way of identifying who the affected individuals are, or even how to inform them)? When an upgrade is conducted, do the old systems and databases stay active, unmonitored and unpatched?
Creating a data breach notification policy/procedure
Creating a data breach notification policy will let clients or customers know what steps the organization will undergo if an attack transpires, while at the same time making certain that the correct procedures will be taken.
Coaching IT personnel
IT personnel accountable for securing the organization’s network should be educated on how hackers operate and how to recognize a data breach.
Instituting organization policies
To reduce the threat of an attack, all staff should have a good knowledge of what tools, devices and networks are permitted to be utilized and in which circumstances they should be used. It is crucial to train all staff in the organization on the security and regulatory risks associated with utilizing tools outside of company policies.
Applying an enterprise collaboration solution
To facilitate the organization to cooperate freely and securely, many businesses utilize a file sharing solution that builds on existing solutions, places the end user first and does not compromise on security and control.
Developing a solid Incident Response Plan
An organization should construct an incident response plan in advance, prior to the occurrence of a breach. Some questions to consider include: what is the organization’s communication plan? Who should be notified in case of a possible breach? What information should board members be aware of? What should the organization tell its clients or customers?
Taking these precautionary steps to safeguard against threats will help to ensure that your organization remains protected against potential future attacks.
The Litcom Approach
Today’s business leaders wonder how secure their organizations and IT systems are, and often struggle to find the right strategy to balance implementing effective information security controls and achieving business objectives of cost reduction and agility. Litcom provides information security expertise and skilled resources to assist our clients in a variety of information security capacities.